Learning Something New


As human beings we have a natural desire to learn and progress.  Learning has been identified as a core need to psychological well-being.  Learning can help build our confidence, build our self-esteem and enhance our creativity.  We often get a real boost from increasing a skill or achieving something new and this can reduce our stress levels.


The positive effects of continuous learning are numerous:

  • The more you practise a new skill the more neural pathways are created in the brain-your brain gets bigger!
  • You adapt better to change – the more varied your life experience the easier it is to adapt and change.
  • You become a more interesting person and will have more to talk about.
  • You grow as a person and develop your knowledge base.
  • You try new experiences and might find something you love to do.
  • Learning can fight boredom and can be fun!
  • Could help stave off dementia.

Learning does not have to be academic nor does it have to take a long time – it might be that we learn how to cook a new recipe or how to crochet a square.  It might be that we are learning lots of new IT skills as we adapt to more online working.

Click below to view ‘How to Crochet a Square.’

Click on this link on how to make the perfect Orkney Patties

There are lots of options out there if you do want to increase your skills in a particular area and want to follow a course in a particular subject.  Many courses are free at the moment so now might be a good time to explore these.

MOOC: Massive Online Open course

Coursera: Worldwide online learning platform – lots of free courses

My World of Work: lots of free courses from the OU, Microsoft, Cisco and more

Yale University: the Science of Well-being course is now free

Duolingo: Learn a language  

Living life to the Full – CBT bases courses free until June 30th 2020

Learning and Reflection

Learning can be challenging and can lead to feelings of self- doubt and vulnerability, especially in a time of crisis when we are all trying to pick things up very quickly.  We are all exploring new ways of learning and teaching and as we adjust and try out new things we all make mistakes.  We need to remember that the failures are just as important as the successes and we need to reflect on both to make progress.

It is important, especially now to remember the growth mindset messages:






It is useful to make the time to have reflective conversations with colleagues and friends.  Think about how things might work better but also reflect on what is working well and try to do more of it.

Use Appreciative Inquiry or Strengths based questioning when reflecting with colleagues to promote learning can lead to more positive and helpful outcomes.  This involves helping the other person to use their own resources, rather than giving advice or solutions.

Questions to try might be:

  • What is working well?
  • What have you tried already?  What has been helpful?
  • What small thing could you do that would make a difference?
  •  What would other people who know you say you are doing well?
  • What achievements have you made?  How did you make them happen?

Remember learning can be fun and rewarding.  Watch this video below and be inspired to learn something new.


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