While learning new skills might seem harder as you get older, the truth is, it’s still not impossible. In Singapore, there are plenty of opportunities for lifelong learning to happen. From learning a new sport to enhancing skills in the workplace through courses, the nation-wide initiative, Skillsfuture, is a launchpad for a wide range of opportunities.
As philosophy and science writer, Gary Hayden, wrote in a column about finding the joys in the learning as he got older for The Straits Times, “Needless to say, the older you get, the less chance you have of becoming highly proficient at what you set out to learn. But the joy in learning remains undiminished.”
Here are some ways you can continue to relish in the prospect of learning new things any day, any time:
- Find Your Motivation
Studies have suggested that the right attitude towards learning is one of the most important factors towards achieving success.
Before you attempt to acquire a new skill, it’s best to identify your motivation and understand why you’re interested in the topic you’re learning. Research has also suggested that external motivating factors (e.g. to get a promotion at work, to meet someone else’s demands) doesn’t motivate as well as an internal motivation such as want to better yourself.
- Develop Positive Learning Habits
Once you’ve developed some internal motivation, it’s important to strengthen it. As Joanna Jast of Udemy says, “There is something even more powerful than internal motivation to carry you through moments of doubts and struggles: Habits.”
To do this, create a routine and stick to it. As consistency is key to starting a habit, having a routine will allow your mind to adapt and get used to learning — the way you would when you were in school.
- Surround Yourself With The Right People
Besides having positive motivation and cultivating good habits, surrounding yourself with supportive individuals is important to keep you going. Supportive friends and family members provide motivation and help establish a positive attitude for you as you attempt to achieve new skills.