While most people stop thinking about learning and education once they finish their degree, it is important to become a life-long learner. Keeping your mind stimulated helps prevent diseases and leads to a happier life. Learning is also a great way to find new interests, hobbies, and friends. Here are some tips to become a life-long learner.
Everyone has had the experience of dealing with a difficult teacher or another obstacle like a learning disability or life situation that made learning difficult. This may have given you bad feelings about learning or even made you believe that you cannot learn. Taking responsibility for your learning and realizing that those experiences don’t need to keep you from learning is an important step in becoming a life-long learner.
Once you can embrace learning as a process and something you want to do, it is time to start discovering how you learn best. Since you are not in a formal class or course, you will be able to structure your learning however it suits you best. You may learn best by listening to podcasts or reading peer-reviewed articles on websites like Oncotarget. You may be a more hands-on learner and learn by trying to do things. Drawing mind maps, rehearsing what you learned out loud, or having it explained to you in a video are all ways that might work for you.
Expand Your Horizons
Learning and trying new things is a vital part of keeping your brain stimulated. This promotes a growth mindset and helps you discover new areas of interest. If you feel curious about something, you should explore that. Try volunteering for a group you admire, try a recipe from a country you want to visit or try a new form of exercise you have heard good things about.
In our social media driven world where everyone is trying to showcase what they can do well and the things they are knowledgeable about, it can seem taboo to ask questions when you don’t understand. The only way to expand and learn is to ask questions and show a great deal of maturity. If you can be confident in yourself enough to admit that you don’t know how to do something and ask for help, then you will be well on your way to becoming a life-long learner.
Just like a bucket list helps keep us motivated to expand our horizons and try new things, having a learning goal list is important too. This can assist you in staying motivated to keep learning because it shows all the things you are excited about learning. Having a list is a great start, but it is also not the end. You need to then pick something off your list and make a plan. Are you going to sign up for an app to help you learn a new language? Are you going to sign up for a bakery contest in six months and need to perfect your recipe by then? Whatever you decide, make a specific plan and timeline for accomplishing your goal, so it doesn’t get continuously pushed to the back burner.