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5 Reasons To Learn Something New Every Day

I’ve previously mentioned how I try to do something scary every day. It’s good for you ~ it keeps fear at bay, boosts your confidence, makes you more adaptable and better able to cope when something really scary happens.

I had another revelation recently about something that I’ve been doing sub-consciously for years that you should try too.

Now, I don’t think every single thing I do is wonderful and everyone else should do it. Trust me, I have flaws and plenty of them. Big ones too, not just my habit of leaving things to the last minute and resigning myself to living  in a pig sty because I’d rather write than live in a clean house.

I have some much worse habits than those but fortunately we’re not here to discuss them. We’re here to improve ourselves and I recommend trying to learn something new every day.

Why you should try to learn something new every day

  1. It’s fun and easy.
  2. It keeps your mind active, which helps you stay younger and feel younger.
  3. It makes you more interesting.
  4. Which will get you more interesting friends.
  5. It helps make you more creative.

Here are a few fun or interesting things I learned last week:

  1. Mandarin is a tonal language with four tones. That means that one word could have four different meaning depending on how you say it. I don’t speak Mandarin but I know a bit of Lao which has five tones. Here’s a fun example of the problems you can run into when learning a tonal language. For example, the short word pronounced “baa” in Lao has at least two separate meanings: Auntie and fish. It’s respectful in Laos to greet an older woman by saying “Hello Auntie” but if you don’t get the tone right and say “baa” in the wrong tone then you could easily end up being quite disrespectful when you greet mature ladies by saying “Hello fish.” Fortunately Lao people have a great sense of humor and won’t be too upset. In fact they’ll probably fall about laughing and love you to bits for at least trying to speak their language.
  2. There are no hamsters in Australia. Unless people are just pulling my leg about this one.
  3. Bob Fosse (1927 – 1987) was an amazing dance and choreographer.
  4. Some ants (the queens) can live up to 15 years.
  5. Red wine mixed with Coca Cola is a popular drink in China.

I’ve been learning a lot about Coca Cola and China in preparation for my trip to Shanghai and I’ve also learned some other things that are less interesting too, like how much steering oil costs and why cars need it, but I’ll spare you those.

Everything about learning’s fun – seeking out new information, trying to remember it and sharing it. Perhaps best of all is when you can combine doing something scary with learning something new. Like when you practice a new language on someone even though you run the risk of making a fool of yourself by calling them a fish when you meant to say Auntie.

Have fun learning new things and please share any strange or random facts you’ve learnt recently. Or tell me something you want to learn and I’ll see if I can help.

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Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Randall April 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm

This sounds like something you would love! Coke and Wine? I don’t know.

It is very important to continue learning. If we stop we just stay stagnant. Who likes a pond with no outlet? Just kind of sits there and collects scum on the top!!

Fear will keep you from learning if you let it.

If you face that fear, you will realize that that fear was just silly. You will then be richer for the effort.

Thanks as always for giving of yourself!

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Lulu April 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I don`t actually like coke. Weird I know. I have never liked much soft drink, even growing up, and I guess it just stuck. Coke and wine? That sounds even worse….

I do like some other Coca Cola branded things though! like Just Juice, Powerade and Canada Dry!

I like the idea of learning something new everyday- I watch my son learn something new everyday which is amazing. I guess I could do the same thing!

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Annabel Candy April 27, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Randall – I fully intend to try coke and wine. You know what they say: when in Rome:) Or Shanghai… Love the pond with scum on top analogy. Life is all about change and movement, stagnation’s definitely to be avoided.

Lulu – I’ve hard a few people say they don’t like Coke. They make plenty of other drinks though. I tried their vitamin water which was quite nice and not too calorific either. Yes, we can learn a lot from kids:)

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Blurt April 28, 2010 at 12:09 am

Actually, I think it will be an interesting post if you list some of your bad habits – readers tend to read and listen to the like-minded and are likely to comment on such posts. Also, the more you know, the older (psychologically) you become. And I think it’s ‘Mandarin’ :). I should try the Cola-wine mix as well.

Thanks for another helpful and inspiring post!

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Ryan April 28, 2010 at 4:59 am

I agree Annabel. Learners move forward and the learned are prepared to deal with a world which has passed them by.

