We all want to leave 2020 behind us. If you haven’t started already, now is a great time to begin thinking about what you want to achieve in 2021. Why not become a lifelong learner?
A lifelong learner is someone who keeps acquiring new skills and capabilities well past the formal education years. Lifelong learning involves not only studying new topics, but also developing an open-minded and positive attitude towards life in general.
My mother has always been a role model for me. At age 50 and with 6 children to raise, she decided to take some evening classes in English, management and computer science. During the 1st lockdown in March, I didn’t want to binge-watch on Netflix nor constantly watch the depressing news on TV. I read books on copywriting and blogging, and I learned to build websites using WordPress.
Why is lifelong learning important?
We often hear that the job of our children and grandchildren doesn’t exist yet. We want to remain relevant and successful in our careers.
Adopting Lifelong learning:
- Promotes soft skills that are valued in the workplace
- Encourages us to get out of our comfort zone
- Demonstrates to others we can adapt
- Helps us achieve personal fulfillment and satisfaction
- Encourages us to improve our quality of life
How to become a lifelong learner?
1. Change your mindset. You have to accept that skill acquisition requires effort. Improvement is possible. When I learned building websites, I was definitely outside of my comfort zone. I enjoyed the challenge.
2. Own your future – Take responsibility for your future. Who should you blame for your lack of opportunities or your career struggles? We cannot rewrite the past. We can only look towards the future. We have the power to mold our progress.
3. Identify your interests and goals. It is about you and not the others. We all have a passion. What are you passionate about? Make a list of what motivates you. Mel Robbins says in the CreativeLive masterclass “How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence” that to find out what you are passionate about, you have to think of someone’s achievement. If you feel “jealous”, it means that you are interested in that field. Personal development helps you discover your passion which stimulates learning.
4. Step into your full potential – Make that commitment. Since the pandemic, I have more time for myself because I don’t commute anymore; I save 4 hours per day, and I don’t need to drive my 3 kids to their activities. It gives me more time to listen to podcasts, watch tutorials on YouTube and read different materials.
Benefits of lifelong learning
We never have to stop learning. We use other skills to learn something new including problem-solving, leadership, critical thinking, and creativity. I improved in the following areas:
Learning new things keeps me busy. I have the motivation to grow while getting out of my comfort zone.
It helps me in my day-to-day at work. I’m so used to search for info and not get discouraged; I dig until I find the solution. I grasp new materials faster because I train my brain to constantly receive new information. When I watch a tutorial video on YouTube, I watch it once and I can reproduce what I just learned.
It helped with my self-confidence. I’m knowledgeable about difficult topics, and I’m proud of it.
You need to have the will to be a lifelong learner. We live in times with tons of opportunities. We need to learn to adapt. We need to learn to reinvent ourselves.