Michelangelo was at the ripe old age of 87 when he said, “I’m still learning.”
From Michelangelo to Eleanor Roosevelt to Gandhi, they have all spoken of the need to foster a love of learning that never ends.
Learning is the foundation for continuous self-improvement, excellence and innovation. In this ever-changing world, where globalization and newer technological advances can be seen almost everyday, we need to be aware of and always learn about new technologies and skills to keep up with the changes.
Only 50 years ago was it possible to finish your college degree, move into a job, and work out the rest of your days within the same company. These days however, it’s been said that the average person changes their job between 10 to 15 times during the course of their career.
Due to the newer technological advances over the years, so many jobs have become obsolete. Either taken over by robotics or automated in some way. Therefore, technology continues to make jobs obsolete, giving us even more reason to continue learning well beyond school to ensure we stay competitive in today’s job market.
With a flexible and adaptive attitude towards learning, you can now create your own job through learning a new skill by teaching yourself everything you need to know, and use this as a gateway to self-employment and starting your own business.
There is also research that shows that keeping your mind healthy is one of the best ways to stay healthy well into your later years. An active mind throughout life has proved to keep you living longer and healthier. It can also help keep certain conditions at bay. Research shows that older people who stay cognitively active are 2.6 times less likely to develop conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider too, that life itself is an education. We are always learning, throughout everything we do in our daily lives. Learning does not only start at formal education from school – it starts much earlier when we are born, and when we begin to understand the world around us through our interactions with our parents and caregivers. Formal education from school and college follows after, but there are many other types of learning we undertake as well during life.
Self-directed learning as such, gives students the opportunity to control the pace and style of their learning. This can be done through online courses that allow students to undertake them at their own pace.
Professional learning on the other hand, takes place in one’s career, through professional development on the job, often funded by the company. Whereas informal learning takes place through watching YouTube videos, or television documentaries. It also includes reading books at the library and having conversations with friends. New relationships, travel and the world around you also expose you to new ideas and opportunities to learn.
In truth, we can’t escape a life filled with learning. Instead, we should embrace the world around us and the opportunities it presents to learn and grow. As the world turns, technology advances and the future draws near, we should stay alert and be prepared by embracing a love of lifelong learning.