The ability to learn and adapt is an essential quality for anyone who wants to be successful. It’s also something we all need to work on. Fortunately, there are a number of reliable ways that you can stay motivated and keep learning long into your career.
The first of these categories involves learning new skills — going beyond simply sitting in your office and doing the same thing day after day. The next category involves learning how to apply what you already know in different settings, which is especially useful if you want to advance in your existing job or start a new career path.
But what about the last one? How important is it to always learn and grow? After all, our world continues to change at an astonishing pace, with constant technological advances making even the most basic human needs easier to meet. So where do you draw the line when it comes to pursuing lifelong learning?
What is lifelong learning?
On its face, lifelong learning is the acquisition of new knowledge by anyone with a particular interest, who wants to master it. Learning can be formal or informal and can be done at any age.
Learning can also be quantifiable, with metrics like the number of hours you spend learning, the quality of the learning, or the level of satisfaction you feel as a result of learning.
The advantages of learning are numerous, both for individuals and for organizations. The ability to learn new skills, gain new perspectives and expand one’s horizons make you more adaptable, competitive, and successful.
Why is lifelong learning important?
If you’re anything like me, you might have a few lingering doubts about the value of lifelong learning. After all, isn’t learning supposed to be something you do in your spare time?
Lifelong learning is important because it allows you to develop new skills and learn new things — whether that’s new technical skills, career skills, or skill development tools.
It also gives you the opportunity to explore different angles and perspectives on things, which makes you a better person.
Best ways to stay motivated and learn even in the face of discouragement
Here are some tips to help you stay motivated and learn even in the face of discouragement.
When you feel like you’re not doing enough, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I’m incredibly passionate about?” If you can do that thing well, then everything else will fall into place.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’re having a hard time acquiring the skills or understanding something, don’t be afraid to ask a mentor or study group for help. You’re never too old to learn and there are plenty of ways to get help with everything from basic skills like how to type to more advanced topics like how to code.
Lift yourself up by doing something positive
When you feel like giving up, remember that there are always people who are struggling just like you and that you have a responsibility to help them. So instead of feeling sorry for yourself, show this sympathy by doing something positive for yourself. Look around you and see what you can do. You’re not just helping your friends — you’re also helping yourself.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overthinking this and that, so instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, try putting a few in each basket of different baskets. This way, you won’t feel so overwhelmed by the thought of getting all of them to fit.
Ways for your career to grow organically
There is always room for growth, and in fact, your career is the most important time in your life to positively shift and grow. Here are the best ways your career can grow organically.
Challenge your assumptions
Simply challenging your assumptions will force you to look at things from a new angle. You might realize that your position is outdated, wrong, or insufficient.
Explore new challenges
Since your position is the culmination of many experiences and skills, it makes sense to explore new challenges. You might try taking on a new role at work or evaluating your own skills and requirements to see if you’re up to date.
Apply what you’ve learned in new settingsSince your position is so important, it makes sense that you should apply what you’ve learned in new settings. Start by working on assignments in your role, and then apply those skills to new challenges in your new setting.
Now that you know what lifelong learning is, how it benefits you, and how to stay motivated and learn, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Use these tips to help you get started.