I'm an early middle-aged creative professional who's feeling like I've reached a sort of professional plateau, and looking to learn some new things (skills, activities, etc.) that would be a.) engaging, mentally or otherwise and b.) not too costly or time-consuming — I don't have 10,000 hours to become expert in anything besides what I already am and c.) might even open new perspectives on life, my job, etc. Although professional development per se is not the goal. I've thought about another language, but I'm not feeling the particular pull of any *one* in particular. I did guitar a while back and, while I enjoyed it enough, I never felt I wanted to go further. Some kind or art or craft — but which? Or should I try to 'go back' and conquer some academic subject I was always bad at/afraid of (math in general). What new things have people learned that they found particularly rewarding? What sorts of skills might not only be fun to learn but provide some kind of hidden, ancillary benefits? Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
To what productive use can I put the (soon to increase) downtime hours at my job? Learning something would be great, other suggestions welcome. Complications: no internet, limited space, no phone access and more inside. [more inside]
I want suggestions for new skills to learn. What are the best and/or most practical skills that you have acquired in life? What did you find was worth really taking the time to master? I am equally interested in short and long term skill sets.
What are some activities (athletic or otherwise) that resemble the satisfying experience of training for a race?
What are some activities (athletic or otherwise) that resemble the satisfying experience of training for a race? [more inside]
What to do with three months of free time... [more inside]
How do you manage your knowledge? What do you do about the inevitability of losing the skills you don't practice? [more inside]
What are some useful skills one can learn in an hour or less? [more inside]
How do you maintain (and relearn) skills and knowledge you don't get to use often? Special shame spiral details inside. [more inside]
What are some useful skills or abilities that can be learned in a short amount of time, and are never forgotten? [more inside]
How should I use my free time constructively? [more inside]
What are some unusual sources of wisdom or pedogogical tactics for learning new ideas or skills? [more inside]
What books can teach me skills that would be enjoyable or interesting to share with friends in group settings or one-on-one? [more inside]
How can I remember more of what I read? [more inside]
I can handle Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and, sigh, Java. My C and C++ are purely academic. How do I get into 'real' programming as an undergrad. [more inside]
What skill should I learn next? What should I know? I enjoy learning, so I'm looking for new things to learn -- ideally some kind of skill (ie., not facts about obscure revolutions in the 18th Century). [more inside]