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How To Be A Lifelong Learner?

Learning has undergone a sea change in the corporate setting more than ever before. The advent of Internet has changed everything that it has touched, and things are never the same again. Learning which was once firmly relegated to formal education in schools and colleges has now become more of a pre-requisite rather than a one-stop solution to building a career in a corporate setting. So, how does one continue to learn and as an extension, how does one stay a lifelong learner?

A good way to start understanding this is by looking at why somebody should seriously consider being a lifelong learner. For one, life-long learning helps one to discover and endeavor towards one’s full potential. It is like a moving target where one has to keep stretching in trying to reach it. It may be a challenging part, but it is a fulfilling journey.

There are two aspects to lifelong learning, possessing the right attitude and the process of doing so. Life-long learners have some very peculiar traits which make them stand out during the course of life. They are like square pegs in a round hole, misfits for whom life has a very different meaning. Some common characteristics are as follows:

  • They read daily
    The very basis for lifelong learning would be daily information assimilation and life-long learners tend to absorb information at astounding rates. Far more than any kind of average. This is the most important building block to lifelong learning
  • They have habits
    Whatever they do, they do on a regular basis. This may range from anything on a daily to weekly or monthly basis. They need a regular fix on what they enjoy doing for a very important reason which comes next.
  • They need to see constant improvement in their area of activity
    This is a positive cycle where they need to see constant improvement on a regular basis and this improvement fuels them to continuously learn how they can take their skill or activity to the next level. But to do all of this, they need to do something else which comes next.
  • They prioritize
    Given that everybody gets the same 24 hours per day, lifelong learners need to squeeze more from the time available to them. To achieve this, they prioritize and give that amount of time to their area of interest on a regular basis. To do this, they need to make trade-offs, and this is where they have another important skill which comes next.
  • They dive deep                                                                                                                 
  • They have a few diverse areas of interest and they go deep in these areas of interest. This is a kind of focus, but not too focused. The just don’t scratch the surface and tend to go deep into the subjects and they thrive of trivia in their area of interests.

The attitude to be a lifelong learner and the process of being a lifelong learner are like Siamese twins. They cannot exist on a standalone basis and they need both to coexist to be in that exalted zone of being a lifelong learner.

More importantly, anybody who wants to be a lifelong learner can make a serious attempt at being one by searching for such a person and taking them on as a mentor. It is a matter of time and serious effort, but also a life changing experience.

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