‘Learning is good for your ‘elf’ – Pablo Lloyd

elfPablo Lloyd is the CEO and co-founder of Activate Apprenticeships and Activate Business School. In his second opinion piece, Pablo here talks about his thoughts on giving learning as a gift.

My mother was 79 years old when she completed her first degree in English Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. She loved learning and was inspired to go on and teach GCSE students well into her 80s.

Advances in neuroscience show us that the brain develops physically throughout our lives. Smart as they were, the ancient Greeks were wrong about the brain. Aristotle likened it to a wax tablet which starts warm and pliable as a baby, becoming cold and inflexible as an adult. In fact, by using and challenging the brain it warms up and gets better at learning.

If you are looking for an unusual Christmas present or want to treat yourself, what about a learning gift?

Here are my ten favourites:

  1. Learn about Artificial Intelligence at www.ted.com/playlists/310/talks_on_artificial_intelligen
  2. Try spoon carving at www.barnthespoon.com or annacasserley.co.uk/about
  3. Find out about the latest scientific discoveries by subscribing to www.newscientist.com
  4. Embrace your creativity and use Oblique Strategies cards from www.enoshop.co.uk
  5. Give mindfulness a go with the app from www.headspace.com
  6. Enjoy art by joining a group of galleries www.tate.org.uk
  7. Learn welding at www.obby.co.uk
  8. Learn beekeeping and more at www.idler.co.uk
  9. Learn about organisational success and read Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
  10. Learn calligraphy www.thepostmansknock.com/beginners-guide-modern-calligraphy/

Of course, there are limits. My mother succumbed to dementia in her late 90s, but she lived to be 100 and inspired three generations to pursue their curiosity and creativity.

Who will you inspire this month?

Take a look at Pablo’s previous opinion piece “The productivity problem is in the boardroomhere.