Staying Nimble

written by Eric J. Ma on 2017-04-07

As I wrap up grad school, one thought recurrently comes to mind: as we grow older, do we intrinsically lose mental agility, nimbleness and ability to learn? Or is it because of external factors that cause one to become less adventurous, less curious, and hence, less able to learn new things?

I find myself having flashes of fear crop up as I observe those who are older than me. They are stuck in between a hard place and a rock. Their skills may be on the wane (in terms of demand). They want to learn new things, but have to continue doing the old things to keep the ship afloat. I can imagine, it feels tough to be in that kind of position! Without the safety net to take a risk and learn something new, they may be stuck in a dying trade. Will I have to face the same fate? Is it avoidable, or even perhaps, surmountable?

The even harder part is staying intellectually nimble, and not being stuck in particular ways of thought. Is that an intrinsic property of aging, or not?

Just some questions I've been pondering...