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Beautiful Heron: Birds are one of my personal favorite “subjects”
As you probably know by now, it is vital to stay mentally active if you want to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. VITAL. Unfortunately, most people seem perfectly content with the knowledge they have stored and seem to have zero concern about adding to the reserves.
This kind of thinking isn’t just difficult to comprehend (I mean, why wouldn’t you want to learn new things?), it’s downright dangerous.
Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge – and if you need one, it’s my hope that this post will provide it.
An easy and fun way to learn new things is to pick different topics each month – then, each day of that particular month, read all you can about your chosen topic.
At the end of each day, quiz yourself by asking, “What did I learn today?”
The following subjects have been my some of my favorite themes over the years:
- The American Revolution
- John Adams
- Abigail Adams
- Ancient Egypt
- Harriet Tubman
- Bird Identification
- Countries of the World’s Capitals
- USA Capitals
- Ancient Rome
- Abraham Lincoln
- Martin Luther
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The Romanov Family
- Medicinal Herbs
- Audrey Hepburn
- John Wayne movies
- Billy the Kid
- Polar Bears
- Lucille Ball
- Cats – how large cats and house cats are similar
Yes, John Wayne movies and Lucille Ball! Who says learning has to be stuffy? Simply pick anything that interests you and DIG DEEPER. Research it until you are a walking/talking expert. If you’re an avid fan of comic strips, learn about the different illustrators. Love motorcycles? Learn about the history of motorcycles and how they’re put together.
I’m a huge fan of old movies. After watching a golden oldie, I’ll research the stars and learn more about them. I’ll see what other movies they starred in, who their co-stars were, etc. I may or may not ever “draw upon” the information I uncover, but that isn’t the point. The point is I’m keeping my brain cells buzzing.
But here’s the rub… the place where most people tend to get tripped up: You should NOT stay within one niche. If, over the years, I only read about and researched stars and movies in the Golden Age of Hollywood, my brain wouldn’t feel challenged. It’d get settled into one of the most dangerous neighborhoods for a brain to settle down in – “Comfortable.” That’s why I try to throw my brain a variety of subjects. As someone who loves history and animals even more than old movies, I tend to gravitate toward history, historical figures, animals, birds, and even spiders. While this gives me a lot of “neighborhoods,” I know that the true magic happens when I throw my brain something it NEVER, EVER expected. One month when I decided to learn more about geography, I could almost feel my brain do a double take. Geography was one of my least favorite subjects in school and a subject I’ve avoided since.
Needless to say, it took some effort to delve into countries, mountain ranges, capitals, and rivers. However, by the end of the month, I KNEW I’d given my brain quite a workout and… I’ll let you in on a little secret… not only was it not painful, it was pretty fascinating.
I hope you’ll begin focusing on different opportunities to dig deeper and learn more. Your brain will love you for it.
Make each moment count double,