Life Long Learning


March 09, 2014

When did we begin learning? I think most of us understand the answer to this. When do we stop learning? I think we understand the answer to this also. However, I all too often run into people that think learning ended with high school or college. I run into others that do not challenge themselves to grow. Many do not understand the importance of continued self-development as we go through life.


Learning is a life-long quest. We need to continue seeking answers, understanding, questioning, thinking, and looking at things differently so as to fully develop as a person.


Many have put themselves out of the workforce because of their failure to continue development and learning how to grow in their jobs, or see opportunities in other jobs or careers. Industries fail as technology continues to make major strides and if you are not willing to learn new things, new technology, expand your horizons, you will be left standing still as life passes you by.


I read a statistic today that 87% of the people in the US use the Internet in some capacity. The 13% that does not is an incredibly large number. Add that to those that use the Internet for just mindless entertainment and this number becomes scary. Unfortunately, many are content with life happening instead of creating their own life, utilizing the resources available to them. I have no doubt that the frustration in the “ignorance is bliss” mindset leads to giving up and not trying. If I remember right, that is the perfect definition of FAILURE.


My Father was in his 60’s before computers, smart phones, etc. became the norm. Anyone could tell his reluctance to get involved and learn new technology. However, when he was retired he saw many of the things he loved were made easier through using a computer. He made the attempt and through trial and error succeeded in expanding his knowledge and do, at least what he wanted to do on a computer. I firmly believe that as his health deteriorated, his mind continued to grow and help him live several if not many years longer than he would have because of his embracing this technology.


Many of us hated reading when we were growing up and skated through school. Unfortunately, that reluctance continues for many as they grow into and through adulthood. Some choose not to read because they “do not have time” because of work and family. That is an excuse. The best part is that for those who read slow or hate to read or do not have time, they have other options. They can listen to cds, download books, their computer, watch dvds, etc. In fact, many of the most successful people I know attribute much of their continued growth to listening to cds in their cars as they commute to work or travel between appointments.


Movies, dvds, YouTube and some of the tv stations that specialize in educating instead of entertainment are also ways for one to continue their life long education.


Sharpening your saw through books, even reading a newspaper or the news on line, or attending seminars and workshops will be fruitful when one understands that if they learn one thing, take away one thing, get reminded of one thing that they know, but forgot, or quit doing, makes the time and money investment well worth it.


The best part of the books, cds, dvds, documentaries, seminars, workshops, etc.: they get you to think. Think about what is conveyed, analyze what is conveyed, compare it to what you already think and know, and then enable you to employ, if you choose, it.


Mentors and the people you associate with can also be a wonderful source of continuing education. Your interactions with them, listening to their views, asking questions, being challenged by them, giving and gaining their support, seeing how they handle things can all lead to a more education filled life.


Education does not end with high school, your 4-year degree, your graduate degree, or your doctorate. It does not end because you love your career, or have a family. Education must continue for your entire life. Who knows, that one thing you learn today, may help you enjoy living a longer life, make life easier, help you make more money, or even help you better provide for your family.


You don’t need to hit a homerun with what you learn, you just need to keep going forward—growing—learning—pursing life-long learning!