The Utility of Learning

Most people approach decisions about education with a focus on utility.

You hear this a lot when people talk about language learning. “Spanish is a good language to learn because you can use it in so many countries.” This is true, but approaching learning solely focused on the practical end uses makes it easy to overlook the satisfaction and fulfillment inherent in learning.

As humans, one of our most fundamental sources of happiness is seeing ourselves grow. Making progress towards goals and improving our skills is immensely satisfying, no matter if it’s learning a language, how to solve a Rubix Cube, or how to program in Javascript.

We are hard-wired to enjoy the act of learning.

Given the almost endless options you have to invest your time in, it makes sense to think critically about the long-term value of the things you are learning. But in thinking about that value, don’t overlook the simple pleasure and satisfaction that comes from learning in the first place.

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