Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why you must always learn

Henry Ford once said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” I’m sure I am part of the very few who believes that learning still continues when one is out of school. Today, it is uncommon to see people who are out of school reading any relevant material accept for some newspaper article a friend may have recommended or glancing through the pages of a popular magazine they might have picked out on their way from town. To prove my point, when was the last time you read a complete book? I’m not talking about a novel, or a fiction book but a good book that after going through the first few pages you learn something valuable that contributes to your personal and professional development.
In the 21st century, which is also termed the information or technological age; your success in life is dependent on your ability to expand your mind and strive for continuous education. That is why I recommend lifelong learning; lifelong learning helps you to leapfrog ahead of the competition making you a top notch in your field.
In this post, I intend sharing with you some benefits of lifelong learning; come to think of it how would you benefit from this post if you have no clue of what lifelong learning is?
Before I delve deep into the waters, let’s take few minutes to understand what lifelong learning is and even go further to investigate the different types of education you can have whether deliberately or in random haphazard fashion.
What is lifelong learning (LLL)?
Wikipedia defines lifelong learning as the lifelong, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. As such, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development but also competitiveness and employability.
From the above definition, I believe the starting point  for lifelong learning is the desire to learn and acquire knowledge from every angle, a person dedicated to lifelong learning  has the drive to not only go seek for knowledge but to do something with the knowledge acquired. Lifelong learning is not only confined to the classroom, but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations.
Having talked about lifelong learning taking place throughout all phases of life and in a range of situations; let’s take a brief look at some of the different types of lifelong learning.
  • Maintenance Learning

Maintenance learning can be likened to going to the gym and doing a light physical exercise to keep you at a particular level of fitness; it does not necessarily increase your fitness level or improve your condition in any way. Maintenance learning would therefore be defined as a way of keeping current with your field by reading an occasional book and subscribing to current magazines and newsletters in your field.
  • Growth Learning

You can also consider another type of learning that is geared towards adding knowledge and skills to your repertoire that you did not have before. For instance, if you decide to learn some basic computing skills to help expand your business relation with your prospective customers or decide to learn another language to help you communicate with foreign clients who do not speak English or any native language that form of learning is growth learning One good thing about growth learning is that it helps you expand your mind and you acquire information that you did not have before to enable you to do things that you could not do before. I have been a major beneficiary of growth learning; I always go the extra mile to empty my pocket just to fill my head with new knowledge geared towards my career enhancement

What Next?
Which of the learning processes do you involve yourself in? Please drop me your comment. In my next post we take a closer look at the benefits of Lifelong learning