Try not to learn anything today. I'm a professional non-conformist. I'm not plagiarizing that usual worn-out tip. Instead, we'll try the opposite.

Try Not To Learn Anything New Today — It’s Harder Than It Looks

Try Not To Learn Anything Today - hoarded books
How I imagine my mind. (How’d that girl with the vinyl backpack get in here?) Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

# 18  on my 99 Life Tips–A List is: ”Try to learn something new every day,” is often included on lists like this. Instead, try not to. By trying not to, you’ll become aware of how much you learn everyday without even trying, you just have to be awake enough to catch it.

I enjoy “life-tips” lists. Invariably, they advise us to try to learn something new each day. I read those words and hear Yoda in my head, “There is no Try! There is only Do or Do Not!”

Still, my tip condenses to this: Try not to learn anything new today. I’m a professional non-conformist. I’m not plagiarizing that usual worn-out tip. Instead, we’ll try the opposite.

I’m sure I must have let some days pass without learning anything new. The likelihood of that seems like a reasonable assumption given a span of some 15K days. But I’d be stunned if I’ve failed to learn something in more than 1% of them. The other 99% of the time, new facts and information falls on me, follows me home, and piles up.

If you’re awake, you learn without trying. If. You’re. Awake.

I’m not going all woo-woo metaphysical here. You don’t have to be the Dalai Lama, or Buddha himself. You’ll learn stuff if you remain just reasonably alert and half sober.

But, I’m contradicting my tip, which is to dis-courage your attempts to learn. Here, I’ll put it in bold letters. 

You’re supposed to try NOT to learn

A confession. This is the only rhetorically facetious tip of the entire 99 on my list. How’s that for some purple adjectives? (ProWritingAid and Grammarly are gonna love that). And it is the only one I don’t practice regularly. In fact, I’ve never practiced this one at all. I’ve never made the active effort not to learn something for even one day. 

And see, I just proved the point of my tip. You just learned several things in that one paragraph without trying. You learned some things about me. And you gained the bonus knowledge that even pro writing software doesn’t have a sarcasm or satire mode. See?

Comic Relief

I’m curious about all kinds of things. One of my favorite comics of all times is a scene in a doctor’s office. In the office, we  see a serious looking doctor wearing a lab coat, stethoscope draped around his neck. He is peering intently at a chart and and standing beside his patient, who is seated on the exam table. The patient is a worried looking cat, brow knit with anxiety. Tension is etched on both faces. The doctor speaks, “I’m afraid it’s curiosity.”

Cute, huh? I’m curious to know. I’ve got a motor to learn. I’ve got more questions than answers  and the more answers I get the more questions they breed.

As a writer, I’ve heard of an affliction called writer’s block in which the writer is stuck and has nothing to write about. It’s hard to imagine. That must be the same feeling as having nothing to live about. I have way more ideas than time. Way more time than talent. 

Most likely, I’ll just keep on learning and letting ideas and information pile up in my mind where all the rooms look like an episode of Hoarders. See, my advice is not for everybody. It just won’t work for me. 

But your mileage may vary. So, you go ahead and try not to learn anything new today. Feel free to return and comment below with all the ways your efforts failed. Other readers may learn something. Oh, shoot!

1 thought on “Try Not To Learn Anything New Today — It’s Harder Than It Looks”

  1. Pingback: 99 Life Tips – A List : Greg Proffit Writing

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top