Yesterday evening while cycling my mind went back to the time I had learnt cycling. I was 9 yrs old I guess. It was my brother’s cycle and he felt it was kind of girls cycle with a low central bar, so he wanted a brand new Hero Ranger. So I took that cycle for time being and the entire holidays after grade 4 exam was spent learning cycling.
There was no one to teach me, so I tried on my own learning how to balance. By the end of holidays, I finally learnt how to balance and ride that bicycle. However, on the last day before holidays, I lost my balance while riding it and fell near a thorny bush, also injuring two of my toes of right toe, the scar of which is still there reminding me of that fall.
Meanwhile, my brother got a brand new cycle, macho male types. This one was heavier and had a high central bar. Needless to say, I could never master climbing it or managing to balance because of it being heavy. The older cycle was sold off to make way for this new one. I never got one for myself. So to cut story short, my cycling saga ended within a month of starting it.
“Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.”Mandy Hale
Fast forward to 2018. My husband gets a cycle for me. When you grow older, you have more fears unlike children and I was too afraid to try it. However, I did try on his encouragement and started cycling again. I am still a cautious cyclist. I usually prefer empty roads where I don’t find much traffic.
It becomes difficult as we grow older to learn new skills. It is said that neural connections are already formed and they weaken as we grow old. We become more fearful as well. Children absorb new things and can learn multiple things simultaneously. They are in process of forming new neural connections, and their brains have not started aging.
“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world is open to you.”BARBARA SHUR
On the contrary, its never too late to learn, if you go the right way. Children are presented with more opportunities, and are more open to learning. The biggest challenge to learning is our own inhibitions, and lack of confidence.
In western countries, people do hop a lot of subjects and career choices before settling on one. Unlike India, where a subject choosen for grade 12 becomes your sealed fate. The career jumps are looked down upon. I feel this has more to do with social perceptions, rather than our learning abilities. I know people who took up medicine after years of having done something else. I still don’t know when we as a nation will start accepting this. However, we do need to let go the notion, that now is not the right age.
Next time you feel like learning something new, go ahead and do it.