Daily we’re confronted with new things to learn — about ourselves, about others, about life on this beautiful planet and, yes, about business and technology, too. Some things we enjoy learning; other things are more of a chore. In fact, it can feel overwhelming at times trying to keep up with all of the things we have to learn. However, I am firmly convinced that lifelong learning is imperative for survival — our finances, mental health, and physical well-being depend on it! Besides, it just makes life more interesting.
There are different styles of learning. In school, we relied on memorizing facts until we took the test. Then we promptly forgot it. While memorization and gathering facts exercise the brain, the lifelong learning that serves us best is being able to see and implement the practical application of the information we’re receiving.
I’ve found that a mindfulness practice really assists me in assimilating information. It helps me to slow down and focus. I’m able to compare new information with what I already know and connect the dots. Then I can see how the new information can be used in many aspects of life.
Are you a lifelong learner? Lifelong learners have a number of characteristics in common.
- read books every day.
- skip TV and do something creative instead.
- exercise regularly because physical fitness makes them intellectually dynamic.
- like to challenge themselves and reach new goals.
- have diverse interests.
- never feel too old to learn.
- embrace discomfort, because they know there’s always a solution if you keep looking hard enough.
When lifelong learning is your way of life, you’ll have a competitive edge in today’s job market. You won’t feel stuck in your profession, because you know you can learn new skills that will advance your career and make you highly sought after as an expert in your field.
Being a lifelong learner slows down cognitive decline. Just as your body needs exercise, your brain does too. That’s why learning a complex skill like a new language or a musical instrument, is so good for you.
Lifelong learning makes you a happier and more interesting person. Boredom won’t rear its ugly head. You’ll always have something to talk about, so your conversations can be more deeply meaningful. There are so many benefits from lifelong learning.
As Leonardo da Vinci said,
“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.”
The only downside to being a lifelong learner is if you hoard the information and never use it. That would be like having millions of dollars, but you’re homeless and starving. For example, you can use your learning to reinvent yourself in the following ways:
- What was a mountain of debt is now financial independence.
- What was a job you hated is now a career you love.
- What was a lack of confidence is now a strong leadership presence.
- What was a negative attitude is now an optimistic one that sees opportunities.
- What was keeping you stuck now empowers you.
What changes would you like to make? Sometimes it can be challenging to take the leap from knowing information and using information in a positive and productive manner. I invite you to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s talk about the skills you have and the skills you still need to acquire to create the life you’ve always wanted.
Would you like to read more on this topic? Here are some of my other blog posts about lifelong learning: