Celebrating The International Day Of Education: 6 Lifelong Learning Tips
International Day Of Education: How Can You Incorporate Lifelong Learning Into Your Everyday Life?
On December 3rd, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January 24th as the International Day of Education in celebration of its role in peace and development. With this action, they solidified their belief that as long as people are free to practice their right to education, we can nurture a more peaceful, sustainable, and inclusive future.
Expanding our horizons and learning new things never lose their significance, regardless of one’s age or profession. People start developing their learning “muscles” at a young age with traditional education, and they hopefully move on to become lifelong learners that constantly strive to obtain new knowledge outside of the formal education system. If you’re considering becoming a lifelong learner yourself, join us in exploring the whats, whys, and hows of lifelong learning.
Lifelong Learning Vs. Traditional Education
There is no formal definition, but we could say that lifelong learning refers to a self-initiated education focused on personal development. Although most of the time, it presents itself in the form of informal learning, it can still be practiced within traditional educational institutions, such as schools and universities. What truly sets it apart from traditional ways of learning is that it’s voluntary, self-motivated, and based on each person’s interests or goals.
How Do We Benefit From Self-Directed Education?
There are many long-term benefits you can enjoy once you start to engage in lifelong learning. The most important one is that it keeps the mind active. After all, the brain is like a muscle, and exercising it by learning new things keeps it from getting stuck in a rut. In addition, acquiring new skills and discovering new interests eliminate boredom, offer you new opportunities, and even help you expand your social cycle. Not to mention you could hone your existing professional skills and even discover a new career for yourself. Naturally, all of the above can increase your confidence, make your life more interesting, and improve its overall quality.
6 Tips To Learn Something New Every Day
But how can you shake up your routine and make the transition from formal education to lifelong learning? Most people believe they can only engage in lifelong learning through expensive and time-consuming instructor-led activities, such as courses or seminars. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this article, we’ll reveal 6 easy and inexpensive ways you can develop a lifelong habit of learning.
1. Explore Your Interests
A great starting point is taking a moment to yourself to discover what really interests you. It can be a hobby you used to have or always wanted to try or a skill you’d like to develop. Narrowing down your passions helps you set goals and start creating your learning path. This way, you avoid getting superficially involved in numerous subjects. Instead, you collect learning experiences that have maximum impact on your future development.
2. Read More
Reading is the ultimate way to engage in lifelong learning. It’s also a daily habit of mogul Bill Gates, who reads 50 books a year. If you struggle to find ample time to read whole books, don’t be discouraged. You can read only one chapter a day or give audiobooks a chance. They’re perfect to listen to while commuting or doing chores. Furthermore, articles and blog posts take only a few minutes to read but can pack so much useful information. The International Day Of Education is the perfect opportunity to start your TBR list.
3. Take Online Courses
Technology is really on our side when it comes to lifelong learning. There are so many websites that offer complete courses on just about any subject you can imagine, often for free. A great advantage of online courses is that they’re guided and comprehensive learning experiences that you can complete at your own pace. But you must be consistent and set realistic goals to get through them. So, set aside 10-20 minutes of practice daily and keep going until you complete them.
4. Experiment With Various Learning Methods
Not everyone learns and retains new information the same way. Some people are visual learners, while others are auditory or verbal. Even if you think you know what works best for you, still aim for variety. Write down information, listen to podcasts, subscribe to newsletters, or watch documentaries. There are so many different ways to approach learning and informal education. You may not have tried your favorite one just yet!
5. Socialize With Other Learners
The people you surround yourself with are crucial for your lifelong learning journey. Think about it. If you don’t surround yourself with curious people who are passionate about knowledge, chances are you won’t fulfill your learning goals. So, reach out to interesting people you admire, whether they are colleagues or someone you met in a forum or a study group. Engaging in intriguing conversations with other lifelong learners helps you keep an open mind and inspires you to continue on your quest for self-improvement.
6. Make It A Priority
As mentioned before, consistency is key in becoming an efficient lifelong learner. Whether you are a student or a professional, life gets busy. If you’re not intentional about devoting specific time slots of your day to learning, other less important tasks will take up your time. To avoid that, you must decide to make learning a priority in your day. Carve out as little as 15 minutes per day and try not to stray from the schedule.
In Honor Of The International Day Of Education
Education is the moving force that makes our world a better place. Similarly, lifelong learning can kickstart your self-improvement journey and open up a world of knowledge and opportunities for you. Hopefully, the tips we shared in this article have helped you realize that it’s not that hard to engage in lifelong learning. All it takes is the determination to get started and follow through.
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