Lifelong learners are never outdated at work

Sunday, December 10, 2017

In order to talk about lifelong learners, we have to ask ourselves: what is learning? The process of obtaining knowledge, you might say. The process that leads to gaining some skills or understanding. But how do we define it? How do we measure the extent of something which has been learnt? When can we say that we have learnt something and there is nothing more to learn about that particular subject? And how do we know we have to learn for a particular number of years, months, days?

Life does not stop teaching, so how can you stop learning?

People normally spend their first 20 years of their life doing some active learning. It all starts with the learning to walk and talk, which happens within the family. Then, most logically it’s time to join kindergarten, preschool and proceed to elementary and middle school. High school, college and university might follow. And then what? You are the proudest degree holder. Loud applause, please. Mission accomplished! Or isn’t it? Obtaining a degree and getting qualified is, of course, important, but does the learning process have to stop at this point?

Lifelong learners

Somebody once suggested that we should never stop learning. Why? Because life never stops teaching. Thus, individuals who are not willing to bury their inquisitive self together with their diploma somewhere in a corner of a dusty shelf, never stop searching for opportunities to learn. There are lots of professional development courses and trainings which will be able to fulfill your educational needs. The only thing you have to do is open yourself for those opportunities, take chances, and get the most of it.

Personality types

Studies have shown that there are two personality types - conservative and progressive or liberal. The first ones tend to follow traditional way of doing things and dealing with issues. The second ones are always searching for opportunities to make things better, and try something new. Some people naturally tend to be more like lifelong learners and have an intrinsic motivation to know more and improve things. It is easier for them to keep up with changes and adjust to them, while the others want to keep things as they are. Even if you have a tendency to be conservative, you should still try to learn new things.

Lifelong learners are always on the front line

It is not a secret that lifelong learners will never be outdated at work. The reason for that is simple. Those are the people with sharp minds, flexible and easy-going, people, who are willing to learn and alter their views. Those people are the most valuable employees, because they realize that you learn little things every single day. You learn it from doing your usual job, from communicating with people, interacting with others, and taking part in social activities.

It is not only about reading and listening to some audiobooks or lectures. It is about having an active life position, about being ready for an unexpected move. It does not matter, how old you are, what your social status is and how much money and effort you are ready to invest into personal and professional development. What matters is your desire to be a lifelong learner, to explore the world and its wonders.

I’ve known people who are over 50 and who are changing careers and taking some educational courses. They are about to start a new era in their lives, and it does not bother them that their classmates are decades younger than them. You see the sparkle in their eyes, this unmistakable sparkle which you always notice in happy people. They are all blooming from inside. There is some deep knowledge, understanding of the beauty and limitless opportunities of our life, which they radiate. Those people should be an example for those who are just starting their path of lifelong learning, because their life style and things they do are really inspiring.

Knowledge is a power, and to obtain this power one should start with themselves. The way you see the world is not going to be the same. Society will change over the years, as well as all the spheres of our life. There will be new inventions, new devices and services which existence was hard to imagine a decade ago. There will always be something you have not learnt during the years of your formal studies, simply because it didn’t exist at that time. Life is a constant movement, and learning is a lifelong process. Once you realize this you will never be the same. You will grasp every opportunity for self-development and improvement. And you will be the one to enjoy the results. Your work will be more effective, your approach will be called creative, and therefore, you will get more and more opportunities for promotion and building your career. So, why not to start this exciting journey of lifelong learning now? Why not to let all the stereotypes behind and let yourself take risks, learn something new, get to change your career or take a career break? Keep your thoughts sharp, your inquisitive mind busy. Keep asking questions. Nobody can promise you that you will get all the answers, but you will surely get more questions. And you will feel alive along the way.  You will feel that it all makes sense; your search is always meaningful. So, keep searching, and one day you will find the answers. And then, content and full of joyful knowledge, you will find a new something to search for. Learning should be an inevitable part of the life, because life itself is full of mysteries, full of questions and riddles. And if you are not even trying to find a solution to those, ask yourself what kind of life you are living? Become a lifelong learner and live a happier life.