The fun thing about learning is that as your horizons expand life becomes more fulfilling. You’ll meet new friends who never would have appeared had you not decided to learn something new. This is why I stress to avoid becoming niche bound. We each have our niche or area of specialty but venture outside of it on a consistent basis and you’ll get more out of life. The more interests you have the more like-minded people you can connect with. Meeting more people increases your network and thus your possibilities.

It’s also just plain fascinating to learn. Before today I had no idea that Mandarin is a tonal language. Thanks Teach ;)

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Annabel Candy April 28, 2010 at 6:45 am

Blurt – Thanks for spottting the typo, I’ve fixed it now, no wonder I was having trouble learning “Manandarin”. You’re my hero:) I know all that sharing bad habits is popular. People have carved whole careers out of their background as a drug addict/hitman/call girl but I don’t want that to be what I’m remembered for. Not that any of those apply to me… just examples. I do hope to share more some time but definitely not a focus.

Ryan – Love your excellent reasons to keep learning. Thanks:)

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Jen Gresham April 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Cool thing I learned? If you suffer from seasonal allergies, trees with flowers are not your problem! Trees with flowers evolved to use bees and insects for pollination, not the wind. Now you can just appreciate the pretty view.

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Annabel Candy April 29, 2010 at 9:41 am

Jen – Hmm, that is interesting and must be a common misconception. I enjoyed a walk in the botanical gardens when I was in Sydney this week and literally stopping to smell the roses:) Thanks for enlightening us!

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Sandra Lee April 29, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Thanks for this idea of learning something new everyday. This is not weird or random, but it was fun for me. I learned about mind mapping and did a mind map for my blog. It was great fun and helped open up that right side of my brain!

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Annabel Candy April 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Sandra – Oh I love brainstorming and that kind of thing. If you can find someone fun to do it with that’s excellent too. I know your blog and your brain will be benefiting:)

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Teresa May 1, 2010 at 3:55 am

Really 15 years? Red wone and coke? I also heard that in Guatemala to get Coca c ola into the country they sold it as a medicine for the stomach…that’s how it was allowed in…don’t know whether that’s completely true but wanted to say something just as fabulous as the 15 year ant thing! haha

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J.D. Meier May 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Well done.

I’m a big believer in flowing new experiences into my life and stretching my boundaries.

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Caroline Gerardo May 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I’m trying the Coke and white wine and it is dreadful. My choice (diet Coke) perhaps that’s the flaw? JenGresham I know for a fact that birch trees do cause seasonal allergies.
I have worked on the learn something new every day, not restricted to language, mathmatics and musical instruments- this is the fountain of youth.
Where in China are you going? Go see the dam -and he valley above and below will be the next wonder of the world after the Lighthouse of Alexandria

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Annabel Candy May 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Caroline – Lol, thanks for test driving that drink combination. It’s suppose to be red wine though… sounds even more horrid doesn’t it:) Yes, I agree being open-minded and a life-long learner is the secret of staying youthful. I only get to see Shanghai, I wish I could to to the places you mention. I hope to get out early so I can see the real city and daily living and not just World Expo.

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Boomer54 Mark May 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Great post, doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone should learn something new!

Also, rent the movie “All That Jazz” great movie starring Roy Schrieder (sp) and based on the life of Bob Fosse. You won’t be disappointed.

Mark

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Matt Esse November 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm

There are Guinea Pigs in Australia, but unfortunately no Hamsters.
Not only that but hamsters are a prohibited import in Australia. They are a desert species (at least, the popular Golden Hamster is) and it would be a bit of a disaster if they got loose and infested the arid zones. The rabbits were bad enough – rampaging hordes of feral hamsters is not a pretty thought. The same goes for Jerbils. The snakes would eat all of the Hamsters anyway ;-)

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Annabel Candy November 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Hi Matt,

Just laughing at your comment:) “rampaging hordes of feral hamsters is not a pretty thought” Haha.

But the guinea pigs aren’t hoarding. Plus the reason I don’t want a guinea pig is they attract snakes. Yikes. Yes, I don’t think the hamsters could survive in the wilds of Australia but they sound more appealing than a mouse/rat or guinea pig!

Hope to see you on the blog again!

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Kristy June 28, 2011 at 6:38 am

I recently started a blog so that I, and others, can learn something new everyday. I try to implement fun and interesting facts into my blog, but I also add a word, quote, and a fact about the day for every post I make. I love to learn and love to help others learn.

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