Today, we’re going to discuss lifelong learning.
Are you a learner or a teacher? Before you answer that… Be careful! Why do I tell you to be careful?
Because anyone that claims they are a teacher and not a learner has a serious problem. The best teachers are lifelong learners.
I have said it before and will say it again… It was something my Grandfather, the late Marshall Boudonck would tell me:
“Greg, if you don’t learn at least one new thing each day, on the day you didn’t, that was a wasted day.”
Grandpa taught me many things, some of which others think he shouldn’t have (I speak of ferocious cuss words). But Grandpa was always learning and practicing what he learned and passing what he learned down.
Grandpa instilled the awareness in me that I must be a lifelong learner.
Here are the top 10 ways to practice lifelong learning.
Lifelong Learning #1: Mistakes = Opportunities
There are two ways you can look at mistakes…
- It can be the “end of the world!” Quit and give up.
- It is an opportunity to learn, grow and find the path to success.
If we were to interview 1,000 entrepreneurs, I believe if they were completely honest, 99.9% would say they made mistakes in the development of their product, service and business.
Those who are successful learn from those mistakes and create opportunities from them.
Lifelong Learning #2: Dedication
Lifelong learning requires dedication. It means a commitment to setting aside learning time in your schedule. The temptation of beer and television after that hard day may be strong, but it is better to go ahead and read those two chapters, attend that webinar or finish that online course because you are dedicated to lifelong learning.
Lifelong Learning #3: Carry A Book With You
One of the biggest excuses people use is time. But if we were to measure the idle, mindless moments each of us have throughout any given day, we would realize that using time as an excuse is, pardon me, Bullshit!
There are times when we are waiting… Why not carry an educational book and open and read while waiting?
Instead of just “twiddling your thumbs,” you will learn.
Lifelong Learning #4: Hang Out With Smart People
Who you keep company with tells a lot about you and whether you are a lifelong learner.
I suggest finding people who know more about different things than you do. Stay close to those people and you will learn from them.
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Lifelong Learning #5: Dream
What does dreaming have to do with lifelong learning?
By dreaming; dreaming big dreams, you will be inspired to go out and learn all you need to for achieving that dream.
So don’t shut down those dreams… Live them!
Lifelong Learning #6: Exercise
Exercise not only gets you into good physical shape, it also helps your brain functions.
Scientists have discovered that physical exercise helps us grow new brain cells and improves our long term memory.
So make sure to exercise daily to help your lifelong learning.
Lifelong Learning #7: Enhance Current Skills
Lifelong learning doesn’t just mean you need to run out and learn something you know nothing about. It also includes the refinement of things you already are skillful at.
Enhance your current skills by taking courses, reading books or getting mentored to become even better at that particular skill.
Lifelong Learning #8: Practice What You Are Learning
You can read books, watch videos, take classes or any other educational thing, but if you don’t practice what you are learning… Have you really learned anything?
I will use the example of changing brakes on a car. You can tell people that you know how to do it because you have read manuals and watched You Tube videos, but you have never actually gotten down there and come away with your hands full of grease.
The only way to really fulfill that learning is to actually practice what you learned.
As is said, Practice Makes Perfect, so part of lifelong learning is practicing.
Lifelong Learning #9: Teach
Here we have it… As I said in the first sentence of this article.
Believe it or not, teaching is learning… Lifelong learning.
Show someone else what you have learned and you will be learning more in the process. So you CAN teach and learn at the same time.
Lifelong Learning #10: Set Learning Goals
By setting learning goals, you will be more apt to reach for them. Without goals, we can be like a person swimming in the ocean and not knowing what direction is dry land.
- I will read # of books this month.
- I will attend 6 educational seminars this year.
- Or, I will get my Master’s Degree in 5 years
You see my point?
Set goals and you will be inclined to achieve them.
Bonus Lifelong Learning Tips
I gave you what I believe are the top 10 lifelong learning tips, but I am going to throw a few more out…
- Don’t multitask – Studies have shown that multitasking actually takes away from learning.
- Ask questions – It is a great way to learn. Just ask someone who knows how.
- Choose a career path that encourages learning – It is one of the great benefits of what I do… Freelancing! I am always researching and in doing so, I learn. Does your current career path foster learning?
- Observe the world around you – Sometimes it pays just to slow down and look at what is going on around you. Look at the plants grow, the bugs gathering their food or that hawk searching for prey. It is amazing what you can learn with observation.
I would love to hear your feedback… What are your priorities when it comes to lifelong learning? What have you learned recently?
You can share your comments and questions in the area below. I am glad you stopped in to read about lifelong learning today. Have a great day.
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur
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