Lifelong learning, what does it mean to you?
To me it means making the quest to learn new things part of who you are, what you do, and your everyday life. It means the desire to want to learn new things and always being open to learning. Gandhi said it best “Live like you’ll die tomorrow, learn like you’ll live forever”. It’s my favorite inspirational saying on lifelong learning.
I believe that lifelong learning has much more meaning and benefit to a person than just information or knowledge. It can impact character, perspective, outlook, friends, community, health, happiness and even longevity. Studies have been performed and articles have been written on the link between learning, happiness and longer lives. Being more open to learning new things makes a person more intellectually energized. It can also be more fun and will lead to new experiences. Lifelong learning is also a form of exercising one’s mind and keeps the mind more active and healthy. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has positive health effects and can help the brain against diseases such as alzheimer’s. I will have to research that.
Lifelong learners are more likely to help others and touch others. The continuous personal growth that could be achieved as a lifelong learner could lead to greater personal accomplishment. A lifelong learner is more likely to share one’s knowledge and wisdom with others. The desire for lifelong learning can also open a person up to help them better understand other perspectives, other cultures and to be more balanced and grateful.
Choose to have an open mind about things, about life, about most everything. Share your love for lifelong learning with others; spread the word and bring all of these life benefits to others. Have fun and live it up while you’re at it. Fun should be a big part of learning. Enjoying learning and the process of learning will encourage more learning.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I have been a lifelong learner for my entire adult life. I never really realized it or thought about it much, but I have always been a lifelong learner. One of my earliest experiences of the pursuit of learning for me was reading The Hobbit, by JR Tolkien, when I was about 10 years old. I couldn’t put it down and read the entire book in a couple of days. It opened my mind for the quest and need to learn. Another huge step was my college days at Duke University. What a learning and eye-opening experience that was.
Lifelong learning is a learning process in and of itself. There’s much that one can learn about learning. That’s another topic that we will explore in this blog.
Being a lifelong learner is not enough for me. I have a strong desire to bring the passion for lifelong learning to many others. I will build a business that does this, while also furthering my lifelong learning.