Confidence and Learning: Dementia Prevention Tools?

Can greater confidence reduce the likelihood of dementia?  If so, shouldn’t we develop practices that boost confidence in ourselves as well as our kids.

The last thing any parent wants is to become a burden to their children, yet the World Health Organization says that dementia:

  • Afflicts an estimated 47 million people worldwide.
  • Is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030.
  • And triple by 2050.

As you know, I’m not a doom and gloom guy.  Here’s the good news.

Good news…dementia avoidable

Neuroscientists have found that plaque and inflammation are contributing factors in dementia…BUT, and this is the good news, people who have had levels of plaque and inflammation that should have produced dementia showed no symptoms.  Why?

As the neuroscientists explored the lives of these symptom-free people, they discovered that they were all avid learners.  They continued, throughout their lives, to learn new things.  It didn’t matter what their interests were, what mattered was that they were learning something they didn’t previously know.

What does this have to do with confidence?

Confidence and learning

Confidence grows as we learn new things, tackle new problems, challenge ourselves to achieve things we previously haven’t accomplished.  In other words, as we do things that boost our confidence, we’re also reducing our risk of one of the most dread health issues of our time.  Plus, it just makes life more FUN.

Another health benefit of confidence is that it dramatically reduces the levels of stress, fear, anxiety and frustration we experience.  All of these are known contributors to the inflammation that exists in our bodies.  We laugh more, we love more and we live longer, happier, healthier lives.

For you

If you currently don’t have a program for learning new things, set aside just 15 minutes a day for yourself to read about something new, watch a Discovery or Nova program, take a class at your local college…just make sure it’s something you want to do, not something “practical.”

As you begin to experience the joy of learning new things, you’ll gain a sense of achievement and greater self worth, and the confidence that comes with it.  You’ll find that you enjoy learning so much that you’ll continue these activities for the rest of your life.

Your newfound knowledge will also make it easier for you to connect with others, for you’ll be conversant on a variety of topics…you’ll at least know enough to ask some intelligent questions.  The key to being a great conversationalist is to allow the other person’s light to shine, so just ask them the questions…it’s another great way to learn.

If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids.

For our kids

When you make learning a lifelong source of joy for yourself, you also help your kids.  First, you teach them the joy of learning.  It will make a huge impact on their success and the joy they experience in their lives.

If you doubt that, I can tell you that much of the success I’ve enjoyed over the years came from observing my dad.  He was an automotive mechanic for the Ford dealer in a small town in Illinois, about an hour from St. Louis.

Every week Ford issued a new booklet to their dealers to help their mechanics diagnose and solve problems.  My dad read each issue cover to cover every week.  It was his commitment to excellence that enabled him to get wages very near what the union mechanics were getting in St. Louis without having to travel an hour each way to work.

As is often the case, I emulated his behavior when I got into the workforce…and it’s paid huge dividends.

When I was with a national CPA firm, one of the New York partners told me “You’re one of the most technically competent people in our firm.”

One of my books, The 10-minute Guide to Performance Appraisals, was recommended by the University of Glasgow, the University of New South Wales and the Australian Institute of Management.

I attribute it all to my dad’s dedication to excellence.  Isn’t that a legacy you’d like to leave to your children?

Your second gift to your kids is that you’ll dramatically reduce the likelihood of becoming a burden to them.  Any of you who have been responsible for a parent’s care knows exactly what I mean.

Start today

Start your family health plan today!  Set aside sometime, preferably as a family to learn something fun and new.  Let your kids pick the topics and teach you.  Make sure it’s fun…and you and your kids will enjoy happier, healthier lives and relationships.  Life doesn’t get better than that.

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