How to be a lifelong learner


Albert Einstein famously said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying” – and these words certainly ring true for those who believe in the value of being a lifelong learner. While many of us associate learning with formal education, some of our most important skills (making friends, learning to cook etc.) are shaped outside of this realm. Lifelong learning is ongoing, self-motivated and focused on our personal interests and goals. It keeps our minds young and helps us stay connected to the world we live in. So, how can you reap the benefits of this intuitive learning style? 

Be positive
Adopting the right attitude makes learning fun and easy – and positive self-talk is a good place to start. Remember to be encouraging and supportive as you tackle challenges and learn new things.

Practice metacognition 
Simply put, this means being aware of your thought processes and how you learn best. For example, if you struggle to remember people’s names, try using a memory technique next time you’re introduced to someone new.

Think differently
Thinking about problems or challenges in new and creative ways can result in unusual solutions. So, be open to new possibilities and consider options outside of your comfort zone – you may surprise yourself.

Ready to give your brain a serious wake-up? Here are four ways to do just that.

  • Improve your reading
    Reading broadly – novels, autobiographies, biographies, blogs, websites, newspapers, etc. – is a wonderful way to widen your world.
  • Take up a new sport
    If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try – perhaps it’s golf, yoga, running or hiking – give it a go. Just remember to chat to your GP before starting any new form of exercise.
  • Tackle a new language
    There’s a multitude of language apps available to help you learn a new language or brush up on your old skills. Duolingo is highly recommended and it’s free.
  • Pursue a new interest
    Learn to knit or crochet or try your hand at gardening, painting, pottery, metalwork, woodwork… the list is endless. YouTube tutorials, TED Talks, and Udemy (for a small fee) are available for guidance, instruction, and inspiration. Enjoy!