“Anyone who stops learning is old, at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford.
There is a direct relationship between success and learning. If you look at today’s most successful people, such as Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Melanie Perkins, they all have a passion for learning continuously.
We may have already completed our formal education, but the culmination of everything (even outside school) we have learned in our life makes up who we are now. Today, let’s take a closer look at lifelong learning, its importance, its benefits, and the different ways we can keep building our knowledge and skills as we go through life.
What is lifelong learning?
You’ll find in most dictionaries that lifelong learning is defined as:
“the provision or use of both formal and informal learning opportunities throughout people’s lives in order to foster the continuous development and improvement of the knowledge and skills needed for employment and personal fulfilment.”
It’s necessary for us to grow and broaden our horizons, and it is a great form of exercise for our brain (our brain is a muscle, after all).
Why is lifelong learning so important?
Lifelong learning is important because it helps us stay mentally and physically healthy and provides us with the skills and knowledge to succeed in our everyday lives. It helps us to stay abreast of changes in the world, encourages us to think creatively, and helps to keep us connected to others. It also helps us develop our critical thinking skills and better understand the world. Ultimately, lifelong learning helps us to become the best version of ourselves.
The more you learn, the more knowledge you acquire. The more you do this, the more you become your true self. That’s one of the importance of lifelong learning; you discover new things about yourself. You also discover possibilities and are likely to be inspired by new ideas.
Other Benefits of Lifelong Learning
You don’t just know yourself more and expose yourself to more possibilities when you continue to learn. You also:
Develop more self-confidence
By adopting a belief that self-development is essential, you will get to know yourself better, enabling you to become more knowledgeable and skilled. You become more confident in everything you do, whether speaking to a big crowd, meeting new people, or doing a new task at work.
As years go by, we sometimes find ourselves stuck in a rut, doing the same routine, bored, and unmotivated. It’s likely that we have lost our passion for life because we stopped learning, or we’ve become so tired that we’re just running on autopilot. Continuously learning helps to stay fresh and observant.
It is good for us that lifelong learning reignites our flame for life. Coming across new ideas, learning and doing new things, and learning something new about yourself can be great “fire” starters.
With your motivation revived, so will your interests and drive to achieve goals. You’d also probably set new goals along the way, but the idea is to fuel this cycle of learning something new, setting new goals, and achieving them.
Improve your skills
You are also indirectly enhancing your other skills as you learn new skills. For example, as you learn how to budget, you’re also improving your awareness and self-discipline.
Practical Ideas to Continue Learning
Lifelong learning is not something you decide to do one day and then wake up the next morning with a renewed passion for life. You have to know how to start and cultivate the spark you started. To do this, you can try the following:
Developing a passion for growth
Developing a passion for growth is easier said than done. You have to draw inspiration from somewhere. For instance, you can get your inspiration from a great book, people who have dedicated their lives to personal improvement, or the satisfaction of accomplishing something.
Step outside your comfort zone
It’s a fact that mistakes can give you some of the most important lessons in your life that you will never forget. It can be painful to fail at something or mess up, but ultimately, the lesson you will learn will outweigh the negative emotions as long as your perspective is to learn and move forward. Learn to ask yourself, on a weekly basis, what you did this week to get outside your comfort zone.
Effective goal setting
Experts say your goal must be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If you check the goals you set against these factors, you’ll know that it will be attainable and effective for you.
Look for opportunities to learn
You have to be active in looking for opportunities to learn. Make sure to follow your curiosity.
Let’s say you saw a video about baking; if it’s something you have always wanted to try, then go for it. Also, it helps to try and get around people that also have the same desire to grow. This will help push you forward.
If baking isn’t your cup of tea, there are many different ways to engage in lifelong learning, such as attending seminars and workshops, taking classes, reading books, and listening to podcasts. Whatever method you choose, it is important to stay consistent and dedicated to learning new things.
Find a mentor to keep you accountable
Having someone with the experience to mentor you through your journey is beneficial. For instance, if your goal is to enhance your financial literacy, you may benefit from having a mentor who can keep you accountable for practising good spending habits. Read our blog on the benefits of having a mentor if you’re interested in having a mentor.
Your next steps
Lifelong learning should be part of your life if you want to achieve success. It’s not enough that we stop learning because we feel like we already know what we need. We must open ourselves up to more knowledge, possibilities, and living.
One of the first steps you can take is to enhance your financial literacy. This will ensure that you are financially stable throughout life and even generate wealth. If you’re interested in doing this, Help My Wealth can offer this through our learning modules.