Many years ago, a college education was all you needed to be successful in a lifelong career.  But with business today moving at a breakneck speed, keeping up with the constant changes requires a daily commitment to keep up.

Why You Need to Commit to Lifelong Learning

life long learning

Climbing the corporate ladder is one of the obvious reasons for making lifelong learning a priority. Even if your company doesn’t have a reimbursement program, taking classes or other informal learning methods will help you to advance in your field.  It can also be the gateway to starting your own business!

Lifelong learners tend to be better leaders because they are able to connect better with people and be more influential.  With a wider knowledge base, you will be looked upon to tackle issues and overcome challenges.

Your brain will thank you!  Lifelong learning keeps your mind young and staves off old age ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Just as exercise is great for your body, exercising your brain is equally important.

Lifelong learning helps you feel more satisfied with life.  According to Dan Pink in his book Drive, the three things we need to feel satisfied with life are: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  These psychological needs are met when we continue to learn.

As a lifelong learner, you get to choose what you want to learn and have a renewed sense of purpose in life as you set goals for your self-education.

How Do I Become a Lifelong Learner?

First of all, you need to have the mindset that you can continue to learn well into your 80’s.  People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve themselves through work and practice.

-Set goals.  Have a bucket list of “things to learn.”

-Always have a book to read.  It doesn’t matter how long it takes to read the book.

-Spend time with friends who have a similar belief in lifelong learning.  This will help keep you motivated.

-Practice what you learn.  It isn’t enough to just read or learn about something.  Apply your knowledge. Once you get good at something, teach others.  Have a Lunch N’ Learn at work, start a blog, or mentor someone.

-Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.  Having too many convictions can lead to fewer new ideas.

-Join workshops or organizations that teach skills.  Learning can and should be fun and social.  You will learn new things and meet new people.

Learning doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.  There are many free or very inexpensive options online.

Assuming your early learning experience hasn’t crushed your soul, learning is a great activity.  The knowledge you gain can improve your life and expand your viewpoint.  Heck, it can even be a great source of enjoyment!