Expanding your mind can bring you benefits you never thought of. From discovering new topics that excite you to making your life easier, making time to gain greater knowledge of the world around you can refresh your daily life and make it more fulfilling.
If you’re already thinking this is easier said than done, what with the busy world we live in and the number of activities we’re all committed to on a daily basis, I want to encourage you to change your focus – just a bit.
This summer, with its long, lazy days, create and execute a plan to take some extra time for yourself – give yourself the luxury of time to discover new passions and knowledge that can change the rest of your life, or rediscover an activity you used to enjoy.
Learning something new is a terrific way to raise your self-esteem and self-worth, and by taking time for yourself, you’ll be implementing the principle of loving who and what you see in the mirror every single day. Spending time doing something you love already is a great way to feed your soul and lighten your spirit.
Consider these easy-to-implement tips to experience a refreshing summer of discovery and learning:
- Vow to pick up a book or magazine every day. Maybe you’ve gotten out of the habit of reading. The fact is that reading keeps your mind sharp. I’ve invested in an iPad and have the Kindle application installed on it so that I can take books and magazines with me everywhere I go – consider making an investment in an e-reader if you don’t own one already.
You’ll likely learn about something that others will find interesting while you read.
You can use your newly discovered brain power to infuse your conversations with fascinating tidbits from your reading.
- Set short, specific reading goals. It might be something like, “Read one magazine article on bird-watching” if you have an interest in birds. Or you might say, “I will read for ten minutes a day the first week, 15 minutes daily the second week, and then 30 minutes daily from that point forward.”
- Use coffee breaks and extra lunch time to gain knowledge. When you carry your book (or e-reader) with you each day, you can steal a few moments throughout the day to read.
Your smartphone likely offers some great podcasts, either audible or video, that can educate you on a regular basis on topics of your choice. I have a podcast entitled “Live Your Life DivaStyle” that is available on Spreaker radio, iTunes, and also on my website. Check those episodes out and let me know what you think!
- Visit area museums. Nothing will stimulate your intellectual senses like a museum tour. Whether your interest lies in history, art, or something else, plan trips to different museums each month this summer. You’ll cherish those visits!
Your kids might also appreciate the experience of delving into the fascinating visual and intellectual experiences that museums provide.
Museums also offer volunteer opportunities, and giving time to a museum you love to visit keeps you close and you’ll learn even more about the exhibits and the treasures they have inside.
- View documentaries on television. If you have a public television channel, you’ll be amazed at the types of entertainment offered. Whether it is history, politics, science, or the modern world that fascinate you, you’ll likely find it on public television.
- Ask questions when the opportunity arises. You might have people all around you who know things you have no idea about. Use people as resources!
Perhaps your neighbor has a great flower garden and is out there working quite a bit. You’d like to know how to better take care of your bushes. Why not ask him what you can do to increase the blooms on the bushes in your front yard?
If you’ve always wanted to know more about art history and your brother-in-law is a high school art teacher, ask him for some guidance in how to begin a self-study of art history.
- Start a movie list. One way to learn about different locales, jobs, and life situations is to watch more films. Films aren’t only entertaining – they also teach you something about people’s attitudes, relationships, and jobs. Some movies portray “real people” and true life situations. Consider these movies to give you an interesting start on your own list:
A Beautiful Mind (mathematics)
Rain Man (autism)
Primary Colors (politics)
Good Will Hunting (genius).
Experiencing a summer of learning will be enlightening and invigorating. You’ll be delighted to discover how much you love learning about new things. Plus, you can instill the idea of life-long learning into your children, grandchildren, or friends. Learning can be fun. Enjoy your summer of discovery!