A to Z Guide to Thriving in Life Health & Wellness

‘L’ is for Life Long Learning and Creativity

April 13, 2018
Life Long Learning and Creativity

When was the last time you learned something new or tried using your creative side ? Learning and being creative doesn’t just enrich our lives and provide new ideas and interests, it is also vital for good mental health and especially our brain.

Today, I’m focusing on tapping into your passion through learning and creativity to enrich your life.

In order to thrive in life,  we need to keep not only exercising our bodies but also our mind.  Keeping our brain sharp and active allows us to continue living active and fulfilling lives.

“Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box” (anonymous)

Years ago, I was told that I ‘just wasn’t creative’ and that really stuck with me.  Because of that comment I looked at myself as someone who did not have the ‘creative’ gene so what was the use of trying.  I had limited myself and my ability by believing what this person had said to me.

I looked at what I could do and was surprised to discover that I did have some creativity even if it was hidden under a bushel.  I make birthday cakes for my grandchildren – always with a theme, I can knit and crochet, I can write inspiring and motivational posts for my website, I can speak Italian (not great but enough to get by).

In her book, ‘Mastering Your Mean Girl’, Melissa Ambrosini writes that

Creativity is the crux of your passion

Melissa suggests that we are all born with creativity but somewhere along the way in life we lose the ability to explore our creative side, enjoy our sense of play and exploration.  I look at my grandson and he has such a wonderful imagination and uses his creativity to create adventures building railways, being a pirate, painting, drawing, building sandcastles and Lego masterpieces.

Children are curious, they try everything and are like sponges with their learning.

We all have the ability we just need to rediscover our creativity and let it out!

How does life long learning and creativity help you Thrive?

1. Maintains good mental and brain health

Endless scientific studies have shown that continuing to use our brain through learning and creativity is important for good health and well being, especially as we age.

I have written previously about my almost 92 year old mother-in-law who after illness had to move to an aged care home.  Her world opened up and instead of hiding in her room she embraced all the new activities offered.  She has recently started art classes and is showing some talent in that area.  Here is a photo of her latest work.  Her health has improved dramatically and her mental health in particular has been improved by trying new experiences. She is happier, fitter and more active now than she has been for many years.

'K' is for Knowledge - How learning & creativity will help you Thrive

I have a friend who at 60 took up surfing, and we see many people who gain university degrees well into their 90s.  This is where having an Ageless Attitude is important – don’t limit yourself!

2. Increases our sense of worth

Learning new things or trying new activities increases our self-esteem.  We realise we can do things that perhaps we never thought we could.  Knowledge and learning can take us out of our comfort zone and stretch our minds and thinking.

3. Teaches us Patience

Sometimes it takes time to learn and master our subjects.  Learning a new language doesn’t happen immediately, it takes practice and perserverence but this pays off when you can have the confidence to walk into a restaurant in Italy, for example and order your meal in the local language.

4. Joining a class or club increases our social connection with others

There are so many groups or clubs and classes that offer a wide range of subjects and interests.  Learning with others builds connections and friendships because you have something in common.  We have The University of the Third Age, which offer a variety of classes and subjects.  Most of them are booked out well in advance.

5. Keeps us interesting to people of all ages

You can impress your grandchildren by keeping up to date with tecnology!  Life long learning can help to make us interesting and we can have lively discussions with people of all ages.  Our opinion matters and lifelong learning is another important part of having an Ageless Attitude to life

What is something new you can learn or try today?

The only thing holding you back is YOU and your negative self-talk. It is easy to tell ourselves we aren’t capable but that is not true.  We are all capable of learning new things or bringing out our creative side – we just have to want to. Make learning and being more creative a daily part of your life.

 Life Long Learning and Creativity

In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘M’ is for the Magic of the ‘Now’ Moment

If you have missed previous posts in the AtoZ Challenge 2018 just click here to find them all.

You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series.  In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.

Want practical and motivational ways to learn to Thrive rather than just Survive in life?  Click here and Subscribe to receive my daily posts as they publish plus a FREE COPY of my E-Book ’10 Ways you can start Thriving Today’.



