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Learn for Life

Becoming a life-long learner is not something you can do overnight. It’s an endeavor that will quite literally last your lifetime. Although that may sound like an overwhelming amount of work, it isn’t. Instead, becoming a life-long learner will take some practice, intention, and the creation of new habits. Once you’ve established routines that support self-teaching, you can be ready to learn something new every day for the rest of your life!

Feel the Learn

A person stands in front of a brick wall and puts their face into an open book.

As you work to achieve a life of limitless learning, consider what actions you can take to exercise your mind. If you want to learn today, tomorrow, and every day, here are some habits and routines that life-long learners have in common:

  • Reading regularly (daily if possible). 
  • Seeking opportunities to improve. 
  • Setting goals and tracking progress. 
  • Embracing and accepting change. 
  • Leaving their comfort zone.

Introducing these practices to your life will certainly boost your brainpower, and if that doesn’t feel like enough, here are some more regular actions of those who love to learn.

What Should You Learn?

The interior of a large library, with two floors of bookshelves, has six busts at the entry of each bookshelf, and one ladder.

When considering what you’re going to learn next, you might feel a bit lost. Who would blame you? There’s no shortage of new things to learn and study, so it’s bound to seem like a big step! But don’t worry, with these suggestions in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down your next move.

Skills

Regularly learning and practicing new skills is highly beneficial for your neurologic health. Not sure what skill you want to develop? Here’s a list to get you started: 

  • Practice public speaking. 
  • Learn a new language. 
  • Exercise in a new or different way (this increases the mind-body connection). 
  • Try cooking something you’ve never cooked before.

If none of these skills are interesting to you, try finding an activity that will aid in your personal development.

Studies

In addition to gaining new skills, continue to brush up on the topics that you want to know more about. Conduct self-guided research, read more (or listen to audiobooks—but reading is more beneficial), and practice what you’d like to improve. That may mean studying people who are masters of the subject you’re interested in. 

People

Life-long learning is also promoted by connecting with people. Whether you’re sustaining current connections or building new ones, you are learning more about yourself and about others. After all, people change and with that comes perspective change. If you have a friend whose perspective has changed, ask them what encouraged that change. Don’t be afraid to dive in and inquire about people’s views, beliefs, and values. Strengthen your old bonds and search for new ones. You never know how insightful a stranger can be. 

What Should You Unlearn?

A hedge maze sits on a property with a tree in the middle.

You probably didn’t think that becoming a life-long learner would include unlearning, did you? Well, it turns out unlearning is actually a big part of the process! After all, the willingness to rethink what you already “know” is how we’ve made so many advancements in humanity. For a long time, everyone was certain that our solar system rotated around the Earth, not the sun … whoops.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine what you’re doing right now that you may want to rethink:

  • Am I searching for new ways to grow? 
  • Could my communication habits be improved? 
  • Are my goal-setting methods working for me?

After asking yourself these questions, click this link for even more, as well as for information on why unlearning is so important.

Learning Isn’t Always Easy

A wastebasket contains one crumpled piece of yellow notepad paper, with two more crumpled papers on the floor outside of the wastebasket.

Whatever you decide to learn, unlearn, or relearn, just know that it won’t always be comfortable. Change is a hard adjustment and changing yourself is even harder. However, if you open your mind and embrace that nothing stays the same, you’ll be a little more at ease in the process. You may try learning how to play an instrument, how to craft the perfect speech, or how to break the ice more effectively during introductions with new people. Heads up … all those things are going to be difficult, and you probably won’t succeed on the first try. But that’s okay! Failure is healthy and encourages you to do better, think bigger, and prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

One element that we believe can help anyone through big changes in life is faith. Throughout our struggles and obstacles, our faith has been a constant reminder to keep moving forward—which is why it’s so important to hold onto your faith.