Have you ever thought you were just too old to learn something new? In 1523, an English animal trainer named John Fitzherbert said, “… a dog must be trained when he is a whelp, or else it won’t be trained.”
Today we summarize his insight into a well-known adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Most of us have heard this thought for so long, that we believe it to be fact. It does sound correct, but is it really true that an old dog is not able to learn something new?
Not too long ago, Jamie and Adam of the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters show decided to try out this timeworn adage to see if it was true or false. Much to their surprise, they found out that it was just as possible to teach old dogs new tricks, as it was to teach young dogs new tricks.
As I read the report, I wondered how many of us just simply throw in the towel and say, “I’m too old to learn something new, or try something new.” We say it; therefore, we believe it; therefore; it is true. How many times does this thought process slow, impede or completely halt our progress as students, employees, employers, or family members?
So, do not limit yourself today. If you are young, you can learn something new. If you are old, you can learn something new. The only real question is: Are you willing to learn?
Think about it…and have a blessed day!
John Mark Caton, Ph.D