Why you need to become a lifelong learner

By   /  June 21, 2016  /  No Comments

If you are to stop and ask an ordinary adult when they stopped learning they will probably tell you it was after college or school. If you are to stop and ask an exceptional adult the same question they probably will tell you learning is a lifelong activity that continues till death. What the exceptional individual understands (and what the ordinary folk miss) is the concept of ‘lifelong learning’ and its benefits. From its simplest definition lifelong learning is learning that literally never stops at any point in any individual’s life. Lifelong Learning Council in Queensland proposes that “lifelong learning is learning that is pursued throughout life: learning that is flexible, diverse and available at different times and in different places. Lifelong learning crosses sectors, promoting learning beyond traditional schooling and throughout adult life”. Definitions aside and practically speaking, what entails lifelong learning and how can an individual in-cooperate it into their lives? Well, deducing from the definitions above one can safely say that the mindset required at any such endeavour is that of steady effort at learning and continuity. In addition an individual can:

  • Develop a habit of reading-An individual can keep themselves up to date by reading newspapers, journals, trade articles and books. With the nearly ubiquitous internet access these days not reading is definitely a person’s choice.
  • Take a course-an individual can also take a course in any field of interest. Courses can be taken formally, at an institution of higher learning or informally, through the many available MOOCs.
  • Be a member of an association-Various association exists that serve the purpose of providing learning and networking opportunities for their members. These associations serve different niches such as finance, health, engineering and the arts.
  • Be a curious person-curiosity is usually the fuel that powers lifelong learning. Without that passionate curiosity it really is difficult to sustain any form of learning.

Benefits of lifelong learning

  • You stay young-research has shown time and again that the people whose minds stay young and invigorated are those whose minds are always active. As the saying goes in neuroscience “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.
  • You become charismatic-the more widely read an individual is, the more likely it is that they can pick up a conversation with literally anyone and on any topic-be it the arts, science, military issues and economics. This can increase one’s opportunities in life.
  • You earn more-in the workplace individuals who are ahead of the pack in terms of information are more likely to be promoted hence the potential of earning more.
  • You understand the world better-with lifelong learning a person is equipped to understand how the world functions and that places one in a position to navigate their way through situations and circumstances.

Are you a lifelong learner? Make it a point to become one this year.

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