Are you wondering what is lifelong learning and how it can help you combat change?
On this page, you’ll find:
- What is lifelong learning?
- Why is lifelong learning meaningful?
- Examples of lifelong learning
- My lifelong learning plan
Let’s get started.
What is Lifelong Learning?
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”― Henry Ford
Improving your game is a never-ending process, and the best way to improve your game is to fall in love with lifelong learning.
Lifelong learning is an infinite game.
You can finish:
You can never stop learning to:
- Master your communication
- Live a better life
- Improve your craft
Architect Christopher Alexander on the importance of high standards:
“In my life as an architect, I find that the single thing which inhibits young professionals, new students most severely, is their acceptance of standards that are too low. If I ask a student whether her design is as good as Chartres, she often smiles tolerantly at me as if to say, “Of course not, that isn’t what I am trying to do. … I could never do that.”
Then, I express my disagreement and tell her: “That standard must be our standard. If you are going to be a builder, no other standard is worthwhile. That is what I expect of myself in my own buildings, and it is what I expect of my students.”
Gradually, I show the students that they have a right to ask this of themselves, and must ask this of themselves. Once that level of standard is in their minds, they will be able to figure out, for themselves, how to do better, how to make something that is as profound as that.
Two things emanate from this changed standard. First, the work becomes more fun. It is deeper, it never gets tiresome or boring, because one can never really attain this standard. One’s work becomes a lifelong work, and one keeps trying and trying. So it becomes very fulfilling, to live in the light of a goal like this.
But secondly, it does change what people are trying to do. It takes away from them the everyday, lower-level aspiration that is purely technical in nature, (and which we have come to accept) and replaces it with something deep, which will make a real difference to all of us that inhabit the earth.”
After running a business for years and raising kids. Recently I was started to find the following things challenging:
- So much to do in a limited time (time management)
- Constant technology updates (regular learning)
- Needs of growing kids (work-life balance)
- Switching of team members (regular team training)
- Increasing customer demands (steady service improvements)
Luckily, I came across Simon Sinek’s concept of an infinite game, which helped me to deal with these challenges.
Running a business or raising kids are infinite games. You may find playing these games difficult if you play with a finite mindset.
I have realized after understanding the infinite game concept that I’m not an entrepreneur or a father instead; I am a lifelong learner.
And my infinite game is to shortlist essential learning areas of my life to focus and trying to be 1% better than yesterday in these areas of life.
Those who play any game at the top level are usually lifelong learners, and I believe personal and professional development are the two main pillars of lifelong learning. It isn’t straightforward to up your game if you are relying only on the just one.
Balance is the key in most achievements in life.
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Why is Lifelong Learning Important?
The only guaranteed thing in life is change, and lifelong learning is the best way to combat change.
A lifelong learning mindset is a valuable tool, which helps you play well and improve your infinite game continuously.
A few crucial benefits of lifelong learning:
- You feel confident
- Keep your mind sharp
- Helps you grow personally & professionally
- It’s a healthy activity
- Enables you to improve your ideas
Examples of Constant Learning
Here is the list of few areas of life, where I’m continually learning and trying to improve my game:
- Mindset: Fundamental principle of lifelong learning is a growth mindset. It all starts with an appetite to grow in all areas of your life at a pace you can sustain.
- Leadership: It is like swimming, the more you practice, the better you get at leading. Don’t forget you don’t need an authority to practice leadership; instead, you need followers.
- Goal Setting: Goals without systems is wishful thinking. Learn how to create sustainable systems to achieve your goals.
- Make Better Decisions: You can’t stop learning this, in my opinion. We all make so many important decisions about our lives every day, and the quality of our daily choices shape our life outcome.
- Communication: Today, we live in a super-connected world. Chances of hurting or disappointing someone with your poor communication is quite high. I try to learn every day to improve my communication to avoid the chances of disappointing someone.
- Stress Management: We all experience stress in our life, which is hard to avoid entirely. But the good news is that you can always learn how to manage stress to minimize its damage.
- Teamwork: I’m a big fan of collaboration and always looking to find ways to improve the happiness of my team.
- Habits: Your habits are the foundation of your success in life. Keep exploring ways to improve good habits and cut down bad ones.
- Productivity: It is a massive challenge. I’m always exploring how to make the best use of the limited time we all have.
- Technology: Although, I’m a minimalist, and my priority is always to do more with less. However, to stay competitive, you have to learn how to use technology better regularly.
- Work-life Balance: It’s easy to say but very hard to practice. It is a constant learning process to try to keep some acceptable harmony between work and personal life.
- Continuous Professional Development: Things are moving at a rapid pace nowadays, and it is vital to stay on top of that to compete in your industry.
- Product or Service Improvement: Your customer expects regular improvements, which is infinite learning to deliver.
- Living a Healthy Life: Our busy lives have made it difficult for us to eating healthy and being active regularly. Therefore, I’m always learning to find creative and easy to implement ways to eat healthy food and exercise daily.
- Travel: Travelling teaches you so much which you can’t learn any other way.
- Write or Teach: Works well to learn consistently.
- Regular Reviews: Keeping a daily, weekly, monthly or annually scorecard gives you actual picture versus your wishful thinking.
My Lifelong Learning Plan
Following are essential mental notes of my lifelong learning mindset:
- Be curious
- Everything is, figure it out able
- Focus is fire
- Practice makes you perfect
- Learners are the earners
- Slow & study wins the race
- Don’t forget to enjoy the process
A few ways, you can convert this mindset into an action plan :
- Listen actively: I’m getting better at it.
- Read daily: Reading helps you figure out things.
- Reduce your choices: The more you’ll have on your plate, the more you’ll struggle with focus.
- Write or teach others: It is the best way to improve your skills in my experience and blogging really helps to practice this.
- Learn, Learn & Learn: Don’t limit your learning to reading or watching videos only. I learn from every person I come in contact with, and we all have limitless opportunities to learn.
- Have patience: Good things happen to those who wait. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
- Enjoy: What is the purpose of all this work if you are not enjoying?
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