Your ability to expand your mind and strive for lifelong learning is critical to your success. By dedicating yourself to learning, you can get ahead in every aspect of your life.
Lifelong learning means exploring the things that make you tick, expanding your horizons and becoming an active participant in your personal and professional life.
Plenty of respected and successful leaders from Michelangelo to Eleanor Roosevelt to Gandhi have spoken about the importance of fostering a love of learning and of the ongoing growth of individuals.
Edward Hess in his book Learn or Die, talks about today’s increasing globalization and rapidly evolving technologies as the main reason that individuals and organizations must maximize their ability to learn.
As learning is the foundation for continuous improvement, operational excellence and innovation.
Information and knowledge on everything is increasing every day. This means that your knowledge must also increase to keep up.
Since you are still reading this article I guess you want to learn the importance of lifelong learning. Read the reasons to do so below!
10 Reasons for Lifelong Learning
1. Skill Up (Functionality)
In an age where skill sets can become obsolete in just a few years, many people are scrambling just to stay current.
Amidst a rapidly changing world we need to learn new things. Period. Whether it be learning to operate new machinery/ system, new process at work, or keep up with Social Media Marketing.
Building skills is a constant in an ever-changing world.
The new movie Hidden Figures paints the picture of how several women working for NASA in the 60’s saw innovation replacing their current roles and used both formal and informal learning methods to skill up and remain valuable.
Pursuing passions and interests outside of work (where you might have already done a lot of learning, or feel saturated) is important.
Check out more through the Generation Do-it-Yourself (Gen-DIY) campaign, which focuses on how this generation is creating new pathways through education into careers they love.
3. Purpose and Path
One term that has been used over the past couple decades when addressing purpose and path is “college and career readiness.” As groups like the School Superintendents Association (AASA) have taken another look at what readiness means, they’ve expanded readiness to include the concept of life ready.
This concept of life readiness refers to the development of perseverance, a growth mindset (at its core, a belief that we can all continue to learn and grow throughout our lives) and other social-emotional skills.
Likewise, college and career readiness guru David Conley and the team at EPIC Education Policy Improvement Center have added lifelong learning as a must.
For those that work for ‘the Man.’ Lifelong learning is vital when expectations of entree level jobs change or when you are looking to go embark on a new career path.
Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times during their career. Some cite even higher numbers. Both learners and learning providers are adapting accordingly.
University Ventures speaks to the important role of local entities including community colleges to focus on job placement.
5. Economic Imperative
Closely related to employability, according to a recent article in The Economist, learning is becoming an economic imperative. Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment. The ROI between education and employer is not as linear as it once was.
Elon Musk Tesla CEO and SpaceX, has mastered industries as diverse as software, energy, transportation and aerospace, shares 3 “secrets” that power his leadership:
Become an ‘expert-generalist’
Improve your ‘learning transfer’ skills, and
View knowledge as a ‘semantic tree.’
Consistent with Musk’s perspective and AASA’s emphasis on college, career and life readiness, College Spark Washington—a private foundation supporting education initiatives such as the College Readiness Initiative—has invested in impacting life opportunities for young people.
Program Officer Heather Gingerich says, “We’ve gotten way more interested in how effective instructional strategies help students become ‘learners’ in ways that extend beyond any one particular class or point in time.”
8. Social Awareness and Perspective
In order to truly empathize with others, increase social awareness and build relationships, we must intentionally seek out ideas that differ from our own.
This is critical not only to the health of individual relationships, but also the health of society.
We live in an era where you can fix pretty much anything in your home by watching a YouTube video.
This anytime, anywhere learning has created a DIY culture that allows people interested in everything from home improvements to crafting to cooking to learn practical skills that they may have otherwise hired out for.
We’ve all heard the stories of people who have actively learned their entire lives living longer. Health research has pointed to lifelong learning as one of the best ways for seniors to stay healthy. An active mind throughout your life has been proven to help you live longer and healthier.
Regardless of where you want to start or what type of learning you’d like to engage in, the sources for supporting learning are limitless.
All one must do is dedicate themselves to lifelong learning!
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Knowledge is the primary source of value in our world today. Your ability to expand your mind and devote yourself to lifelong learning is the key to breaking any success barriers that may be in front of you. All it takes is a commitment.