As children do we have a natural ability and motivation to take up new interests (such as languages, sports, and musical instruments) which as adults we seem to lose? Are there too many social pressures on adults or are there other reasons for the apparent decline in a human being’s capacity to learn?

The learning ability varies from person to person. There are many factors that affect ones learning, age being one such factor. If children have a greater natural ability and motivation to learn than adults it is because studying is their main occupation and they have no other occupation. After the age of twelve their intellectual faculties like thinking and analyzing sharpen. Their grasping power is more. Till they complete their studies they have no responsibilities at home or work responsibilities. They can concentrate on studies fully. There are no worries or tensions that can distract their minds.

The adults have four major goals in life-personal, family, work, and social. Hence they have multiple roles to play. They are burdened with responsibilities like work, family and social life.  They have many targets to fulfill. The adults have to run the house, manage the kids, fulfill their little demands and also maintain a social life. They have to fulfill social obligations. Some may have problems related to work, business or family. 

The mind is preoccupied with many things. So they can’t study or learn anything properly.  Distracting thoughts are always present. It is wrong to say that the adults lose their natural ability to learn. The mind is never free. For the mind to be able to learn it needs to be totally free from worry or distracting thoughts so that one can concentrate well. No intellectual activity is possible if the mind is not free.

After middle age there is a decline in health and efficiency.

Ones attitude, ambition, determination and motivation are equally important. No adverse circumstances can distract the mind if the will power is strong.