Learning is a lifelong process and its benefits keep multiplying. Putting in the time, energy and curiosity to keep an educated mind will make you a more well-rounded person and lead to all sorts of doors opening that might otherwise stay closed.
The Many Types of Lifelong Learning
There are many ways to keep learning long after you’ve left the halls of high school or university behind. Some of the many ideas for lifelong learning include trying out new skills like cooking, computer coding, speaking in public, knitting or birdwatching, teaching yourself a new skill like a language, field or study (anthropology, biology, business or art to name a few), learning new sports and activities from taekwondo to yoga and educating yourself on new technology.
There are many free online courses and books that will help you on your journey to keep learning as well as a number of drop-in classes and activity groups that you can join to meet others who share your interests and passion for feeding their minds.¹
Improve at Your Job and Get a Promotion
Learning new skills and knowledge can help you succeed more at your job and even get a promotion. It will also benefit you enormously the next time you’re on the job hunt. The truth is that knowledge really is power, and everything you learn could come in handy at the time you least expect it, helping you solve complex problems or come up with innovative solutions when everyone else is stumped.
Your colleagues and superiors will be enriched by the knowledge and intellectual curiosity that you bring to the job and you can also create a domino effect where you spur others’ desire to learn more and get involved as well.²
Strengthen Your Mind
Learning new topics and skills strengthens your mind and makes you a more multi-talented person. Being able to process and benefit from new information makes you the kind of person who can tackle new situations with gusto and expertise – the kind of person others appreciate and lean on for answers and leadership.³
Scientific research has uncovered that those who keep their mind active and learn new information on a regular basis have a longer average lifespan. Learning really is living and there is a noticeable correlation between those who keep learning and taking courses and the age they live to. So, if the inherent value of learning isn’t enough to convince you then perhaps a longer life will.⁴
Keep Brain Health High
In addition to strengthening your mind and intellect, lifelong learning physically makes your brain healthier and more efficient. Researchers from the University of California at Irvine found that lifelong learning can make your brain more physically resilient and capable and improve its functions.⁵
Become Happier and More Sociable
Lifelong learning can also help keep us happier and away from depression and anxiety. Having goals and being a productive, engaged learner improves your mental health and gets you focused on positive outcomes and objectives that feed your self-esteem.
Reading and new hobbies were found by researchers at the UK University of Sussex to lower blood pressure and heart rate. When we focus in our attention on something and are really engaged and enjoying ourselves we tend to become calmer and our body balances itself out, happy to be in the process of absorbing new skills and information.
In addition, learning new things and joining classes and activity and interest groups helps you stay more sociable as you meet other people who are also lifelong learners and interested in learning new skills and knowledge.²