Become a Lifelong Learner
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
― Albert Einstein
Are you a lifetime learner? We’re all lifetime learners in a sense, even if the only thing we learn in a given day is to avoid the new pot hole on the left side of our street. We’re always changing our strategies and methods of coping as we adapt to our environment. Being a lifetime learner is more than that however. It’s a commitment to growing into our best selves.
If you’re looking for more tangible benefits, consider the fact that many of us will switch careers over our lifetimes, and even if we don’t, we’re likely to see major changes within the profession we’ve chosen. Businesses don’t stay the same either. For example, Avon originally started out selling books, not cosmetics, while Hasbro once sold school supplies instead of hawking toys. Lifetime learning equips you to handle a changing world, and that learning will certainly pay real economic benefits down the road. It helps you adapt to changes instead of being consumed by them.
Even if your economic fortunes are set, what good does all the money in the world do you if you haven’t got the health to enjoy it? Lifetime learning is a way to keep your mind focused and sharp. Like your heart, your brain is a muscle and lifetime learning keeps it from getting flabby. According to a lot of medical research, giving your brain new and interesting challenges can improve memory as well as potentially slowing the onset of disease like Alzheimer’s. When it comes to your heart, reading, even for a short period of time, can dramatically reduce your stress levels. Who couldn’t use some of that?
It should also come as no surprise that lifelong learning increases your wisdom. It’s one thing to understand how something works; it’s quite another to understand the why. Understanding why gives us invaluable insight into a process and is crucial to figuring out ways to improve it. And that’s exactly why many of us got into business to begin with— because we believed we had a better way of doing things. Lifetime learning helps enhance the very skill that makes business leaders so valuable and successful.
From tangible benefits to general quality of life, there are plenty of reasons to keep growing and to keep learning. It may even help out your social life. After all, Einstein wasn’t just a brilliant scientist. He also got invited to all the best parties.