Why Learning a New Skill Is So Good for You

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As it turns out, being a grown-up novice offers all kinds of surprising benefits. Just ask journalist Tom Vanderbilt, who spent a year attempting to pick up a variety of challenging skills, from surfing to singing to drawing. Ultimately, he didn’t become amazing at any of these things, but his humble quest taught him something far more valuable: that despite your age or how busy you think you are, introducing yourself to a new skill is one of the most life-enhancing things you can do. Vanderbilt chronicled his efforts and hard-won wisdom in his latest book, Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning. For this episode, Outside magazine’s editor, Christopher Keyes, gets Vanderbilt to explain what really happens to us when we dare to be a beginner again.


This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by L.L. Bean, a company that wants to help you experience the power of being outside this winter. Visit llbean.com to find inspiration and how-to advice for active outdoor fun this season, plus ready-for-anything outerwear to keep you cozy. L.L. Bean, Be an Outsider.

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