As humans, we like to compartmentalise things. We easily assimilate and become creatures of habit, performing the same routines day in and day out. When this occurs, it is so easy to become stale. We eat the same thing for breakfast, catch the same train to work, talk to the same five people every day, run the same number of miles on the treadmill and watch the same TV channel each night. At the end of each day, we slump into bed, only to get up the next morning and do it all again.
How do we break through this monotony? Branching out and learning a new skill is a perfect way to brighten up a full routine and challenge your brain. It can also be a great way to meet new people and build on your existing skill set. At the moment, I am revisiting and beginning to re-nurture my knowledge of Italian. I studied Italian for 11 years during high school and university and developed quite a decent level. As is often the case however, I let my skill slide back to a basic level. An Italian friend of mine recently inspired me to get back on the wagon and begin to re-learn this handy skill and I love every moment.
Branching out doesn’t have to be limited to learning languages however. New skills float around by the hundreds, waiting to be grabbed and picked up by people wanting to expand both their mind and their knowledge base.
Not only is learning a new skill rewarding it can also bolster your confidence and help you engage more deeply with the world. On top of this, it is known to sharpen the mind by establishing new connections in the brain.
Here is a list of new skills you can learn:
- Learn a musical instrument (or pick up where you have left off previously)
- Teach yourself how to cook a completely new cuisine, like French or Moroccan
- Attend a painting class
- Join a wine appreciation class
- Start a book club and discuss literature in depth with other like minds
- Attend a CrossFit class
- Become a master yoga teacher
- Learn the art of networking
- Get better at public speaking
- Practice talking to strangers to boost your confidence levels
- Become an expert on Shakespearean books
- Try meditation
There are a million more skills out there that are open for the taking. Broaden your mind today and try one, or maybe two!