Your brain is like an engine.
The more you take care of it, the smoother it runs.
The more you work on it, the faster and more powerful it becomes.
When you stop using it for long periods of time, it becomes slow and rusty.
I don’t know about you, but I want a smooth, powerful engine.
Learning Shouldn’t Stop After School.
The sad thing is that many people don’t think this way.
Instead, as soon as they stop school, they stop working on their brains.
Personally, I’ve learned more in the last year since I graduated college than I did in most of my schooling.
Real learning happens outside of school when YOU decide what you want to learn and how.
This is where life gets awesome.
There are an infinite amount of things to learn, more than anyone can learn in one lifetime.
This is what’s so exciting.
You can learn everything and anything you want. And with each new thing you learn, your experience of life changes.
Simply put, life is more fun when you learn new things!
There are also other amazing benefits to learning.
Here are a few.
1. See the world differently.
Every single day can be a completely new adventure when we learn more about the world around us.
There have been several times in my life where I read something in a book or learned something new from a talk that instantly changed how I look at everything around me.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s pretend 5 people individually leave a building and take a walk down a street. As each person walks, they pass the same magnificent house with a large tree in the front yard.
Four of the people have hobbies. One likes carpentry, one likes gardening, another likes astrology, and one plays the piano.
The carpenter sees the unique woodworking on the house’s pillars.
The gardener notices the pattern of the colored flowers in the yard.
The astrologist notices the clouds behind the house’s roof.
And the pianist notices the sound of birds chirping in the tree.
All these people passed by the same scene yet they all admired it differently based on things they’ve learned.
The fifth and final person doesn’t care about learning new things and leaves the building staring at his phone. He walks down the street right past the house with the interesting pillars, colorful flowers, amazing clouds, and charming birds and never notices anything.
2. Become a more interesting person.
The more things you learn, the more interesting you will become.
You’ll be able to hold conversations with far more people and get into some very fascinating topics that you otherwise would never have.
When you become a student of life, people notice.
As long as you’re humble, people will be attracted to your knowledge and WANT to talk to you more.
Your unique learning and ideas have now made you a much richer person of more depth.
3. Become more valuable.
Successful people learn new things.
The quote “the more you learn, the more you earn” is cheesy but true.
The more you learn, the better you will be at thinking creatively about certain situations and problems.
Your knowledge and skill will make you rare and open up opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.
4. Learn about yourself.
As you learn new things, you learn about yourself.
You get to see yourself struggle the certain material and understand more about what motivates and drives you.
Some things may be easy for you to learn while others take discipline for you to get through.
Either way, the more information you take in and understand, the better you will be able to understand the way your own mind and body work.
5. Help others.
When you learn new things and gain more knowledge, you gain the ability to better help other people.
You will end up knowing far more about certain topics than other people. This gives you the opportunity to teach someone or help them resolve a crisis in their life.
You’ll be able to impart knowledge onto younger people who are trying to learn the very things you now know.
Or maybe you’ll be able to help a loved one make an informed decision about something very important instead of making a rash one.
People with great knowledge have a great responsibility to use it for the good of others, not just themselves.
6. See trends and avoid common mistakes.
When you learn new things, you start to see how different aspects of the world affect each other.
Changes in one industry can have huge effects on other industries.
Not only that, but changes in one country even have effects on other countries.
The world is so interconnected and interrelated that it pays to be educated enough to see these trends.
One specific trend has been following me around is that of 80/20.
The theory is that 20% of inputs tend to give 80% of the output.
An example is how 20% of people in the world have 80% of the money. Or how 20% of roads have 80% of the traffic.
After learning about this trend, I couldn’t help but notice it everywhere.
I noticed that 80% of leaves on a tree are on 20% of the branches and that 20% of my exercises gave me 80% of my results, I saw this law everywhere.
I even noticed that 80% of my Quora views come from 20% of my articles!
This is just one example of a trend that can be very beneficial if used properly.
When you can see trends, you can avoid costly mistakes and know when to take advantage of great opportunities.
7. Enjoy more things.
As you continue to learn and grow, you will inevitably find new things that you really enjoy.
Maybe it’s a certain type of literature or a certain type of music. Or maybe you are thrilled by history or fall in love with the variety in wine.
The specific thing doesn’t matter, what matters is that the more you learn, the more you get to enjoy what’s around you.
When the mind dies, you die.
Don’t let your mind die.
(This post was originally published on Quora.)