7 Reasons Why Continuous Learning is Important
Learning is essential to our existence. Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continued learning nourishes our minds. Lifelong learning is an indispensable tool for every career and organisation.
Today, continuous learning forms a necessary part in acquiring critical thinking skills and discovering new ways of relating to people from different cultures. To live a life without continuous learning is unthinkable.
“The only thing that is constant is change”, Heraclitus.
Change in your career, change in your personal life, change in your community and organisations. One of the most effective ways of dealing with change is with lifelong learning.
What is continuous learning?
Knowledge is now at everyone’s fingertips. Those not making use of this opportunity will remain where they are, their capabilities diminishing in its importance. These seven benefits should be reason enough never to stop learning.
1. Remain relevant
Don’t be left behind. Ensure you remain relevant to your industry by keeping up to date with trends and adapting your skill set. To function effectively amongst this rapidly changing world of technology, you need to learn new things to remain valuable.
2. Prepare for the unexpected
Lifelong learning will help you adapt to unexpected changes, for example, losing your job and having to depend on new skills to find work. By continuing to learn, you’ll more easily step out of your comfort zone and take on new job opportunities.
3. Boost you profile
When you’re always learning, you’ll keep improving and grow in your career and start to receive recommendations from colleagues and managers. The chances are that you’ll switch jobs multiple times throughout your life and you need to learn new skills to adapt accordingly.
4. Competence leads to confidence
Learning new things gives us a feeling of accomplishment, which in turn boosts our confidence in our own capabilities. Also, you’ll feel more ready to take on challenges and explore new business ventures.
5. Sparks new ideas
Acquiring new skills will unveil new opportunities and help you find innovative solutions to problems. This could earn you more money.
6. Change your perspective
Continuous learning opens your mind and changes your attitude by building on what you already know. The more you learn, the better you’ll get at seeing more sides of the same situation, helping you understand more deeply.
7. Pay it forward
Continuous learning isn’t just about you. Lifelong learning helps develop your leadership skills which then translates into fostering lifelong learning in other individuals, by encouraging them to pursue further education.
Find a learning style that works for you
Learning can take whatever shape or form works best for you. Different people have different styles of learning.
Visual: This style of learning associates information with images. Visual learners learn best when reading or seeing demonstrations, graphs, flow charts and brain maps.
Auditory: Auditory learners are people that learn best when information is reinforced through sound. They enjoy lectures and seminars, listening to music while studying and will frequently create songs about information to help them remember.
Kinaesthetic: This is the tactile style of learning in which people remember information easier when performing the activity, for example doing laboratory experiments or role playing.
How can managers create a culture of continued learning?
Managers need to walk the talk by providing access to learning opportunities and encouraging continued learning. You can do this by voicing your recognition of others improvements and efforts in learning new skills and provide words of motivation.
You could go a step further and implement dedicated times for actively learning new skills, for example on ‘Learning Friday’ employees could have an extra free hour to read business books, listen to webinars or practice new skills. You should also consider inviting speakers from within and outside your organisations to share their knowledge and expertise.
How to learn something new every day:
Resources for continued learning:
Always have a curious mind. Explore different topics and don’t be afraid to ask for clarity. Be inquisitive, and if your intent is sincere, there will be people who will help and support you in your journey.
Experiment, try out new things. Keep the momentum going. Keep learning and keep reflecting.
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and only cease at death”, Albert Einstein.
What techniques are you using to become a lifelong learner?
This article originally appeared here.