How to Become a More Competent Lifelong Learner

5 Things You Can Do to Train Yourself to Love Learning

Committing to becoming a lifelong learner is one of the most valuable decisions we can make to improve our lives.

There is a law of nature that states if something isn’t growing, it’s in a state of decline. As human beings, we grow when we challenge ourselves to do things we haven’t done before.

This can involve learning new things and taking new risks. If we stop learning, it means we’re starting to die. Those who don’t believe they can or don’t want to learn, are telling themselves they’re old.

Benefits of Being a Lifelong Learner

Being a lifelong learner will reap significant benefits, especially over the long-term. Some of the benefits include we’ll:

  • Have a sharper mind and be more alert.
  • Have more self-confidence.
  • Improve our communication skills.
  • Be better informed of future trends and anticipate better.
  • Attract or be more aware of opportunities.
  • Improve our problem-solving skills.

An advantage of being a lifelong learner is that we’ll keep ourselves mentally stimulated. This can help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, which affects a person’s ability to recall or process information.

Becoming a lifelong learner will bring about mental, emotional and physical benefits.

lifelong learner

How to Easily Become a Lifelong Learner

Here are five things we can do to train ourselves to love learning and commit to becoming a lifelong learner.

  1. Set clear learning objectives. We have to be clear on what we want to learn and why. Knowing what the payoffs will be is also helpful. We must know how what we want to learn is going to benefit us and others in our lives.
  2. Identify the person you want to become. Learning just for the sake of it is useful, but not a sustainable long-term strategy. Learning has to help us become the person we want to become. An action we can take is to define what we want our personal biography to be in five years time. We can then work backwards and identify what we have to learn to become that person we’ve defined.
  3. Schedule time for learning. Just as formal education is offered at specific times, we also must follow a similar practice. If learning is not scheduled, we’ll be relying on a “when we have time” approach. As we’re living busier and busier lives, if learning is not scheduled, something else will use up our time.
  4. Apply what you’re learning. We truly learn something when we apply it to achieve an intended outcome. The results we create is feedback from our learning experience. Based on the feedback we receive, we can make the necessary adjustments. A great way to apply what we’re learning is to teach it. When we teach something, we get to learn it twice.
  5. Find a support group or network. Peer support and accountability are powerful ways to stay committed to becoming a lifelong learner. When we’re in a supportive environment, it can motivate us to keep moving forward, especially if we think we’re not progressing. Having a support group, like a book club, for example, can make learning fun as well.

Sources for Lifelong Learning

The internet is the most obvious resource to use to learn new things. There are literally thousands and thousands of resources that can be found online. Some of the resources I’ve found useful include:

  • Google.com
  • YouTube.com
  • Udemy.com
  • TED.com or TEDx.com
  • Lynda.com

Conclusion

Those who embrace a growth or learning mindset will feel more satisfied about their lives and who they’re becoming. People who are better informed are often more interesting as they have a broader perspective of things.

Lifelong learning will help us develop more of our potential and become the best version of ourselves.

Action Step: Based on where you’re heading in life, identify three to five critical skills or mindsets you need to master. Create a learning plan for each of those skills and schedule time to learn them. It may be helpful to focus on one skill at a time, if it makes sense for you.

Question: What are other things we can do to become a lifelong learner.

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