There are lots of things that a person needs to do to become and maintain a successful life, no matter what their definition of being successful is. However, I believe that one of the essential qualities is to be a lifelong learner.
If you have ever heard someone say that they know everything, whether it’s about a subject or just in general, I can assure you that they don’t. Simply put, we don’t know what we don’t know. There is always something else to learn, always. This is especially true when it comes to things that are constantly changing, like technology for example. Sure, there are subject matter experts who are people who know more about a topic that most others. But, things change, the way we do things changes, and information changes.
The only way to move forward and make progress, whether as an individual, a team, or a business, is to acquire more and new knowledge. I am a lifelong learner – I consistently look for new information, new people to learn from, and new ways to learn things. Through each new interaction with someone I constantly observe what they do, how they do it, what their behavior reflects, and if what they are doing is something I would like to know or may be useful knowledge to me.
This should be something we do in our professional and personal lives. Lifelong learning is the voluntary ongoing search for knowledge. Doing this in our professional lives will help us excel in whatever area we have chosen to work or study in because the more we know, the more attractive we will look to employers. Doing this in our personal lives will help us to grow through our personal relationships.
Overall, constantly learning new things in any aspect of our lives will:
- Increase our self-esteem
- Motivate us to learn more
- Increase our personal and professional development
- Create self-sustainability
- Enhancement of social inclusion
- Make us more effective and competitive
- Ability to live a fuller and well-rounded life
- Increase our deeper understanding and appreciation
- Hone our skills
- Increase overall mental health
- Decrease likeliness of developing Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other diseases of the mind
Through being open to learning new things, we’re allowing new information to enter into our brains, thus teaching us how to be more open-minded in other aspects of our lives. This will help in our personal and professional relationships. If you start learning about something that becomes uninteresting to you, then change what you’re researching. There may be some topics that you thought would be really interesting, but aren’t. If it’s for pleasure, then change the topic. However, if it’s something for your job or to increase your career, then I would recommend continuing with the research. There are lots of things I’ve sought out to learn about, but I thought was a bit boring; however, I continued on my quest for knowledge because I wanted to increase my chances to enhance my career.
No matter what you’re learning about, keep it up. Don’t stop, don’t become discouraged, and don’t let anyone stop you. You won’t be sorry.