Tom Vanderbilt argues the point that learning is not just for the young and that no matter how old you are, you can still benefit from learning new skills.


In his new book 'beginners', Tom Vanderbilt describes how his daughter wanted to learn how to play chess—a game he did not know. So he decided to learn chess so that he could teach her. Tom started by learning to play on a computer, and soon he was able to beat a chess program at its easiest settings. Tom suggests when learning a new skill that you be aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect, where people who performed poorly were those who 'grossly overestimated' their actual skill level. It does not matter what new skill you learn the important thing is to learn a new skill no matter what it is. Learning itself has benefits as novelty itself seems to trigger learning. Think about the sort of new skill(s) that you could learn that might benefit you both at work and home.