I was thinking today how it´s never too late to learn new skills that could move you forward or make your life easier. In today´s world and the fast pace of technology and social media it´s more important than ever to embrace technology to stay relevant.
Case in point, I´ve made a living my entire life with a keyboard. I started out writing and translating scripts in the days when all we had were manual typewriters. When I was 16 I tried to learn how to touch type, but I found it boring and hard on my fingers. You had to really bang those keys. Besides, I didn´t have the patience. I simply typed looking at the keyboard, with one, two and three fingers.
The years went by and I continued typing the same way on electronic typewriters and later on with computers.
At 35, I started having neck and eye strain from having to look at the keyboard and the screen and in some cases paper notes on the side. I thought that if I finally learned to touch type, it would help alleviate my pain and possibly make me a faster typist.
Also read: The mental and emotional benefits of dancing
I went out and bought a CD typing program (back when there were no online courses), and set aside time to practice every day. After my lesson, I had to go back to my regular work at the keyboard and make a decision. I would either type faster by looking at the keys and using whatever fingers I chose to (and possibly undo the training I had done for the day) or type a LOT slower while practicing my new skills, knowing I would eventually make it my regular way of typing.
It was not easy. I toggled between both for a bit. Eventually, I opted for touch typing no matter what. 12 years later, I can´t even remember what it felt like to not touch type!
The new skill made me a faster translator and writer. It helped my neck and eyes, and I´m sure it helped my fine motor skills. Learning a new skill at any age helps keep your mind nimble and sharp.
So starting today, what skill could you learn or perfect that would help you stay relevant or improve your quality of life, make you more employable, or become better at what you do?