The Importance of Lifelong Learning for Your Future

Jun 17, 2019 by

Many people think of learning as something that stops once they leave formal education, such as once they graduate high school or earn a college diploma. But, today’s world is one that is changing so rapidly that people must commit to being lifelong learners if they want to succeed in it. 

Being a lifelong learner means showcasing a constant curiosity about the things you see and experience in the world. Instead of just accepting things as they are, ask “Why?” regarding those things that you notice. By taking that approach, you’ll see that learning is something that can and should happen naturally. It’s not something you need to force. 

Learning By Doing

One of the ways you can become a lifelong learner is by realizing that learning happens by doing. You cannot merely decide that you want to be a lifelong learner and sit back and relax. Instead, you have to consciously look for ways to make lifelong learning a priority. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit and noticed there’s an introductory knitting class happening at a community center. 

If you make a move by signing up for that class, you’re taking initiative by making good on a long-held intention. Depending on how things go with your newly acquired skills, you may discover that knitting is something you can do to relieve stress or even earn some money on the side by making handcrafted knitted items and selling them at fairs and festivals. 

Lifelong learners have growth mindsets, which means they believe it’s possible to grow and develop current and new skills over the course of a lifetime. In contrast, people with fixed mindsets think that skills are innate characteristics. For example, if a person with a fixed mindset says “I’ve never been a good writer,” they’ll think it’s not possible to improve at writing. 

Being a lifelong learner and having a growth mindset should make it easier to continually feel fascinated while living your life. You’ll start to view the future as having endless possibilities and feel that you can seize as many of them as you want. 

That mindset also makes you well-equipped to take on new work at your job or be a self-starter when you notice incomplete or unassigned tasks. Then, your boss may decide you’re an excellent candidate for a promotion because you’re not afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and do unfamiliar things. 

You’re Never Too Old

As a lifelong learner, you’ll also discover that you’re never too old to grow your knowledge. For example, maybe you’re trying to fill your schedule as a recently retired person who’s interested in science. In that case, you could visit the social media profiles and supplementary webpages of publishing companies such as Bentham Science, which has a LinkedIn profile and Facebook presence. 

Also, Bentham Science Publishing publishes more than 80 open-access journals and e-books, and you could decide that you’ll do something specific to further your learning and become more up-to-date with all things science by reading some of those publications. Doing so on your own time allows you to work through the text at a feasible pace.

If you have friends with shared interests, another thing you could do is read particular journal articles together and compare notes at the end. You’ll undoubtedly come up with some questions and insights that will be different from what other people took from the text. Discussing them starts exciting conversations that could make your learning progress even more. 

Always keep in mind that although learning can certainly take place in a formal classroom, it’s not an absolute requirement. You can learn for the rest of your life simply by being curious about your world and intent to understand more about it whenever and however possible. 

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