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  • Reply Karen Hume April 13, 2018 at 05:19

    I think this is a really important post, Sue. I believe that the opposite of learning is stagnation, and that’s definitely NOT part of a thriving midlife and beyond.

    You absolutely are creative. It makes me furious that anyone would ever tell you that you aren’t. Good for you for recognizing the lie and honouring your creativity with cakes and crafts and art.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2018 at 12:37

      Well at the time about 20 odd years ago I just accepted the notion that I wasn’t creative. Now I am older and wiser I realise I do have some creativity – we all do.

  • Reply Donna April 13, 2018 at 06:23

    Hi, Sue – I love the quote, “instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box”. I will definitely be borrowing it. I agree that keeping our brains sharp and active, at all stages of our lives, is essential. That is one reason (excuse) I give myself for remaining self-hosted with WP. My learning curve is continually straight-up.
    I am greatly enjoying your A – Z Thriving Series. Thank you for all of your work on this.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2018 at 12:38

      I love learning Donna and the Over 50 & Thriving Series has been wonderful for me. I have learned so much from all of the inspirational guests and I know there is plenty more learning to come. Thanks for the compliment re A-Z I might make this one into a book!

  • Reply Shirley Corder April 13, 2018 at 15:42

    Such a great post, Sue. And it ties in with my post for L as well! I love the story of your 92-year-old mother-in-law. What a great example she is. Moving on to L for Learn something new!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2018 at 16:47

      Oh I didn’t see that on your blog Shirley so I will be over to check it out! Thanks for leaving the link it makes it so easy to jump over to your blog! Enjoy your weekend xx

  • Reply Debbie April 13, 2018 at 16:15

    I love the quote to get rid of the box too! You are so creative Sue I can’t believe anyone said that to you! I’m a huge fan of life long learning too and thoroughly enjoy my WEA discussion group and my book club as they extend my brain. Great advice and tips once again!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2018 at 16:50

      Yes and I was younger and sillier then because I had no self-confidence so of course believed them. The WEA discussion group sounds wonderful and of course the book club is always good because you get such varied tastes in books to read. Have a fabulous weekend and learn one thing new! 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au April 13, 2018 at 16:59

    You’re so right Sue – I was always told that I wasn’t creative (hence my Anti-Craft persona) and to be honest, a lot of crafty stuff leaves me cold. But there are so many different ways we can express our creativity aren’t there – I did my stained glass project, I’ve dabbled in some knitting, I LOVE blogging, I do colouring-in. There’s more to being creative than being able to paint a picture. Not sure what I’ll attempt next but I’ve got my eyes open for whatever comes my way.

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    L for Love Yourself

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2018 at 17:02

      I think it all comes down to what the definition of creative is. No, I’m not good at drawing although I’m going to try. The thing was that I accepted that criticism as being true so never tried anything. I didn’t think about the knitting and crochet I could do. Anyway I’m open to anything now and blogging is certainly creative and I think we are both good at that! Oh that sounds a bit like tooting my own horn LOL:)

  • Reply Kathy Marris April 13, 2018 at 19:46

    I agree totally Sue. I think we all have some creativeness within us. You just need to nurture it. I have always had a wild imagination and love being creative , but when I compare myself with other clever arty-farty types I feel terribly uncreative. I believe we all have creativeness within us. Great post! #TeamLovinLife

  • Reply Candi Randolph April 13, 2018 at 20:15

    Very true! As I have matured I’ve realized that I am creative, I have something to offer and strive to make each new day an opportunity to continue learning and sharing my knowledge. I love the story about your grandmother, and her work is lovely! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones April 13, 2018 at 21:16

    I would say that you are definitely creative Sue. The last time I learnt something new, other than work related was probably when I learned how to set up my blog, and also how to blog. I need to learn how to improve it now. There is so much that I dont know. I really believe in lifelong learning. I’ve studied all my life. Your A-Z theme gives me something to think about everyday.

