Why being a beginner is good for you

Lifelong learning can have a multitude of benefits, but there are also many reasons more of us don't do it ⎮29 min listen

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Tom Vanderbilt didn’t know how to play chess. That fact had never bothered him – until his four-year-old daughter decided she wanted to have a go. Within a couple of months, they’d recruited a teacher and both Tom and his daughter combo were battling it out over 64 squares.

Tom found the experience of being an adult beginner so challenging and interesting he thought he'd give it a proper go - with a range of different skills and hobbies. Over the next year he embarked on learning multiple new skills, from surfing to singing.

On All in the Mind this week, we hear what Tom learnt from his journey, the benefits of lifelong learning, and how kids and adults learn differently. 

Please follow the link to listen to: Why being a beginner is good for you.

This podcast is presented by Sana Qadar and produced by James Bullen.


Tom Vanderbilt
Author, Beginners: The Curious Power of Lifelong Learning

Dr Rachel Wu
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of California Riverside

Dr Ellie Pearce
Research Fellow, Division of Psychiatry, University College London


Sana Qadar


James Bullen

All in the Mind

Lynne Malcolm produced & presented this podcast series via, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio

All in the Mind is RN’s exploration of all things mental—a program about the mind, brain and behaviour, and the endlessly fascinating interactions between them. From dreaming to depression, memory to imagination, psychotherapy to psychopathy, emotion to obsession, All in the Mind explores the human condition through the mind’s eye. While many aspects of our minds remain seductively mysterious, new light is being shed on the way we think and the way we relate to each other all the time. All in the Mind brings together a diverse range of ideas and human experiences through the voices of great thinkers and powerful personal stories.