Don’t miss out on being your better self, today
We often wait for the right moment to start something new, whatever it may be - finally quitting your job to follow a dream, learning a new language or travelling to a place you always hoped to visit. Many of us believe to be too busy or that too much is at stake at the moment. Maybe tomorrow?
‘Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone’ audaciously said Gabriel García Márquez and suddenly our comfort zone is challenged. How many times have you felt inspired to paint after seeing an amazing art exhibition or wished you had the skills to make an extraordinary meal for dinner, just like in ‘Ratatouille’? That feeling of fulfillment which floods your lungs with excitement when you imagine yourself achieving something great is powerful. However, it is often washed away as soon as the alarm clock rings the next morning waking us up for work. One thing is for sure – it is not easy breaking the routine we feel safe in, but does living in the comfort zone make us happy?
We are prepared for life at school learning how to read, write, communicate or, in other words, have a base set of skills to get a job. Common knowledge is enough to survive, but let’s talk about really living. What does it mean? The question is hard to answer as each one of us is taking a unique path through life that cannot be compared. But one thing is clear – we grow with experience and experience comes from exposing yourself to the unknown. It’s not always easy taking the first step to learning something new, but we say it’s worth it. And here’s why.
Learning a new skill makes you more interesting
Yes, bold statement. But learning new things add layers to our identity and richness to our self-concept. People want to be around those with passion, sense of curiosity and stories to tell. You are not only living a fulfilling and exciting life, but by doing so you inspire others.
Helps structure your time
When we have the whole day to complete a task, we often realise that it has taken longer than expected. The evening stretches out before you, unscheduled, and you find yourself laboring over that work project or answering emails into late hours. Chances are, if you had a class that night, the tasks would have been completed by then. Learning a new skill helps in creating more time in the day by encouraging efficiency.
Active learning vs. passive relaxation
Left to our own devices, we often opt for passive leisure such as TV and social media. Sure, we all deserve to veg out from time to time and it feels good. However, science says that we are so much more invigorated by active leisure, the sort of thing psychologists call ‘flow activity’. If you’ve ever lost yourself in a sport, art project or other challenging activity, you have experienced flow: time flies, self-consciousness disappears and you are fully immersed in the activity at hand. Learning a new skill fosters this desirable and increasingly elusive state.
Being part of the community
While some activities are solitary endeavors, many of us choose to participate in community-based environment. Group learning increases productivity and performance, moreover, we benefit from meeting people we otherwise wouldn’t, sharing our passions and forming new bonds. Countless studies have found that social connection is a key component to happiness and a meaningful life.
How learning a new skill could help you cope with stress
Imagine a rough day at the office where you were harshly criticized by your boss. We have all been there. Coming home and turning on the TV may provide a brief distraction, but it doesn’t address your damaged ego. Now imagine after that hard day at work heading to your boxing or pottery class. These activities are more than merely distracting – they remind you that there are many facets to your inner self. An employee? Yes. But also an athlete or an artist. As such, taking a hit to one aspect of your identity is less damaging.
The benefits of investing in yourself can spill over into the other aspects of your life. If you designate a few hours a week in something you feel truly inspired by, don’t be surprised if some of that newfound zest carries over into your work and family life!
So, what should you choose as your new skill? Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do like learning to surf, sew or play the piano? Maybe there’s something you used to enjoy doing, have started but stopped due to certain circumstances? If you’re feeling adventurous or looking for inspiration, we are here to help by doing all the research so you have the best options, without fuss. This is what we do here at SkillsGorilla. So go ahead, the only time is now.
Possibilities at your fingertips: www.skillsgorilla.com
- August 15, 2018
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