We all LEARN. Recent neuroscience research concludes that even old folks (like me) continue to LEARN. The scientists refer to it as neuroplasticity.
How much you and I differ in our learning revolves around two triggers: need and desire.
Some need-driven learning examples:
- Figuring out how to comply with that new IRS tax reporting form
- Acquiring the skill to navigate that new software application at work
- Trying to operate the new juicer in our kitchen (engineering degree needed, evidently)
- Interfacing more amicably with folks who don't share our worldview
Some desire-driven learning examples:
- Improving our writing skills
- Discerning the best nutritional choices for our long-term health
- Operating the gadgets embedded in our newly purchased vehicle
- Making sense of our purpose in life
Obviously, those are very abbreviated lists. And, what is on one of those lists for some of us might be on the other for someone else.
The fundamental differentiator in the two is the level of engagement we bring to the learning endeavor. We each get to decide the level of engagement we bring to each of the learning opportunities that present themselves to us (or are foisted upon us). Think of engagement as the effort we voluntarily invest in the process.
The constant in this equation is that we continue to learn, every day, in a million ways. The variable is the degree of enthusiasm we bring to the process.