If you’re an older adult with a yearning to play the guitar like the next Jimi Hendrix, then now is the right time to actually get started. There has been a long-lived parti pris since time immemorial when it comes to the elderly learning new skills. The concept has literally been shrouded in pessimism as an older mind is often perceived to be less creative than its younger counterpart. Ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle compared human memory to a wax tablet. A wax tablet is easily moldable when hot but hardens as it cools down—similar to a human mind which “supposedly” becomes feeble as we age.
However, modern neuroscience has relinquished this view a long time ago and came up with a new term—neuroplasticity— to describe the brain's incredible malleability. Keeping this in mind, we can finally let go of the age-old notions that childhood is the only ‘critical period’ to make deep impressions on the memory. Cultivating new skills and taking risks is an ongoing process that must never cease due to our age just because society deems it plausible.
Ray Kroc turned McDonald’s into the world's most successful fast-food corporation at age 52. The show business’s most famous actor Morgan Freeman quit the Air Force to become an actor and landed his first big break when at 50!
Chandro Tomar, an international pistol shooter from India embarked on her incredible journey of success at 65 years old! Currently 85, she has coached numerous young shooters despite never having received any formal training and spending her youth as a non-literate householder. People often ask her what gives her zeal to go on at this age to which she replies the body gets old, not the mind.” The human mind is more capable at any phase in life than you can possibly fathom and age is literally just a number we’ve corralled ourselves in!
Why learning should be a lifelong pursuit
It can't be stressed enough that science has rendered the age-old totalitarian view - on concepts like “memory fades as you age” - absolutely powerless. Humans are social beings and there’s no denying that they derive a great deal of joy and a sense of self-worth when they acquire a new skill and lead a more fulfilling life.
Cultivating new skills and constantly learning helps you:
- Become more confident in day to day activities
- Connect well with people from all rungs of society
- Be more open to new perspectives
- Undertake challenges more effectively, and the list goes on...
For most of us, formal education stopped by the time we were probably in our twenties. But in the contemporary world, learning does not dwell in the ethos of universities or schools alone. Even during these unprecedented times of the pandemic, one can find a plethora of online free courses during lockdown with certificates. From learning the basics of yoga and fashion designing to art courses online, one can learn so much from the comfort of their homes.
One such platform is BitClass, ever committed to the unabating subpoena of the learning minds, it is the most reliable all-in-one solution for people looking to quench their thirst for learning. As a leading learning platform, BitClass offers a wide array of online courses in India to students of all ages; there is a whole raft of interesting online classes for kids as well. Here, not only can you learn through live classes but also set up your online presence by monetizing your coursework.
We can always choose to keep learning via the medium of the internet, books, special events or courses, etc. Maybe it’s just a lecture on history at your local museum or a book on world geography you were meaning to read for the longest time. Either way, learning must be an unrelenting chasm between the inevitable boring lives we may lead after 50 and a life full of titillation as a result of our diligent efforts to hone new skills. The choice is yours!