Why Learning is so Important

Ok, so I guess I wanted to post a picture of our kitten, but I also wanted to point out something that I’ve been noticing as he’s acclimated to our home.  Outside of the obvious cuteness factor, I’ve also seen how his behavior contrasts with our other cats.  We’ve had our two other cats for a few years, and they pretty much had their routine down until this little guy showed up.  While the initial couple of weeks were a little tenuous, it seems like our new addition has taken them out of their comfort zone, and changed their lives for the better.  Our more active cat now has a playmate to rough house with and our other cat has a buddy to enjoy his cat toys with. I also get to see this cat learn new things and be utterly fascinated with different types of stimuli no matter how mundane they might seem to me.  

At some point in our lives we start to settle in to a routine and if we’re not careful we stop actively learning new things. We avoid the situations where we might be uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean that you should cut back on the important priorities in your life, (definitely take care of your family and kids), but make sure to take time and challenge yourself regularly.  

For many years it was thought that after a certain age, our brains were pretty much finished changing.  Recent research has shown that our brains are capable of change throughout our lives.  This is referred to as neuroplasticity.  Learning and repetition causes the neurons to build stronger connections with one another.  After enough repetition these connections become more efficient at conducting signals.  Through learning, or a thought, we are able to physically change our brain.  The idea that you can’t change who you are is simply not true.  

Imagine if you could keep all of the ideal parts of yourself, and improve on the parts of your self that you felt you were lacking? Well, you can. You don’t have to imagine it.

Our kitten Marley seems to be learning something new every day and enjoying every second of it. We can be the same way if we continue to find new things that allow us to grow. Recapture that excitement, strive to learn more about yourself, find a subject or activity that interests you or take up that hobby that you always wanted to try. Don’t give up on learning and improving on yourself - you won’t regret it!