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Dwindling Fertility of the Mind and the Challenges of picking up new skills.
Let's start this off by saying that nothing is impossible. It may sound cliche but it cannot get closer to the truth. In the last 100 years, the human race has achieved far more than the threshold of the imagination of the previous 1000 years. If that isn't inspiring enough, then I do not know what is.
It has been 4 days since my attempt at learning a new skill. In December of the last year, I had decided to broaden my skill set and knowledge base. I have been, surprisingly, on track ever since. It is surprising since I consider myself very "ambitious". So ambitious that I usually jump on a new train before my previous train reaches its destination.
However, this particular skill I am trying to pick up has been significantly more challenging than anything I have faced. It requires deft fingers, good hand-eye coordination, precise calculations, and limit-testing. Some of you may have figured out what I am trying to learn. For those who didn't, keep guessing.
The good news is, I have got the deft fingers going well. hand-eye coordination has been at its peak, but the rest of it still lagging behind. After putting in almost 30 hours, it feels very disappointing. And I can't help but think that this specific skill may not be for me.
However, I am a firm believer in "nothing is impossible". I tend to reflect on almost every aspect of my life based on my previous experiences. And based on those experiences, I know that anything I put my mind to, the universe will conspire to make it happen. I want to keep going, no matter the challenges. I will keep at it, to the point I have no energy left or I have succeeded. Hopefully, the latter.
As I see it, the skill is catered for a younger generation. I am usually not very involved in this specific scene, at least not very actively. Also, my mind is usually back at the hospital or on my financial endeavors. There is very little of my mind that is dedicated to this specific skill. This poses the first speedbump against success.
Still, I have put many hours into it for the last 4 days. It is a massive dedication and I am not yet ready to let go of it so soon. The 2nd speedbump I see is aging. Albeit I am still at a ripe age of picking things up quickly, I feel that since this specific skill is "out of the norm" for me and my lifestyle, it may be giving my brain a bit of a shock.
There are plenty of large studies that show weakening neural connections with age. It becomes growingly difficult to process, receive and transmit data as we cross the threshold of a specific age limit. Nevertheless, the brain has an astonishingly powerful ability to pick up new skills. The simple act of picking up a new skill enhances our cognitive ability. It makes us stronger.
I have come across a recent study that showed it was easier to maintain or pick up motor skills that are relatively "known" rather than picking up associated binding skills. It may explain why I have the deft fingers and hand-eye coordination on point but still having a hard time picking up the rest of the pieces.
At one point, just before putting together these thoughts, I felt really distraught about failing constantly and went on youtube. I then found a 64-year-old guy who picked up the same skill in a month. Man, was that a blow to my ego. Then I remembered about Mike Boyd. Effing legend. He just made me ask one question:
"Blind, are you just looking for excuses?"