The importance of lifelong learning

It doesn’t matter what field you are in, the most successful people are those that grow and develop throughout their lives. The world around us is changing at an alarming rate, not only in terms of technology but also how people view and react to the world around them.

Lifelong learning is more than a catchy phrase; it’s a necessity if you want to stay relevant in the workplace. There is no doubt that one of the best investments you can make is to expand your mind. And, nowadays, despite the time constraints that we face in our crazy 24/7 online world, it’s never been easier to grow and learn.

Professional development programmes, webinars, podcasts, books and online courses are just some of the ways that you can tap into the rich vein of lifelong learning.

It’s no coincidence that some of the most successful people in the world are also the most prolific readers and (according to Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals)they read for self-improvement, education, and success, rather than entertainment.

Elon Musk famously said (when asked how he learned to build rockets): “I read books”. Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year; and Mark Cuban reads for three hours a day.

Brian Tracy, well-known US sales trainer, talks about three kinds of lifelong learning:

  1. Maintenance learning, which keeps you current with your field.
  2. Growth learning that adds knowledge and skills to your repertoire that you did not have before.
  3. Shock learning, which contradicts or reverses a piece of knowledge or understanding that you already have.

But perhaps the most compelling advocate of lifelong learning was Henry Ford: “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.”

No matter how busy (or smart) you are, make the time to expand your mind…you are worth it!