Back to School: Ways to Never Stop Learning

By: Amanda Young

Why continue learning?

Continuing education enriches lives by helping business professionals develop careers and their personal lives.  Lifelong learning is great for the mind and in the information age self-learning has never been easier.  In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, continuing education can help prevent mental illnesses that result in memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. 

YouTube, Online classes, studying successful people, college courses and local community colleges are a great place to look for learning outlets.  Local skill specific instructional classes are also an excellent way to network with others and meet new people outside your industry.

Continuing education in any of the many ways to learn today, helps individuals with excelling in their career or even with starting a new career.  

Habits of lifelong learners include:

  • reading
  • writing
  • listening to podcasts
  • serving others
  • trying new activities
  • getting out your comfort zone
  • networking
  • finding mentors
  • keeping an open mind

“Ancora imparo” is an Italian phrase meaning “Yet, I am learning.” It is often attributed to the great Renaissance genius, Michelangelo,  observed by him at the age of 87.

8 Characteristics Of People Who To Never Stop Learning

1. They Read on a Daily Basis

Whatever problem or dilemma you currently face, there’s definitely at least one decent book that discusses it and presents a variety of solutions.

Reading is a great way to open up new horizons, train your brain and revolutionize your life. I can’t even count how many times books completely transformed the way I view the world, and it’s always a change for the better. Through reading, you can connect with successful people and learn from the lessons they share.

Life long learners love to get lost in books and do it regularly. Bill Gates knows that reading matters a lot; on his personal blog, he reviews plenty of game-changing books.

Due to technology, you can access a bookshelf of the wealthiest entrepreneur on this planet.

2. They Attend Various Courses

Whether it’s online or offline, there are countless courses you can participate in without spending a dime on it. These are great opportunities to connect with clever and like-minded people and learn from them.

Because of the advanced technology, you can now gain knowledge from online programs, starting from coding through self-improvement to programs from top universities.

There are literally endless ways to thrive. What life long learners have in common is squeezing as much as possible out of these opportunities.

3. They Actively Seek Opportunities to Grow

Instead of spending your free time laying on the couch and watching TV, you prefer doing something creative and practical. You know every wasted minute is gone forever.

That’s why you’d rather practice your language skills with a native-speaker you’ve met, engage in local meet up or attend a class that teaches something you always wanted to learn.

Life long learners stay up-to-date with growth opportunities in their areas and participate in them frequently.

4. They Take Care of Their Bodies

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” — John F. Kennedy

A clever mind combined with a body in a great condition is the best asset you can have. Our bodies were designed to run, walk, jump, swim, lift and much more. Leading a sedentary lifestyle harms both your physical and mental sphere

5. They Have Diverse Passions

Among Steve Jobs’ wise quotes, there’s one I like especially. It’s about connecting the dots:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” — Steve Jobs

Each dot is some event or skill in your life, and it’s only when you go through these elements that you know how to combine them into something great.

Having a variety of passions indicates that you love to progress. By practicing different skills, you give yourself an advantage over the rest of the people. During hard times, you are more likely to to act intelligently and solve your problems with less effort.

6. They Love Making Progress

If behind the efforts, there is passion and a deep desire to grow, your chances of success are way higher, compared to when you are forced to learn.

Life long learners love to experience the constant growth and improvement. The breakthrough moments help them to notice the impressive change that took place because of the learning process. Any milestone serves as a driving force for further headway.

7. They Challenge Themselves with Specific Goals

In order to keep growing, you clearly define your goals. Smart goal setting is one of the tools to ensure constant growth.

Since you love challenges, a difficult goal doesn’t scare you. Quite the opposite, it keeps you motivated and engaged.

Research showed that precise and ambitious goals increase the performance of an individual. As we already agreed, life long learners are people who care about their performance, hence they never stop improving.

8. They Embrace Change

A complete change can lead to incredible results. This is especially visible on the example of successful companies.

Oftentimes, it’s that transformation which created space for their so-called overnight success. Twitter was originally created as an internal service to serve Odeo employees. Currently, it has over 300 million monthly active users and is considered the second biggest social network.

As a life long learner, you know a change can lead to extraordinary results so you welcome it and stay open minded about making a shift.


Top Online Courses for Business Professionals

Coursera: Great option for business certifications.

EdX: Learn more about finance fundamentals, project management, marketing, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Udacity: Provides students with the option to earn nano-degrees.

Harvard: Take courses from one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Some of the classes that are provided are free!

Some Starter Literature for Business Professionals 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Upcoming Fields and Trends to Learn About

  1. Scientific Research
  2. Counseling and Therapy
  3. Computer Engineering
  4. Management
  5. Artificial intelligence
  6. Edge-computing for video
  7. Autonomous vehicles
  8. 5G
  9. Finance will continue to decentralize
  10. Retail technology
  11. Smart Home software
  12. Peer groups to promote communities between customers
  13. Automate cloud deployments (DevOps)
  14. Sustainability
  15. Drones and 3D cameras
  16. Personalized experience
  17. Convenience
  18. Workers leaving full-time jobs and starting gigs 
  19. Veteran entrepreneurs