Imagine if you went into work dressed in a windbreaker and parachute pants. Some people might make hushed comments, and a few brave souls might even address your attire. Obviously, if this was a regular occurrence, people might shrug it off and think you’re stuck in the past. This is what can happen when you refuse to be a lifelong learner; you get stuck in your same old patterns of thinking and acting. It is crucial to be a lifelong learner as a successful person both in your career field and in your personal life. The value of being a lifelong learner is found in boosting self-confidence, adapting to change, and challenging your ideas.
Confidence is a skill you can improve over time. Self-confidence is the ability to believe in yourself. We think of teens as having lower self-esteem than adults, which may be true, and the reason for that is teenagers have less experience, meaning less knowledge, than adults. Having more experience and knowledge in certain domains can increase your confidence within that domain. For example, if you complete a course on Microsoft Excel formulas, a skill you didn’t have before, you will be confident in your ability to use formulas in the future. This could end in more job responsibilities and opportunities, as well as lucrative advancements for your business. Of course, the reason people avoid these opportunities is because they want to avoid change.
Adapting to Change
To avoid being the man in the parachute pants, you need to be able to adapt to change. Being a lifelong learner will assist in your ability to adapt to change by teaching you new ways to respond to change. Change in business and in your personal life is inevitable. As Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This proves that in order to avoid insanity, you need to be willing to try new things. Through the process of learning new skills and information, you will also gain new ways to attack problems in your business and personal life. This will increase your ability to change, and possibly even challenge you in necessary ways.
Challenging Your Ideas
Nobody has ever agreed with everything they’ve read or heard; in fact, we should not believe in everything we learn. That being said, learning new information challenges our current thinking and either helps shift our mindset or makes us more firm in our beliefs. For example, if you attend a training on the best ways to grow your business, not everything at the training is going to apply to your specific situation. You may still learn new concepts to experiment with in your business, or reaffirm you are doing it correctly. Even if the new learning does not directly apply to you, the process of learning it will challenge you to think outside your comfort zone. This is a benefit of being a lifelong learner.
Learning should not stop when you are finished with your degrees. It should not stop when you reach a certain point in your life. Learning needs to be lifelong in order for you to be successful in your career and personal life. Being a lifelong learner will bring value to you by boosting your self-confidence, increasing your ability to adapt to change, and challenging your ideas. You can pursue lifelong learning by attending trainings, seminars, and workshops, or on your own by reading books and doing research. No matter what line of work you are in, everyone can benefit from being a lifelong learner.
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