Habit 9: Lifelong Learning from The “Habits for Well-Being” Series
It’s funny. I actually thought the start of this headline was my own phrase. Not that no one else ever said it but it still felt “new” to me and then I came across where I most likely heard it before.
It’s a powerful statement that speaks to the importance of lifelong learning. This post wraps up the “Habits for Well-Being” Series. I did it! I was able to stick to one post per week for the entire series. There was the occasional slip from the plan of posting every Monday but I was able to get one out every week for 9 weeks straight. I am pumped! And I LEARNED a lot.
It is hard to rank the habits in order of importance. They each play a critical role in our balance and well-being but Lifelong Learning most certainly needs to be somewhere near the top if you really want to rank them.
In this final post for the series, we will discuss why lifelong learning is so important and how it can lead to growth in all aspects of your life. It will also provide tips on how to incorporate reading into your daily routine for maximum benefit.
So if you are looking for ways to grow and stay sharp no matter what age or stage of life you are in, read on!
What is Lifelong Learning?
Lifelong learning is the process of continuously acquiring knowledge throughout one’s life. No matter how old you are – you don’t know everything! This is probably the most important for younger readers to understand. It is interesting in that the older you get the more you realize how little you know. We all were sure we knew it all in our late teens and early 20s, right? Well, YOU DON’T!
Lifelong learning is an ongoing process that involves reading, attending classes or workshops, participating in seminars, taking online courses, and engaging in meaningful conversations with knowledgeable people. This type of learning allows individuals to stay informed and up-to-date on current trends and topics, and to foster intellectual growth. It is a process you need to include throughout your entire life!
Why is Lifelong Learning Important?
Lifelong learning can provide numerous benefits, both personally and professionally. Here are just a few of the reasons why reading and acquiring knowledge should be part of your regular routine:
1. It allows you to stay informed on industry trends, especially if you’re in a career field that evolves quickly. Don’t be left behind. You must continuously learn in order to remain relevant. This is not to say that your past experiences are no longer valuable. In the end, we are mostly doing the same things in different ways and your experience in those areas is valuable. Learn new ways to put that experience to better work.
2. It helps to keep your mind active and alert as you age, thus reducing the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keeping your mind active and alert is just as important for the younger helping you grow and challenge some of those fads and social media-driven expectations that simply aren’t fueling healthy growth. There is more to life than what those supposed “influencers” are telling you. Start putting some time into your growth instead of theirs!
3. It can help you become more successful in your work or business by providing knowledge of new techniques or skills that could improve your performance. It feels like technology and the world for that matter are moving at the speed of light. You have to be curious and engaged to keep up. Again, for the younger, don’t discount the wisdom and knowledge of those generations that came before you. They build the foundation for everything you currently have! Engage, learn, accept, acknowledge, and grow!
4. It can open up new career opportunities, as well as networking contacts and mentors who could help take your career to the next level. That next step in your career or life for that matter can be right around the corner if you are curious enough to continue learning.
5. It can give you a greater sense of fulfillment, which is especially important if you’ve been feeling unfulfilled in your job or life in general. It seems so simple. If you are unhappy with your current position in either your job or life – what do you need to learn to fix it or take that next step? Trust me, I have to remind myself of this every single day as well.
6. It can broaden your worldview and help you better understand the world and people around you. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Learn empathy for those that may be struggling. Accept those that might have a different look on life. Be grateful for the luck the universe has brought you. We are all in this together and none of us are getting out of it “alive.”
How to Incorporate Lifelong Learning Into Your Life:
1. Set reading goals for yourself – aim to read a certain number of books or articles every month so that reading becomes an integral part of your routine. Start with one a month. If you haven’t read it yet I would recommend you start with The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz.
2. Make reading a daily habit – find time in your day to read, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. This could be while commuting to work (audio if you are driving :)) or before bedtime, etc.
3. Take online classes – there are more and more free online courses available where you can learn new skills or brush up on old topics. You can find a list of Free Online courses you can complete in a day from Coursera Here.
4. Attend seminars or workshops – this is a great way to gain knowledge from experts in different fields and make meaningful connections as well. To all my fellow introverts out there – you have to talk to someone! Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to grow.
5. Talk with knowledgeable people – conversations are an important part of lifelong learning, so find opportunities to talk with people who have experience or expertise in the areas that interest you. Hell, talk to your neighbor. They are right next door. You can also make progress on your Social bucket by doing so.
6. Teach – Sharing your wealth of knowledge can be so valuable to those younger than you and in return, you will learn about their world and find ways to better relate. Again, in the end, we are all doing the same thing in different ways. Be a mentor to someone who is looking to grow even if their naivety drives you insane. (maybe that’s just me :))
Lifelong learning is an important part of keeping your mind sharp and staying engaged in the world around you. With a little dedication and effort, reading can become an integral part of your daily routine. So go ahead and start reading today – who knows what amazing opportunities it could lead to!
The key takeaway here is this: reading and acquiring knowledge can help you stay informed, foster intellectual growth, create new opportunities for yourself, and give you a sense of fulfillment. So start reading and never stop learning!
The wise words of Albert Einstein are definitely worth remembering – when you stop learning, you start dying. So don’t let that happen – keep reading and learning for life!
Good luck on your lifelong learning journey and happy reading!