We can choose to learn helpful or unproductive habits.
A human brain can’t learn everything and a lot of what comes to its attention and is learned is counterproductive for the well being of the person attached to it. A key skill to learn early in life and to practice diligently is to learn to identify what isn’t needed to be learned, and what habits one doesn’t want to acquire and cultivate.
What to learn and practice daily.
To get really good at something requires beginning very early in life and practicing the skill every day. Basic human skills like speech and walking are good examples, and everyone practices them from infancy on, but some of us are lucky enough to have eloquent speakers for parents and those children automatically become eloquent speakers of their native language. Those valuable language skills require a clarity of thought and basic mental organizational skills which can be learned later, but only as an overlay on inferior developed skills. The earlier in life we choose to learn the good habits and avoid the bad ones, the more successful and happier our lives will be.
What to avoid learning.
Many things our society foists upon us that are counterproductive to our own personal well-being are easily identified and thus easily avoided. Being asked, even required, to believe something which is demonstrably false, sets us up to be failures. When the unfounded belief becomes habitual we will respond improperly to the signals the world around us provides for our guidance. The “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus” story is a fine example of a child asking an adult a legitimate question, being lied to by that trusted adult and made into a public laughing stock of the whole world. What greater evil can there be than ruining a child’s life by lying to them about basic reality?
Religious people can oftentimes abrogate responsibilities for their actions and non-actions by shifting personal perceived burdens over to God. “We as Christians can be the worst since we can invoke the power of God to justify our laziness” (John Trombley). This seems to be a clear statement that the satisfaction of having ready answers for the existential questions of being, and of being part of a historically important group is paid for with voluntary abandonment of an essential part of one’s being.
Avoid learning to give up responsibility for your own actions.