Why You Should Have a List of Things to Learn
Are there things you want to learn in life? Learning new things is one way we can keep things fresh and interesting in life. Yet, sadly, many of us stop trying new pursuits after we leave school. Or, if we do, they are limited to one area of our lives.
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Getting Stuck In a Rut
As I followed along with Mrs. Disciple’s Friday Fives in August 2016, I struggled to think of five things I want to learn. I had gotten to that place where I couldn’t really think of anything I wanted to learn. And it’s not that I thought I knew everything–quite the contrary–it was because I’d allowed my experiences over the years to pigeon-holed me into a slot that had become my prison.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been to that place where you’re so focused on getting through the motions that you’ve lost most if not all of your curiosity?
Sometimes we get caught up going through the motions of our lives that we forget to live. We become slaves to our routine and no longer explore or seek to experience new things.
Despite the fact that our availability to information is at an all-time high, many of us don’t use the resources available to focus on personal development. Instead, we use them to mindlessly numb ourselves after a hard day at work. When that happens, we get stuck in a rut.
Keep A List of Things to Learn in Life
Now, this piece of advice may either strike you with hilarity or have you nodding your head in agreement. As someone who loves making lists, I’ll use any excuse to start creating a new one. But maybe you’re not like me and wonder why you should spend your precious time making a list of things to learn in life. Here are some reasons you may want to consider it:
- Keeping a list–especially a dated one–allows you to keep track of your progress.
- You’ll be able to see how your interest changes over the years.
- Lists can help you see if there are things that are always coming up. For example, have you wanted to learn how to draw since 2012?
- It’s a good way to track your personal development.
- A list is the first step to creating a plan.
5 Things I Wanted to Learn in 2016
When I saw the Mrs. Disciple Friday Five prompt for August 5, 2016, I knew I had to take the opportunity to think (and write) about five things I wanted to learn:
1. Temperance – There’s something so very somber about that word but it’s one of my desires. I want to be one of those persons who are good at holding their tongue (something I still struggle with).
To say that God has taken me a long way is an understatement but I continue to aim for Paul-Esque self-restraint. The good thing is that God is not partial. Just as he gave the ability to Paul, I know he will give it to me as long as I continue to trust him.
2. How to ride a bicycle – How I survived so many years on this earth without learning that skill is beyond me.
My excuse is that I’m a city girl and it just never seemed like something to do especially when there were so many books to be read.
Now I’ll be very honest and tell you that my husband tried teaching me a couple of years ago but I was so worried about falling and breaking a bone and being in pain for the next several weeks that I was unable to really appreciate the lesson. Anyone who has a big set of training wheels that they don’t mind shipping to Montego Bay, Jamaica, just send me an email (smile).
3. How to write for an audience of one (one reader, one God) – Blogging is hard! There are some days when I wonder if the time and effort are worth it and then I remember: it’s not about me.
It’s about Yahweh.
Writing is my ministry to him. I write because God gave me this gift to share with the world … a gift that I’m destined to use to speak about him because I love him and I can’t do otherwise.
4. A new word each day – wouldn’t it be fun to learn words that you never even knew existed? Words like coreopsis (which is a plant with daisy-like flowers) and fascicle (an installment of a book, bundle or tract). Now I admit I looked up both those words but wouldn’t it be cool to just know them?
5. To not worry – Wouldn’t it be nice to depend on Christ for everything? To not have to worry about what we’re going to eat or wear or drink? To be able to cast all our cares aside because we know that Jesus has them and they’re in very good hands?
Bonus! Bible Art Journaling – (What can I say? Now that I’ve started I can’t stop!) I journal in my Bible but typically it’s limited to scribblings in the margins. I really want to learn how to illustrate Bible verses and lessons so that it’s not only meaningful to me spiritually but it’s also beautiful to look at.
So now that I’ had written a post about five –erm, six – things I needed to learn, I started trying to check them off my list. But you know what I’ve learned in the years since then? Some of the things we want to learn in life will be quickly accomplished, while others will take years to accomplish. But we keep trying. We keep making lists with new things to learn and then we actively try to learn how to do them.
Ideas for Your List of Things to Learn
To get you started, here are 20 things you could put on your first list of things you want to learn:
- How to draw
- Ballroom dancing
- The meringue
- How to speak Jamaican
- A foreign language
- How to program
- How to play the flute
- How to start a Christian blog
- Gourmet cooking
- Bible journaling
- A sport
- Creative writing
- Budgeting skills
Sometimes, as you learn more about yourself–and the things you’re trying to learn–you’ll realize it wasn’t a good fit for you after all. But most of all, you keep your brain working and that’s always a great thing.
What are the five things you want to learn in life right now? How can you start pursuing them now?
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