“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
By Henry Ford
Being a life-long learner is like being a flowing river that is constantly on the move, replenishing itself and the life in it.
Thomas Edison, an American, invented the first light bulb. You will be surprised to know that Thomas Edison did not have any formal education, but he kept reading and learning on his own, throughout his life. If Thomas Edison had stopped learning, we may not have a great invention like the light bulb, which each one of us today, depends on.
There are several benefits of having an open mind and being a life-long learner.
- Life-long learning will increase your knowledge. This knowledge will help you think better, make wiser decisions and improve your relationships with others.
- You will be become more confident: Learning new things and having a lot of information will make you more confident about yourself. This confidence will help you take up challenging tasks without being afraid of failure.
- You will be able to influence people easily: With more knowledge and improved skills you will definitely be able to influence the way people think about a particular issue.
- You can use this knowledge in your workplace and succeed: You can use communication skills in your workplace and improve
- Lifelong learning will keep your brain healthy and active: Being open to learning new things, will keep you energized.
- Life-long learning can bring success in your work: New knowledge and skills, especially communication skills can help you win friends, impress your boss and even earn new clients in your business. Learning can thus help you earn more money.
- You will be more satisfied with life: More knowledge and skills give you the opportunity to do many things in life for yourself and others. This will give you great satisfaction and meaning in life, as you will always be of use to others.
HOW TO BE A LIFE-LONG LEARNER?
There is no one way of learning. Some people like to learn by looking at visuals, some read, some listen. You can learn through any of these means. However, whichever route you take, keep in mind three steps: (1) LISTEN (2) ASK QUESTIONS (3) ABSORB. You must watch or listen attentively, ask questions to clarify your doubts and absorb the information. Learning is incomplete without practicing the knowledge or skills in your lives.
- Talk and learn from your daily conversations with people like friends, frontline health workers, and community members.
- You can learn through visual means such as news channels and films on TV, as well as short videos on that can be viewed on mobile phones. Reading newspapers and books such as this manual will help increase your knowledge.
- Observing another person doing a task can also help you learn. You can learn by observing the teacher instruct the students in class or even by observing how the sarpanch moderates the panchayat meetings. Observing involves looking carefully at the behaviour, asking question like how can I make this behaviour relevant to my use and then apply it.
- Teach others what you have learned. Talk to others people about new information and knowledge and get their opinions. This will give you a better understanding of the topic and make you more confident.
Being a life-long learner will make you an active contributor in all areas of your life, be it your work place, your family, in your friend circle and even in your community. Try new and different things to get out of your comfort zone. You never know if you’ll be a good at a particular task unless you face your fears and give it a try. You will learn even from the mistakes you make. Do not give up when you meet with failure. You will learn how to perfect a task if you persistently keep trying.
So do you want to be a life-long learner?