Learn. This is a powerful word. This is a tool that you carry with you right from your birth till your death. If you give it up or lose this powerful tool, it’s bound to seize your growth.
Learning is important for man to survive on this Earth. It is important to learn- to adapt to the changes, to nurture our well-being, to succeed in our chosen field, to garner growth and to unlearn what we have learnt so that we can relearn the same thing in a new way.
Learning is not just about going to school and after two decades coming out as a graduate. It is a continuous process. It is about improving our horizons, updating our knowledge base, acquiring new skills, changing our thought process as we grow, and it is much more.
Learning is also about developing positive attitude towards the process of learning itself. Be it for professional growth or otherwise. We no longer have the luxury to once learn and finish it for the rest of our life.
What is hot today will go stale in next few days, such is the power of development these days. Therefore, it is important to keep yourself abreast of what is in today. This is particularly essential for personal growth and self improvement.
What is learning?
As per Wikipedia-
Learning is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences which may lead to a potential change in synthesizing information, depth of the knowledge, attitude or behavior relative to the type and range of experience.
Why is it important to become a life long learner?
Life long learning doesn’t necessarily mean enrolling to various courses or keep acquiring newer degrees. It is much more than formal education.
- Learning helps in building confidence and boost our self-esteem.
- It challenges our current beliefs and hence push us hard to either find root for our ideas or change them to support logic.
- Prepares us for adaptability and brings in gradual change in us so that the process of adapting will not be sudden and hence daunting.
- Learning is fun and can be motivational for further personality development.
- Your personality will be more charismatic and interesting to others because of your knowledge and ability to make any conversation more engaging and insightful. Consequently, you’ll be able to connect with people from different walks of life with ease.
- You will gain the ability to become more influential as well as solve greater problems. This can make you a leader or an influencer or even a spiritually enlightened soul- as they say- knowledge is power.
- It will help you to flex-out your brain and hence will help keep it sharp and healthy. I am sure you are aware of old age diseases such dementia and Alzheimer’s and how keeping yourself cognitively active can help in warding off such aliments.
- Opens up your mind to different perspectives, thereby, leading you to more understanding of any circumstance, event or issue.
I like the way Brian Tracy puts it-
There are three kinds of learning-
Maintenance Learning- Maintenance learning refers to you keeping current with your field.
Growth Learning- This is the kind of learning that adds knowledge and skills to your repertoire that you did not have before.
Shock Learning- Shock learning is learning that contradicts or reverses a piece of knowledge or understanding that you already have.
How to be a life long student?
- You need to decide that you want to be a learner all your life and never settle for what you already have learnt. Develop the growth mindset rather than having a mind that feels you are good enough.
- Look for lessons everywhere. You don’t have to confine your learning process to formal education. You can acquire practical skills on field, read books that are interesting to you, attend meet-ups and conferences, ask your friend who can help you as well as learn through trial and error method.
- Dig out for information about places where you can find better resources for you to learn any specific skills or acquire certain kind of knowledge. Random research might sometimes become overwhelming and useless at the end.
- Apply the formula- learn, practice and then teach. You’ll soon become master of what you’re trying to learn.
- Don’t be scared to take up new work that requires you to refine your existing skills or learn newer ones. In-fact look out for such opportunities so that you can grow.
- Become a good listener. Whether it’s listing to news on TV or your friends converse on a casual topic or your colleagues discuss new technologies, listening more and talking less means learning more.
- Pay heed to online learning resources such as Coursera, TED, Udemy, Youtube videos of great personalities, etc.
- Here’s another formula to work on- Learn, unlearn and relearn. Let go of old and outdated knowledge and update yourself with the ones which has replaced the older versions.
- Become a curious person and start asking questions to yourself- why and how- for anything new that you come across.
Shed out all your barriers and become a life long learner. Time, money, resources, etc. should not become hinderance to your growth. They are just the excuses you can make. Look past such constraints and you’ll find hundreds of reasons on why you should keep learning.
Are you a growth person and a life long learner? Share your secrets to become one.