Always Be Learning Something

I was jogging in the hills of San Francisco, thinking about things I want to learn (electronic music production, Qigong), things I’m learning now (business skills) and things I’ve been studying for years (fiddling, yoga, meditation).

Then I thought, “I always seem to be learning something.“ And so I defined a new life rule:

Maybe it’s unnecessary to make this a rule if I’m already practicing it. But somehow it seems useful. I don’t state the rule to force myself to keep learning, but as a way to accept who I am and what I’m doing. It relieves some pressure. When I make a mistake I just say, “I’m just figuring this all out as I go.” And so I can be more forgiving and kind to myself.

And “always” doesn’t mean that every second of the day you’re studying something or solving a problem. Just that there’s a subject or an area that you’re interested in enough to study. Your brain needs time to absorb stuff, so even those moments of routine or relaxation are a part of the learning process. That’s why podcasts play music to break up all the talking; it allows things to sink in.

If you’re learning to play the fiddle, you’re not just studying an instrument; you’re studying yourself. There’s a zen saying, “To study the self is to forget the self.” If you do something with your entire heart, mind and body, you become one with that task. If you can learn this with music it can carry over to other things.

Here’s my other life rule:

Jump in the water if you can.


What are you learning now? What do you want to learn?

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7 responses to “Always Be Learning Something

  1. As an avid skill collector (hoarder?) I totally relate to this. I’m always learning or wanting to learn how to do something new. But it’s usually visual or tied to a piece of art I want to make. Or a skill I must learn to keep the wheels on the cart so I can do the other fun things. (I’m looking at you, business skills.) More welding and blacksmiting are on my to do list. And fiddle of course!

  2. well, i finally picked up the violin again which i have been trying to learn for 10 years, well i haven’t touched it in 4. I though that i may learn something now after i saw how you structured your videos now. I had one teacher and it was not a good experience.Today is my 65 birthday and i am starting all over again. Thanx Jason.

  3. Hello Jason, Im new to Fiddlehed and fiddling, I am totally enjoying my learning experience here on Fiddlehed. I have hed 3 teachers since I started last November and I did not learn as fast as I am learning with you. Thank You. I agree about always learning. I have been doing hatha yoga since 1999, but, have just started to learn Kundalini and I love it. I do feel like I play better when I dont think too hard about what I am doing, If that makes sense at all. lol.

  4. I agree, Jason, always be learning is a good rule of life. I am learning to play the piano right now, and it is not as easy as people make it look when they play! I’m totally engaged with the learning and understanding more of music theory this way. As always, I practice the fiddle daily and am learning both classical pieces as well as fiddle pieces. I must admit, though, that I like the fiddle pieces better–they’re just more fun!