Learning something new can be an amazing thing to embrace in life, but it can also bring other feelings such as fear, intimidation and that overwhelming feeling of knowing nothing at about it compared to the other people that are doing it. Here I will highlight some of the insights and things that I’ve come to understand of the power of learning something new.
Why Learn Something New
First and foremost, we all should be looking to keep moving forward in life and part of moving forward is embracing new challenges and learning things that can help you to get further down/up that road to success and further our self growth. The new challenge that you set for yourself brings you an amazing feeling of starting fresh into something that you may know very little about, which in turn means that everything is absorbed quickly in the beginning.
Learning something new is also a great way to practice setting goals and laying out the framework as to how to reach those goals. The new challenge also brings, or can bring, a whole new set of tools for you to use in life and gain greater experience in doing or knowing more about various things. It can be a fun adventure that keeps you thinking about something that you have never thought about before. It also opens up a whole new or several new social circles as you may be learning something in a group setting and there will be other people that you will be learning this with or connecting with over different platforms.
I started learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) a little over 4 years ago and I now have over 100 people that I now know from BJJ and that circle continues to grow with every new person that walks through those doors to start or continue their learning journey. I met a friend there that mentioned that when she first came to Hong Kong, that she knew no one and that it was very depressing to be alone in such a big city. So after her first class in BJJ, she met so many people and that they became her social circle. When having a new social circle for learning something new, we become more engaged with what it is that we are learning because we want to speak the language of that particular skill. We learn the language of the new tribe that we are meeting and becoming a part of.
Learning something new doesn’t need to be something that you need to spend a lifetime to learn, like BJJ, but you should make a time commitment to really understand what it is that you are really learning. Always when starting something new, you will see amazingly quick results at the beginning because it is new and you’re more eager to put more energy into it, which is why we need to commit to at least 3 months to any new learning project. Three months is an introduction to the learning and to set a 3 month goal, is easier to accomplish rather than to say that you you’re going to learn something new for a year or longer at the beginning.
We can always adjust our time commitment because it is at the 3 month mark that we start to understand more and can see ourselves doing whatever it is that we are learning better. From that 3rd month onward we can then simply add 3 months at a time to continue our learning. Keeping in mind that different things that we embark on can take a considerable amount of time in order to be proficient in them. For example, if you are going to learn a language, after 3 months of learning any language, how proficient will you be? For myself, learning BJJ for the last four years has me still at the beginning of a lifetime of learning and I have a great hunger for learning it, so the time commitment is easy. Not all things that we learn will be easy to commit to, especially in the beginning and that is why we take it at 3 month steps at a time.
Long time ago there was a movie called, ‘Berry Gordy’s: The Last Dragon’ and it was about a kung-fu guy in Harlem named Bruce Leeroy who was searching for the ‘Glow’. In his case, it was that once he reached mastery of his kung-fu that he would start to glow, well, you won’t glow once you reach mastery most likely, but you will have an amazing glow about you as you realize that you are learning something new and it is changing you for the better.
As you get into this new journey of learning something new, you will start to be amazed at your own progress that you will essentially have a glow about you. You will want to talk about it with others. You will want to take pictures and share it on social media. You will be trying to convince people to try it — on and on and that will be your glow. That excitement is what we need to have in our lives as much as we can, which is why learning something new can bring us great power.
Personally, the things that I am glowing about these days are, as mentioned, BJJ, but I am also learning Thai, Japanese, Drawing, photography, video editing, writing and of course working on always learning more Cantonese/Chinese. With so many things to learn and to become proficient in, I am constantly glowing from all of what I am learning. I’ve always wanted to learn to draw a person and I have started drawing a little bit (mostly) every day. It is amazing to see the difference between day 1 and day 30. When I get to day 90, I will share with everyone and show that we can do anything that we commit ourselves to.
- Start by picking something that you have always wanted to learn and have a genuine interest in.
- Commit to a minimum of 3 months to learn this new thing.
- For those 3 months, just spend around 20-30 minutes a day on it — we all scroll social media for that long and learn nothing from it, so this part shouldn’t be difficult. Just put it on your Daily Hit List.
- Everything you could possibly want to learn is available for free on Youtube or somewhere on the Internet — no excuses.
- After you do your 20-30 minutes of learning something new, reflect on it in a journal — this helps to process what you’ve learned and helps you to progress.
- Have fun with it. Don’t make this a chore, make it your hobby.
- Share with others — I’d love to hear about what you’re learning — so would the people around you and it helps you to be a positive influence to others as well.
Feel the power of learning something new and you will be extremely glad that you did. Keep moving forward in life.
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