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8 Reasons Why Your Greatest Asset is Lifelong Learning

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An unquenchable desire to learn is one of the most powerful tools you can use to become a step closer to success. People who hate learning new things are less likely to become ‘someone’ than those who never give up on education and personal growth.

Fostering the desire to learn isn’t easy, but I’m sure the following reasons why lifelong learning is your greatest asset in life will make you fall in love with “everything” new and gain more experiences along the way.

Here are 8 reasons why lifelong learning is essential:

1. It broadens your horizons

Lifelong learners have incredibly wide horizons and they can’t quench their thirst for knowledge. They learn to do new things. They experiment. They communicate. They don’t leave the questions unanswered. They don’t dread to step out of their comfort zone and that’s what makes them greatly successful.

 

2. It helps you understand yourself better

Lifelong learning doesn’t only involve reading tons of books; it’s all about learning lessons from your mistakes and failures. It enables you to understand why you made those mistakes and why you failed to do something that you were totally sure you would complete successfully. Lifelong learning feeds your wisdom and boosts your success.

 

3. It helps you develop your natural talents

Everyone is born with certain talents and you’re no exception. When you keep developing, growing and learning the world, it’s easier for you to figure out the talents you were born with. As soon as you know what your hidden talents are, you will feel more in tune with your inner self and your overall life. Research shows that people who use their natural talents to make a living are a lot happier and more successful than those who fail to figure out what they are most talented at.

“True happiness involves the full use of one’s power and talents.” – John W. Gardner

4. Lifelong learning helps to be more adaptable

Gone are the days where people spent their lives working in one industry. Today, people who have many different skills aren’t afraid to lose a job because they’re confident that they will find another one. If you stick to one skill you possess, you’re less prepared for life changes, including job loss.

 

5. It helps you meet new people

We learn a lot from the people around us. The more people we know, the more new things we learn. Even lifelong introverted learners strive to get to know as many people as possible. This knowledge helps us to build strong relationships, differentiate the good and bad traits, and inspires us to improve ourselves.

 

6. You don’t care about the years

Age is not an obstacle to achieving goals. If you’ve ever met a lifelong learner who is 70 but keeps learning rather than waiting for death, you know how enthusiastic they are and how many goals they have. Lifelong learners don’t care about the numbers, they simply find a purpose in anything and everything they do.

 

7. It encourages you to take part in educational programs

If you’ve ever taken part in an educational program, you probably know how many people in the age range of 60 to 80 are involved in the program. Those are lifelong learners that still want to contribute to society and share their experiences with the younger generation. Those are wise and smart people who have spent their lives learning without a second of hesitation. Would you like to be one of them? Never give up on personal growth and take part in whatever educational program you have in the city/country.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” – Isaac Asimov

8. You live a life of purpose

There are so many lost souls who have no idea why they live – I’d better say “exist”. That’s a reason for a high suicide rate worldwide. Robin Sharma once said, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” It’s okay to feel lost at times – lifelong learners feel that way too. But, since they take an active part in making the world better, they still have a purpose. They live an enriching life full of knowledge, adventures, and different people.

Knowledge is a power and it’s up to you to decide whether to take a full advantage of that power or give up on it. Becoming a lifelong learner isn’t a trend, it’s a calling. All you need to do is to discover that calling in yourself.

Have you committed to being a lifelong learner? Please leave your thoughts below!
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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Rosita P Burlison

    Oct 23, 2018 at 4:18 am

    We are all born to learn to live a life. It is all up to us to know our purpose in order to live. As a baby we learn by ourselves, how to eat, walk and talk, but the best teacher we have are our parents. Being born to this world we all have the opportunity to survive but as we grow and survive we need many teachers and mentors to guide us in our journey.We have to grow and learn anything and everything until we cannot do it anymore and that’s the end of our lives.

  2. TH

    Apr 1, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    This: “8. You live a life of purpose” is the most important aspect of it I think. Without purpose you’ve got nothing that would get out of bed in the morning, lack of purpose/meaning is devastating. Good article!

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5 Simple Hacks to Help You Develop the Habit That Will Transform Your Life

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It’s excruciating when we know what’s killing us but we can’t do anything about it because as you know, it is not easy to pull the brake on a high way. According to Napoleon Hill, “remember this always – the best (and one might say the only) way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the undesirable ones”. (more…)

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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The Problem Is Not Actually the Problem: Here’s Why

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With my understanding of the Three Principles, which is deepening month-by-month, I’m becoming more curious about whether the ‘problem’ that we think we have, is really a problem. Not for one second am I dismissing a persons’ experience; I’m human after all and I encounter challenges and what I think are ‘problems’ just like the next person. (more…)

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5 Things You Can Do to Fend off Boredom and Stay Focused

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Curiosity is human nature and it’s only natural that humans will lose interest in a topic after a while. This has been a topic that has been extensively explored among children, teenagers and adults by a psychologist with similar results being reported from each of the categories. Human’s minds are therefore prone to boredom, making it important for each professional to spend some time to understand the factors that drive boredom and strategies the individuals needs to use to overcome boredom and focus on their profession and development. (more…)

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