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Never underestimate the power of learning in changing everything. Including teen brains.

And if your kids need any more motivation, the words of author Earl Nightingale might inspire :

“One hour per day of study in your chosen field is all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.”

There’s another old saying, that we should all spend our lives doing things we don’t know how to do. Because it’s by pushing up rains to figure out things that we don’t know that makes our brains healthier and our lives better.

Did you know?

  • That something called neuroplasticity is key to the healthy growth and survival of our brains, and key to neuroplasticity is learning. And more specifically, thinking about what we’re learning.
  • Brain scans of taxi drivers and bus drivers in London showed that the brains of taxi drivers were bigger and healthier. Why? Because taxi drivers had to think more and harder every day to figure out the best way to get to each destination. Bus drivers just took the same boring route each day.
  • Learning and thinking also strengthen the myelin around the neurons in the brain, myelin that’s essential to not only protecting the brain from damage but to protecting against cognitive decline like dementia.
  • The brains of musicians and people who speak multiple languages are different too, healthier, and all because the brain has to work harder to figure out both of those challenges.
  • We can make our brains healthier and more efficient simply by thinking more about what we’re doing.
  • If we’re constantly learning, the brain is constantly forging new connections between its networks and cells. When we stop learning, the brain figures it doesn’t need those cells and it starts pruning them. If we don’t use them, we lose them.
  • Unlike so much else in life, the fate of our brain is not determined by genes, but by little more than the control we exercise over the brain.
  • Constant mental stimulation is essential if we want to make sure our brain cells survive and function properly.
  • Routine activities that we don’t have to figure out or give much thought to are of little value to the brain.
  • Learning can have a ripple effect throughout our lives, and beyond our brains, improving self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth, all of which trigger an additional wave of positive effects.
  • And if learning is improving our career, financial, and life prospects, that can also improve our physical and mental health.