It has taken two weeks to get this question answered from one of my past student teachers wanting to know how to keep her brain cells thriving after her graduation. After some studying and research, I provided her some pointers that I thought would be helpful for anyone with similar question. This student is from India and lives in Indore, India. Since I have so many Indian friends I understand her desire to continue learning and thriving. I love the opportunity to learn from every culture I am in connection with. This past summer I had students from U.S.A., Brazil, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Thailand in my curriculum development course at LCU. Some of my learning moments were brand new, some were reinforcements and some were clarifications.
Learning is a great avenue that helps our brain cells thrive. The human brain is one of the most complex and extraordinary organ in our bodies. Our brain clearly displays the artistic nature of God who is a masterful Designer and Creator. The brain consists of over 100 billion nerve cells that regulate and facilitate life. The brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows as it is fully engaged. Mental stimulation improves brain function and protects it against cognitive decline. Who would have thought there is something as cognitive decline! Engaging in new learning activities helps the brain grow new neurons and improve memory. Dr. Amir Soas of Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland, suggests starting a new hobby or learning a foreign language to help stimulate the brain to think and not stay neutral. To keep the brain cells thriving, find new learning opportunities that will allow you to grow beyond your comfort zone. As humans, learning within our comfort zone is natural. However, when we learn outside our comfort zones, we discover an innate well of curiosity we never knew existed.
This past summer, my husband and I took a class in ballroom dancing and discovered the fun of old European folk dances such as waltz, Latin American dances such as tango, rumba and chacha. We also discovered the similarities that exist between European, Latin American and African dances. Our family loves learning ( I think it has kept us all young at heart and physically). With three doctoral students in our home this year, we have lots and lots of opportunities for sharing and conversations. From our oldest in Information Systems, to my husband in Theology and my Curriculum/Instruction, we are discovering new horizons of learning. Our middle daughter puts the icing in our family conversations with her medical school gap year learning experience in stock trading. She found out that managing assets and money is not an area many medical students like to explore. I am making plans after my graduation (like my past Indian student teacher) to join forces with our youngest daughter to learn about computer coding and programming. Now, that is way out of my comfort zone, but I am up to the challenge of putting my brain cells to work and thriving!
So, what are your options for putting your brain cells to work and thriving? The options are numerous. It all begins with what you want to learn about. The next thing is where do you go to learn? From face-to-face learning to online or hybrid learning the opportunities are varied. Choose what works best for you. Coursera is an education company that partners with top universities and organizations around the world to offer free courses online for anyone to take. There are about 442 categories of topics to learn about. I had the opportunity to learn about sustainability of food systems around the world. I am still putting to practice some of the things I learned through the course.
Technology has made learning so easy and accessible that there are no more excuses for not putting our brain cells to work and thriving. Live your best life now. Learn. Grow and Thrive.
Proverbs 29:2a “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice”