Are you a lifelong learner? Do you like to challenge your mind with intellectual and creative pursuits? I do and I am definitely a lifelong learner. We often think that when we graduate from school at whatever level that learning is over and we don’t have to do any more. But being able to flex and open your mind is healthy and keeps you well. This week we will investigate the Intellectual Dimension of the Wellness Wheel by Bill Hettler and find some fun adventures.

According to Bill Hettler, “the intellectual dimension recognizes one’s creative, stimulating mental activities.” If we are practicing wellness, then we would be able to expand our knowledge and skills while also discovering how we can share our gifts with others. I share my gifts in my painting and in teaching others what I have learned. I think I am always either teaching or learning. I find that the best way to learn something is by teaching it to others. In wellness, one should love intellectual growth and stimulation and seek it, at any age. One of my awesome doctoral students finished her doctorate at 83. She followed her dreams as a lifelong learner. Traveling a wellness path, you’ll explore issues related to problem solving, creativity, and learning. It is healthy to keep our personal interests as we age. In retirement we often lose our interests and get intellectually sloppy. Reading books, magazines, and newspapers, while keeping abreast of current issues and ideas is really an anti-aging activity.  As you develop your intellectual curiosity, you’ll actively strive to expand and challenge your mind with creative endeavors. Do you continue to read and have new interests and creativity?

Becoming self-satisfied and unproductive is dangerous to our health and it is better to stretch and challenge our minds. I love playing all kinds of puzzles and word games. Before the car accident I took ballroom dance lessons at Fred Astaire and competed in different ballroom competitions which was not only good for me physically but also intellectually as I was always learning a new dance. I could have quit when I became physically unable to continue my activities, but I am a fighter and know that to get well and be me again I need to find other activities.  Until I can dance again, I have decided to look for other intellectual pursuits and just started Toastmasters. I love Kim Krajci’s On the Table: Topics for Toastmasters.  This will be my next competition with myself, bettering my speaking and leadership capabilities. Maybe I will even be able to become a paid speaker or Toastmasters accredited speaker. Only time and practice will tell how I will do. I am working on my icebreaker speech now. I will let you know how I do :). Check it out if you need a new activity, want to be a better leader, or like to give speeches.

Although it was the last week of school, I also took the time to do an interview with Fran McGrogan of Stand Curious. We talked about creativity and my insights into painting. I had a wonderful time and hope you all enjoy it too. Her website, the Stand Curious Podcast is about curiosity for those of us with some leisure time available, who have a natural curiosity and who love to be presented with new ideas.  She has an enthusiasm for life, experience and involvement and talks to guests about their different hobbies, pastimes or recreational activities being done for their own sake.  Maybe you will get new ideas from these podcasts or at least satisfy your curiosity.

In another wonderful post by Michelle she states that no matter how bad life may seem, having a positive outlook on everything can truly help a person persevere through tough times. This is also true of changing your intellectual outlook and learning new things. As you know from my other posts, I love having a positive outlook.  She suggested that the power of positive thinking may help you:

  • Find another option or route
  • Feel motivated, so that you can keep on pushing
  • Move on from your past mistakes
  • Convince yourself that you can improve your situation (career, financial, family, etc.)
  • Reach for your goals
  • Be happier

So it is better to identify potential problems and choose appropriate courses of action based on available information. We should engage in a lively interaction with the world around us. Continue to learn, problem solve, and be creative through all the times of your life. There is no time where you shouldn’t be creative or stop learning. What are your questions about Intellectual Wellness and becoming a lifelong learner? Have you found new avenues of adventure and exercises for your mind? Share with me! Safe journeys until next week :).