  • Reply Karen April 14, 2018 at 00:23

    I love learning new things and am always signing up for different classes or exploring something new on my own. Learning is a lifelong journey and doesn’t end when you leave the classroom.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2018 at 11:39

      I love your last sentence Karen that learning doesn’t end when you leave the classroom. So true! xx

  • Reply Ally Bean April 14, 2018 at 00:36

    I didn’t know that you were involved in the challenge this year! I’ll add you to my list.

    I’m all about life-long learning. Graduating from a liberal arts university set me on that course from the git-go. In fact, I imagine that none of us bloggers would be doing this if we didn’t believe in our own creativity and personal growth.

    So agree about how any new challenge can help you develop patience. A virtue, they say.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2018 at 11:41

      Hi Ally the list is pretty long for participants but I’m happy you have come to visit today. Sometimes I write something and think wow that is pretty good! I agree that blogging is creative and also has certainly helped my personal growth as I’m learning from others in the blogging community all the time. x

  • Reply Heather Erickson April 14, 2018 at 00:43

    Hi Sue, I love the pears your mother-in-law painted. It’s so wonderful to learn you have a talent for something later in life. My husband has an uncle who took up photography. WIthin 2 years he went from a total amateur to a talented professional. He kept learning, experimenting and improving. He photographs barns and silos. As the son of a farmer, they connect him with his past. As a grandpa, he is sharing a part of himself with current and future generations. Great post!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2018 at 11:43

      Oh what a lovely story about your husband’s uncle, Heather. I enjoy reading about how people develop throughout life and I love the connection of his photography subjects with his past. A great inspriation to his grandchildren. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for stopping by xx

  • Reply Jo Castro April 14, 2018 at 09:05

    I agree Sue that it’s terrible when people with some authority or peers or relatives tell us things about ourselves which are just not true. My hubby was told he wasn’t creative, but actually now in later life as he’s watched me doing what I love he’s explored creativity – and he’s hugely creative!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2018 at 11:54

      That’s great Jo that he has seen what you are doing and trying new creative things himself. People can really affect you with their words can’t they? I was younger of course and very self-conscious that is why I took it to heart so much. Now I realise that ‘yes’ I am creative and we all are – we just need to find what we are creative with!

  • Reply Retirement Reflections November 2, 2019 at 09:06

    Hi, Sue – This post appeared in my inbox today. Although I had read it before (April 2018), the timing of this reminder was perfect! I was very inspired by reading it again.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 2, 2019 at 18:00

      Hi Donna, yes I made an edit and then it published again! I’m glad though that you found the post inspiring second time around. Have a lovely weekend, my friend I bet it is starting to get cold! BRRRRRR…. xx

  • Reply Erica/Erika November 2, 2019 at 10:04

    Hi Sue, I believe blogging definitely falls under the learning and creativity category. It also enriches our life on many levels.

    I agree with the other responses on “get rid of the box.” This is the first time I have heard this phrase and I LOVE it!

    I have read how every single person is creative, and we explore our creativity in different ways. I also agree with Melissa Ambrosini, where our creativity is often stifled.

    I believe I am creative in certain ways, although the drawing of my horse looks more like a chicken in Pictionary. A great post, Sue, as always:) Have a good rest of your weekend. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 2, 2019 at 17:58

      I agree Erica, I really carried the thought that I wasn’t creative for many years and then realised that blogging is a way of being creative. ‘Get rid of the box’ was one of my favourites as well. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for stopping by xx

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins November 5, 2019 at 02:10

    Hi Sue,
    Lifelong learning is at the heart of good teaching (which I always aspired to in my classroom)…not to just teach concepts, but to instill a love of learning and lifelong curiousity.
    My biggest kick is to visit new places and learn new, interesting things about them. And it doesn’t have to be far from home, just something new.
    But our snowbirding trips provide plenty of opportunities to explore new places!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 6, 2019 at 13:24

      Hi Nancy, I will always be curious and want to keep learning as I believe it helps us to grow. Travelling is a great way to learn about environment, other people and customs and you are right sometimes even visiting where we live can be a learning experience. xx

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