5 ways to satisfy your desire for learning
If you look at the world’s most successful people – folks like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Jeff Bezos – you’ll find that they all have a love affair with learning. And it’s through this commitment to learning that they continue to improve and expand their value over time.
How to Win With Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning is “the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.” A commitment to lifelong learning allows you to constantly improve your existing skills, add new skills, find a new purpose and path when your interests change, enhance your employability, increase your income, and even live longer. (An active mind keeps you healthy in your later years.)
We’re living in an information age – which is good news for you. It means you have a bevy of mediums through which you can learn. Some are formal, while others are quite informal in nature. Here’s a small sample of some of the ways you can continue to learn over time:
The most formal of all learning, a university degree typically requires rigorous education and lots of learning along the way. It also has the added bonus of holding serious clout on a resume. Your ability to complete a degree program – whether two, three, or four-plus years – shows commitment and discipline.
The downside of a university degree is that it’s time-consuming and very costly. If you don’t have scholarships or some sort of financial aid, paying for a degree from a good university will cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go to a university to learn. We’re living in the age of information and there are online learning platforms that allow you to take world-class courses on almost any subject matter. This includes everything from marketing and accounting to photography and music.
The beauty of online courses is that they’re convenient (you can take them from anywhere), self-paced, and low-cost. You can learn much of the same skills as you would with a university degree at a small fraction of the price (and time). Your resume might not look as impressive, but that’s about the only difference.
The rise of the internet has given way to billions of pieces of digital content, but books will always have their place.
There’s something about a book that comes with a certain degree of authority. Anyone can hastily write a blog post or put up a YouTube video, but only certain types of people will take the time to write and publish a book. This typically means the information inside is more valuable and worthwhile (though not always).
There’s also something about reading a book that requires you to slow down and discipline your mind. And in a world where we scan, swipe, and scroll, this is a skill worth cultivating in and of itself.
Busy schedules don’t always allow for sitting down and taking a course or reading a book. But in times when you’re unable to dedicate all of your time and energy to learning, you can still immerse yourself in knowledge and grow your skills. Podcasts are the answer.
Podcasts are free, easy to access, and can be listened to while you’re driving, mowing the lawn, or cooking dinner. This allows you to turn any moment into a learning opportunity.
Have you ever heard of a mastermind group?
According to The Success Alliance, “Mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group helps you and your mastermind group members achieve success. Members challenge each other to set strong goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them.”
Whether you realize it or not, there are almost certainly mastermind groups in your career niche or area of interest. And if there’s not, you can create your own. The power of these groups lies in proximity. You get to network with other like-minded people, share ideas, and benefit from the knowledge and experiences of your peers.
Learn or Lag
You might think you can coast in your career, but as you’re casually strolling along, there are millions of other people – including people younger than you, your direct peers, and those above you – who are actively learning, acquiring knowledge, and cultivating new skills.
There’s no standing still in life. You’re either learning or you’re lagging behind.
What will it be?