Learning and Recovery

As you pursue a sober life, learning will be key to uncovering previously untapped talents and interests and discovering who you really are and all you can be. Learning makes life more interesting and rewarding. It increases self-esteem and leads to a sense of personal fulfillment. Learning is a lifelong endeavor and an ever-changing one as you, and the world around you, evolves.

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

Learning can be formal (college courses, online courses, workshops, etc.) or informal (experiences, adventures, volunteering, etc.). You will find yourself learning in both ways. Also, as you learn something formally, you will have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in more informal settings.

Learning can be pursued for professional reasons and for personal ones. The capacity to learn is honed as you challenge yourself and learn new things. The “capacity to learn” is, perhaps, the most important skill you can cultivate as you move forward in life. It is certainly the most prized skill in the workplace. And, importantly, learning has a profound impact on the brain. Those who pursue learning throughout their life, are less likely to suffer from dementia related impairments in their advanced years. Learning improves memory and cognitive abilities.

Learning encompasses both the mental and the physical realms. Ideally, you want to challenge yourself in both areas. Higher learning, i.e., college courses and the like, will primarily challenge you mentally. Anything that engages your body like dance, sports, and even some of the arts, will primarily challenge you physically. Most skills involve both. Driving is a classic example of a skill that engages both the mind and the body. Virtually all athletic endeavors require applying both mental and physical exertion.

As you continue challenging yourself and learning, you will cultivate an inner strength and confidence. The more you embrace learning (a life-affirming action), the more you embrace life! Most people find that as they develop and grow, they find new interests and new challenges to take on. There’s nothing static about learning. It is a continually changing and evolving pursuit which is what makes it so engaging ultimately. The list of “things to learn” is endless. Whether you decide to pursue learning formally in classrooms (in person or online) or informally (travel, volunteering, on the job) or some combination of the two, you will find the rewards far outweigh the effort.

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”