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Be a Lifelong Learner

Proven Way #10: Learn something new every day. Be open to new and different experiences.

When we were children our perception of the world was quite different than it is now as adults. Summer vacations seemed endless, the simplest observations and finds seemed like monumental discoveries, and each day was a brand new day filled with unfathomable possibilities. When you’ve only had five or six memorable years on this planet, there is effortless room to have new experiences and learn new lessons every single day. What most of us don’t realize though, is that just because we have been alive for significantly more time at this point, that childlike endeavor of learning, exploring, and discovering doesn’t need to end. In fact, continuing to live in such a way is actually vital to our overall happiness.

Hana Matt explains that, “learning new things and having new experiences creates a surge of the joy biochemical dopamine. When you seek and find new things and experiences, dopamine surges and it improves memory. Then dopamine doesn’t get released anymore; it has done its job. To keep dopamine surging it is important to continue to learn new things, have new experiences, and expand your mind.”

Everyone has, at least once, consciously experience the feeling of complete newness. Whether it was the first time you ever caught a wave surfing, made a hole in one on the golf course, effortlessly held crow pose in a yoga class, or mastered a new creation in the kitchen, the feeling you felt most likely inspired and motivated you, even if momentarily, to continue to seek out that joyful rush. Just imagine if you felt that feeling at some point every day. The good news is it is totally possible!

“Live as if you were going to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were going to live forever.” –Mahatma Gandhi

You can put as much or as little of an effort into this mind shift as you would like, but either way you will feel the effects immediately. Obviously, the bigger the new experience or lesson learned, the bigger the reward will be. However, it is not necessary to strive for big milestones every day. Take each day as it comes, stay present minded, and open yourself to new possibilities, experiences, and learning opportunities. If you can make this a daily habit, you will find the swirl of dopamine surging through you every day instead of just on the random occasion that you encounter something new.

You are in control of your happiness.

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” –Paulo Coelho

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