When you want to learn, does age matter?

I was sitting with my father-in-law one day and the conversation somehow steered to him learning something new. He was of the opinion he is too old to learn a new thing now or to even start a business. Last year he retired from his day job of 30 years.

On my way home it got me thinking, is there really an age to learn? To an extent I agree with my father-in-law on his stance, well not because of the relation, but because at that time in one’s life, the capacity of the mind and the body to grasp and retain learning decreases. Again, some people may still break those barriers and stand as examples for others to follow, it would have taken them immense effort, more than an average teenager to learn.

“A study conducted by a director of the cognitive neuroscience laboratory for language and child development at Dartmouth College (Hanover) has demonstrated that after the teen years, the brain changes and makes it extremely challenging (if possible at all) for an adult to learn a foreign language. This doesn’t mean that they can’t learn it; just that they won’t do so the same way as a child because the mechanisms that help language learning are not the same as they are at ages 2-5.” (text quoted)

Having said that, it is still possible to learn at any age in life. And it helps if we make it a daily habit to learn, irrespective of our age. Here are a few examples of people who started off late and made a huge impact:

Image source: Adioma


So don’t worry and just start. Sometimes starting off itself builds the curiosity and helps us gather our senses to learn. You can also read these tips on how to improve your learning ability.

Please feel free to comment below: share your thoughts or ask questions.

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