The Economics of Learning: Six Key Ways to Become a Lifelong Learner
Maybe you’re already working and have been for years. Maybe you don’t have any kids and have no ties to school. If that sounds like you, back to school season is probably just something you ignore. But maybe it shouldn't be. If you take a look at the most successful people, they all have one thing in common: a passion for learning.
The moment you decide you have all the knowledge you need is the moment you stop progressing. Especially in today’s world of rapidly changing technology and social landscapes, a continued thirst for information is essential to getting ahead. Your education shouldn’t stop when you leave the classroom; it should be something you continue every day. If you want to be a lifelong learner, here are a few good habits you can cultivate to get you closer to the goal.
Read everything you can get your hands on
Reading is powerful. Articles, academic research, newspapers, books—they all contain valuable information that can help you expand your view of the world. Even if something doesn’t seem relevant to what you’re currently working on, it can help you in another area. Having more information on hand also is important in generating ideas and creativity. It might not be immediately clear how it will help, but over time, the knowledge you collect increases the connections you can create between topics, resulting in more new ideas.
Keep a list of topics to explore
Getting motivated sometimes means getting organized. After all, it’s hard to dive deep into learning something when you aren’t sure where to start.
As you go through your day, keep a list within reach to write down any questions or ideas that pop up. If you notice a trend or are reading it over later on and find something that intrigues you, that would be a good starting place to research. You might be surprised by the interests that emerge from keeping track of the things that pique your curiosity.
Take advantage of online resources
We have access to so much knowledge through the internet, but not everybody takes advantage of it. There are so many completely free classes and curriculums online that provide lessons in a structured, easy to follow, and organized manner. Some even have teachers that interact with enrolled students.
Many top colleges and universities put full classes online on websites like edX and Coursera. These are actual classes taught at the institution, complete with lectures, practices, interactive assignments, and a forum to discuss the material with other peers enrolled in the class.
Aside from structured classes, you can find just about anything on YouTube. If you’re looking to pick up a new skill, maybe knitting or cooking, you can probably find a video tutorial to walk you through the process.
Teach other’s what you know
Offering to teach somebody else less experienced than you can reinforce what you already know, and challenge you to learn more. Beginners in a subject often have a different perspective than people who have been dealing with it for a long time and ask questions the experts hadn’t thought of themselves. It might seem strange to think that somebody who knows little could teach somebody who knows so much more, but it does make sense. As you become experienced at something, you learn the ways things should be, and forget to consider how they could be. Exposing yourself to people who haven’t yet developed this mindset is a great way to overcome this tendency and learn on a deeper level.
Get involved in the community
There are opportunities everywhere you go. Every week, people host seminars and conferences that you can attend to build your network, grow in your industry, and gain new perspectives. Check out sites like meetup.com, which feature groups of people in your area joining together with common interests.
Or, get into something like Toastmasters, where you can learn to further your public speaking and connect with other professionals.
Another great option is volunteering. Not only does it help you give back to the community, but it also can put you in a position to learn much more than you ever could from the outside of an organization. Certain volunteer opportunities are better than others, but you can find many of these listed on websites like volunteermatch.org and unitedway.org.
Don’t wait—start your journey today
Lifelong learners make learning their priority—a mission that spans throughout their whole life. That means you can’t just say you’ll get to it eventually. If you want to get in the habit of regularly learning something new, you need to start now.
Set goals for yourself to track progress. You’ll be far more encouraged to continue if you can see the progress being made.
Whether it’s gaining professional skills, or just keeping your mind active, learning is never a bad way to spend your time. You will always gain something out of it. In your profession, going deeper in depth can help you move into better-paying jobs and expand your opportunities. When you learn something that doesn’t necessarily relate, it improves your brain’s health by keeping your mind active and preventing memory decline that comes with age
Looking for an easy place to start? Nuvision offers many opportunities for members.
Nuvision offers members many ways to expand their knowledge, especially when it comes to financial literacy. Earlier this year we hosted an exclusive housing and economic forecast seminar for members. We’ve hosted a few seminars on housing, real estate, and related topics. We also put out resources like this on our blog to help members like you learn about opportunities happening in our community.
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