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As we age, it gets harder to finally take the leap into something new. I’m not talking about a professional certificate course; I’m talking about a skill that you’re learning from scratch.

In Beginners, Tom Vanderbilt mastered five new skills (with increasingly little practical use for them), just to see the advantages of learning new things. As Vanderbilt points out, there are advantages just in learning itself.

So what’s stopping us from taking the time to develop a new skill? Many people feel that they are just too old, or too inherently bad at something to actually put in the time to pick it up. But Vanderbilt says to get over that hump, and you’ll discover that you’re not as bad as you think. (Vanderbilt does point out, however, that he gave up on a welding class rather quickly.)

He suggests taking singing lessons as your first new venture. He points out that everyone has the tools to sing, and you may discover that you are not actually tone deaf—people just told you that.

For this advice and more, check out the video above.



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