In the book, BLUE ZONES: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, author Dan Buettner details some incredible science on how to live the longest possible life.
One of the key insights is to continually learn NEW and different things. You will age very quickly if you stop learning.
Learning tons and tons about one idea or subject is good. But it’s also ineffective to learn about one thing in the same learning style.
WHAT you learn about matters, but HOW you learn matters a lot more.
If you only read books, even if you’re reading about multiple subjects, your brain will atrophy in certain areas, which will age you faster.
According to 50 years of research on learning theory, we all have a dominant learning style. We all also have several backup learning styles we rely on when we’re in a difficult situation. However, there are also several other learning styles that each of us neglect and avoid.
Some of these learning styles include:
The more learning styles you can regularly experience, the better and healthier your brain will be.
When you were a kid, you tried tons of different things. Your brain was expanding and stretching left-and-right. Unfortunately, most people stop trying new things the older they get.
If you want to make your brain healthier, and if you want to become a “super-learner,” it’s essential to continually learn different things.
Learning new languages is amazing for your brain. However, you don’t want to learn those languages with the same methods. The more methods you can implement the better.
For example, here are a few methods you could use:
The more immersive the experience the better. However, even just actively learning something new for 15–30 minutes per day will open your brain and consciousness in so many ways.
Learning musical instruments is also very, very healthy for your brain. I recently started learning piano off a cool app. It’s addictive! A few days ago, I practiced for three hours straight! I couldn’t get myself to stop it was so fun.
If you can gamify your learning, all the better. By gamify, I mean to make it into a game. In video games, you have “quests” or “goals” to accomplish.
The reason I like the app I’m learning piano on is that I have 15-minute lessons, and within those lessons I have 5–10 sub-lessons. The competitor in me loves knocking-out as many lessons as possible.
Just like in a video game, it’s fun to see how far you can go.
There is a lot of brain science into how this works and how to maximize the experience.
If you really want to give yourself a brain-workout, here are some things you could do:
In other words, you want to have some profound WHY’s behind what you’re learning. But you also want to have specific mile-stones or achievements to keep yourself going, to gamify the process, to build your confidence, and to make it fun.
When you learn new things, you change as a person. Changing is the most healthy thing you can do.
You can’t actually have hope for your future if you don’t believe you can change.
The more you change, and the more you learn how to transform in a positive and intentional direction, the more hope you’ll have for your future.
Hope is a powerful and positive EXPECTATION… not just mere wishing.
So, when you take 15–30 minutes per day, focused exclusively on activating different areas of your brain, you heal yourself and make yourself younger. But you also infuse deep levels of HOPE into your future.
Not only that, but you enhance the areas of your life where you’ve already developed deep mastery. You get to re-experience the beginner’s high and humility. You get a new perspective of yourself and the world.
This pulls you from the rut and apathy of routine. It allows you to see the other areas of your life with fresh eyes. This changes EVERYTHING. As Wayne Dyer once said, “When you change the way you see things, the things you see change.”
Put simply, when you change your cognition, you transform your environment, your psychology, and your biology. You change yourself and you change others — because you interact with them differently.
You become more loving and interested in your relationships. Because your own hope and healing is deepening, you become a more powerful vessel for healing, hope, and transformation others.
You love your family and friends more. You see them in different ways. You notice the small things. You appreciate those small things. You thank them and acknowledge them for those small things.
You smile more — because you’re learning and changing and healing. You’re appreciating this amazing this we call life more.
Your imagination starts to take-off, and you remove limiting models of thinking. Again, non-linear learning is about seeing things from totally different perspectives. So, by practicing, playing, and challenging yourself in new ways, you’ll start to get insights to improve the current approaches you’re taking in your work and in other areas.
Put simply, if you’re not doing this, you’re missing-out HUGE.
I’ve created a cheat sheet for putting yourself into a PEAK-STATE, immediately. You follow this daily, your life will change very quickly.
Originally published at medium.com