As industries continue to evolve and the nature of work becomes more dynamic, lifelong learning is becoming increasingly essential to stay competitive.
More and more, people are realizing that education is a lifelong process, not something limited to the years of formal schooling.
Lifelong learners continue to study, learn new skills, and try new things. They’re curious, open-minded people who continually adapt to change.
Lifelong learning became a requirement for me early on. As an Environmental Studies major who decided to build companies in the publishing and music industries while in college, it quickly became clear to me I needed to pursue learning opportunities beyond the classroom in order to make an impact.
I'm a big believer in seeking out new skills and using the digital resources we have at our disposal today.
Top Examples of Lifelong Learning
So, what does lifelong learning look like? The truth is that there are many ways to engage in it. The beauty of learning continually throughout your life is that you get to choose what, when, and how you learn.
Here are some examples of lifelong learning to get an idea of how you might learn:
Taking a course
Don’t let your education come to an end once you’ve finished high school or college. Lifelong learning means taking advantage of opportunities to learn about a topic that interests you, whether it’s through an in-person or online course.
It could be a course to learn a new skill for work, to learn a new language, or to improve your creative writing skills. Online courses are an excellent way to keep learning on your terms.
Gaining a new skill
Everyone learns in different ways, but it's common for people to learn a new skill by taking classes or trying it out themselves.
Some skills, like salsa dancing and playing the piano, have official classes you can take, but plenty of other skills, like baking crème brûlée, can be self-taught through trial and error.
Researching a fascinating topic
If you have an interest in something, you can take it upon yourself to learn more about it.
You might be a fan of the Golden Age of Cinema and decide to read up on old filmmakers.
Or maybe you’ve just found a podcast that covers financial tips for dummies. You can learn outside a classroom if you’re willing to go looking for it.
Familiarizing yourself with new technology
Plenty of jobs require you to use complex technology or software applications. Playing around with new tech can help you get a handle on it so you can take advantage of all it has to offer.
When you invest in new technology and learn how to use it, that's an example of lifelong learning.
Pursuing personal development
One of the best examples of lifelong learning is having a hunger to know ourselves better.
When you pursue things like meditation, self-discovery, and even therapy, you’re engaging in the process of learning more about yourself and how you work.
This is a worthy area of study that can never be fully explored.
6 Benefits Of Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learners experience countless benefits that those with closed minds do not. These include:
- Better work performance
The more open you are to learning, the better your career will be. Lifelong learners continually gain new skills, improve their performance and learn from everyone around them.
Strive to treat every experience as a learning opportunity and a chance to grow.
- A healthier mind and body
Learning something new can have a profound effect on your health. Not only does it help your mind stay sharp, but it can improve your mental wellbeing and self-confidence.
It also keeps you mentally (and sometimes physically) active, which improves both your energy levels and your overall wellness.
- Improved self-confidence
The more you learn, the more skills you acquire.
As a result, lifelong learners are constantly improving, overcoming obstacles and fearlessly taking on new challenges.
They’re building themselves into the people they want to be, which allows them to tackle whatever life throws at them with self-confidence.
- Valuable new skills
Lifelong learning gives you new skills that can change your life for the better.
You’ll become familiar with a wide range of topics, more adept at using technology, and more cultured. You’ll gain hard and soft skills that help you navigate work and social life.
Whether these skills are for personal pleasure or professional gain, they will enrich your life and expand your social circle.
- Greater self-awareness
Many people wander through life without truly understanding who they are and what they want. It’s difficult to find out what motivates us, inspires us, and strengthens us.
Lifelong learners discover the things they like and the things they don’t.
They also gain a greater understanding of what interests them, what nourishes them, and what they need to do to succeed with self-awareness.
- Stay up to date
Being out of touch with the rest of the world is one of the worst parts of having a closed mind.
You’ll struggle to keep up with new technology, feel excluded from many conversations, and find yourself overtaken at work by people with up-to-date knowledge.
Being a lifelong learner allows you to stay current, educating yourself with the latest innovations to make sure you keep up at work and in life.
Tips To Start And Be Engaged With Lifelong Learning
If you’re interested in becoming a lifelong learner, just know that it's worth it and learn the true benefits of lifelong learning. There are a few tips you can follow to get started.
These tips and examples of lifelong learning can be practiced daily to help you make continuous learning a habit, helping you get through the temptation to quit when you face obstacles.
Try new things
The best way to see what interests you is to try new things. Indecision can paralyze us, so it’s best to move forward even if you aren’t sure of the outcome.
If you want to learn to speak a new language, find a class that seems interesting and take it. Even if you decide in the end that learning a new language isn’t for you, you’ll learn more about yourself than if you had simply done nothing.
Having an open mind is key to being a lifelong learner. When new opportunities present themselves to you, don’t ignore them.
Ask questions, be curious, and feel free to explore. When you choose to be curious in the unknown, you open yourself up to new opportunities to learn and expand your horizons.
To make sure that you’re continuing to learn new things, set regular goals for yourself.
Maybe you want to spend a certain number of hours a day learning a new skill, or take a certain number of classes by the end of the year.
If you have measurable and achievable goals, it’s easier to show up for your dedication to learn.
Find fellow learners
It’s a lot more fun to learn something when you’re doing it alongside other people. If you take an online course, get in touch with other members who have the same passion as you.
This can help you find new courses or groups from which you can learn even more.
Your fellow learners can also share their knowledge and advice on their own learning journey, which can inspire you to keep growing.
Getting Started With Lifelong Learning
I believe that people should be able to pursue courses that match their personality and interests rather than be forced into a narrow set of educational options.
That’s why I created Audo, an online learning and career-building destination that connects people with the resources to discover their passions and the courses they need to get ahead.
Audo guides you in the learning and self exploration process, using A.I.-driven recommendations to help you find which online courses are the best match for you and your goals.
Audo rewards lifelong learners by giving individual and effective examples of lifelong learning to acquire new skills and start earning money.
Learning throughout your life can help you improve your wellbeing and mental health, build new relationships, and more.
By committing to lifelong learning, you open yourself up to new opportunities and the chance to create a better future for yourself.