Learning gives us the power to change ourselves and the world around us. It is a prerequisite for success and progress. There are plenty of opportunities to learn and develop. You can start small and pick up a hobby or pursue a formal degree and land a new job. In any case, there is always something new you can learn.
What Is Lifelong Learning?
Lifelong learning is an ongoing process that enables our personal and professional development. It is about analyzing information, planning, setting goals, and understanding how to apply concepts instead of simply memorizing them. It includes the ability to identify problem areas and use learning to fix those issues in our personal lives as well as in our communities or organizations.
Learning does not end with school, nor is it limited to textbook reading. Educational opportunities come in different forms and shapes. They are countless. We can learn from our daily life, the places we visit, and the people around us. Furthermore, all subject areas are available over the internet. You can find different resources and courses. Free and fee-based, lengthy and bite-sized, flexible and fixed, there is an option for anyone who wants to learn.
With formal learning, you can earn a degree or get professional certification. It is characterized by a fixed structure and schedule. People who need more flexibility choose informal education. This path gives more control over what, how, and when to learn. Let’s say you want to improve your writing skills. To achieve this goal, you can join a workshop or consult a professional buy essay online service to learn by modeling after others. Besides, MOOCs and educational platforms are always an option for those who need flexible and self-paced courses.
Why Lifelong Learning Matters
Any attempt to learn something new helps you to move forward. Here are seven benefits that lifelong learning has to offer.
It Grows Your Skills
The practical side of lifelong learning is the most valuable. It allows improving skills and becoming more educated. People with active and inquiring minds can cope with any task because they have a solid knowledge base (or know where to get information when they need it). Therefore, lifelong learning enables continuous improvement and promotes a growth mindset. It helps us to believe that we can do and achieve anything if we put enough effort into it.
It Builds Your Confidence
Feeling confident is an important part of success. It helps us to see our strong points as well as to identify the areas of improvement. Confidence that comes with lifelong learning will not allow you to think less of yourself or to be threatened by others. According to the survey published by the Pew Research Center, 87% of lifelong learners confirm that learning helped them feel more capable. When we recognize our unique set of skills and abilities, we know what we have to offer and where our expertise might be of use.
It Improves Your Decision Making
Lifelong learning gives us a broader worldview. It allows people to consider multiple perspectives when making decisions in their personal life or the workplace. The understanding of nuances, cause-effect relations, and connections between concepts is the foundation for making informed choices.
It Makes You More Employable
By maximizing your ability to learn, you become more employable. Any organization values people who can learn on the spot and adapt to new environments. It becomes essential due to the rapid advancement of technology that changes practices across all industries. Lifelong learners can stay ahead of the competition, while those who are reluctant to learn may find themselves failing to get better career opportunities.
It Helps You to Find Like-Minded People
It does not matter whether you study online or attend in-person classes; learning always includes a social component. When you enroll in a course or join a workshop, you become part of a learning community. It unites people with similar interests and goals. Thus, lifelong learning gives you a chance to find friends and widen your social circle. Take part in discussions, share your thoughts with others, and simply put yourself out there.
It Gives You a Sense of Fulfillment
Learning is actually enjoyable. We need it to satisfy our intellectual needs, which contribute to our wellbeing just like physical or emotional aspects of our life. Lifelong learning makes us more fulfilled as we open our minds to new opinions and perspectives. Whether it is a personal interest or professional development that drives us, lifelong learning helps us to uncover new dimensions of life and make it rich and meaningful.
It Improves Your Health
Lifelong learning provides a continuous workout for our brains, increasing our cognitive abilities and brain reserve. It becomes easier to sharpen our skills, socialize, and maintain emotional balance. Learning is especially beneficial for older people as it decreases age-related problems that might affect cognitive abilities.
Learning throughout life makes us active, confident, and self-sufficient. Most importantly, it contributes to our general wellbeing by supporting personal fulfillment and satisfying intellectual needs. To get started, determine what interests you and look around for possibilities. The most important thing is to start. It might be a short article or lecture, but it is already a good foundation to increase awareness and build from there.