Alvin Toffler said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”.
Here is how you can ensure that you are a lifelong learner –
1. Read voraciously literature related to your career
Well this goes without saying you have got to read about the happenings in your profession.
2. Develop interests and read in non-job related areas
You would be surprised at the value you can derive both in your career and in your life in general from becoming better rounded in your knowledge and skills and/or becoming an expert in a matter you are passionate about even if it seems unrelated to your career. Most skills are transferable and you are sure to find some way to incorporate your learnings in your job at some point. Even if you don’t, by indulging your learning interests you will become a much more interesting and satisfied and fulfilled professional.
3. Write about your learnings or at least take notes and jot ideas
Share your learnings through a blog or by writing articles or summary notes if you feel comfortable. If you are not comfortable sharing, do take and keep notes for yourself. Active reading involves jotting ideas and taking notes and involves a higher level of participation and learning; plus these notes and ideas may come in very handy later on.
4. Learn from video and audio not just reading
There is plenty of choice available when it comes to medium of learning these days so by all means mix and match and don’t limit yourself. You may find your best cooking lessons come from a video channel and a new language is best acquired through audio means while on the treadmill at the gym. Take advantage of all means available to you to learn and vary the medium when you need a change or want to experiment.
5. Take courses and attend lectures/seminars/conferences when you can
It’s great to sit back and listen to experts’ perspectives and join in healthy classroom discourse in a very structured dedicated environment every now and then. If you cannot physically attend courses, you may want to try online courses.
6. Join online and offline groups related to your interests
By joining a group you will fuel your interests, challenge and reinforce your learnings, and keep the flame alive. It can be a general book club you join or a group specific to your area of interest eg. an Engineering Society, sewing circle, stargazers club, accounting forum etc. Whatever format your group takes it is bound to result in synergies that improve and augment your learnings.
7. Teach someone; no better way to learn than by teaching
The Best way to learn is by teaching. You could either enroll yourself in a school or look out for keen students from your circle. Spread the word that you are available to teach – and you are sure to find a few students. The best learning happens while trying to answer the questions of your students.I have an interest in ancient Greek 7 Roman History – and my students are my children aged 13 and 8.
8. Enjoy the process of learning and treat it as a lifelong journey
Learning can be fun and immensely satisfying especially when you have the luxury of choosing and controlling the pace and setting and subject matter and dynamic. Enjoy the journey and celebrate every learning and every implementation of your learnings along the way.