One of the biggest lessons of 2020 for me has been that learning every day is detrimental to your happiness.
Before, I thought that being a life long learner meant a financial and social success, but after pondering and doing experiments on myself, I can say that learning also gives us natural happiness and energy.
Some of the days that I have too many things to do, I sometimes forget to read newsletters or read my pocket articles. In those days I haven’t learnt anything which logically shouldn’t matter on my well being. In reality, I am much more anxious, unhappy and even tired.
At first, I attributed that feeling to the amount of work I did or a colleague that caused me to have such feelings, but after more and more observations I noticed a similar pattern every time I stopped learning for a day.
After I found that out, of course, I wasn’t happy with my mood being influenced so much by the simple act of learning.
I started researching. There are a couple of really good research papers that observe similar patterns but in other contexts.
They didn’t answer my main question: Why does it happen, and what can I do about it?
That is why I have designed my personal way of dealing with learning.
I have put into my daily habit tracker two more habits to do daily.
First was a habit to go through my cloud kindle library and read more than one page of any book that I find there. I had around 15 books that I have passively bought and never started reading them. Now that I have been reading them daily, I am slowly progressing through them.
The second habit is to open my pocket app and go from the oldest to the newest article that I saved and read through them. At least 2 per day. The reason why 2 is because I daily add at least 1 new item into the pocket. If I keep on reading only a single piece per day, I will never reach zero entries.
Learning has been in our lives ever since we were born. It is in our blood. We as humans are born into this world malleable, completely unable to protect ourselves without help. That is a huge flaw, but it is also a huge advantage as we in that state can absorb and change very rapidly depending on circumstances.
If learning is built into our species, it is only natural that we get hooked on to learning like a drug. The way to deal with it is to give in to the pleasure of learning and improving yourself daily.
I am surprised it took me this long to realise this and from now onwards, every day will include learning.
Start learning now. Get perfect later.