Continued learning is important not only for kids but also for adults. It is important for us to continue to learn, for the rest of our lives. The reality is that we are learning even when we haven’t sat down and made that one of our life’s goals.
When was the last time that you watched something like a TV show (or Netflix, Hulu) and learned some historical item or some current event or anything that you didn’t already know? Hey, it is the way we are wired, as humans.
A Plan for an Intentional Learning Process
Continuing to learn for the rest of our lives has a variety of benefits for the mind and even the body. There are so many different ways to take steps toward the intentional effort of learning. Even fun ways!
These opportunities can include anything from reading to experiences, and everything in between. The following sections include a few ways to keep anyone in the continued learning mode, no matter how old or how young they are.
Content Consumers and Content Creators
A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and through that conversation, I observed that some of us are content consumers and some of us are content creators. She was mentioning how she could spend hours watching YouTube videos. That would be consuming content. Now, in this case, this particular friend also makes wonderful YouTubes, so she is a bit of both (content consumer and content creator).
The advantage to being a content consumer is that it is easier to intake material, like training material. Generally, you are more interested in taking in the information. A content creator wants to spend less time consuming and is flying high with ideas of what to create, write, produce in videos, etc. Probably most people have a bit of both.
Why does this matter? If you are a content creator, you are the type that can go out and produce almost like a machine and the fact that you love it makes it that much more fun for you. However, it can sometimes be a challenge to manage sitting down and consuming information (like training modules). The key for you content creators is to challenge yourself to take some time to consume training. Even if you set a goal, say 60 min, to learn something that day or that day of the week.
For those of you who are content consumers, you have it made as far as “consuming” training. The challenging part is stopping the consumption to go create. Really, it is about focusing. If you have some sort of need to create, go create. If not, consume at leisure. Maybe the only other challenge is to train yourself to consume things that help reach your goal of continued learning.
Continued Learning Through Reading / Consuming
Probably one of the best ways to keep on learning is to read. You have several options when it comes to reading, whether it includes books, magazines, newspapers, and any other reading material. However, the really fun material to read, for current learning opportunities, is those blogs.
Once you find the blogs that you enjoy, you will want to bookmark them or add them to an RSS feed, so that you can return back. Possibly you will want to read your favorite blogs daily. You may not learn something that qualifies you for a degree in rocket science, but you will likely learning something, even a fun fact or two.
One of the really helpful blog posts (even relating to learning) that I read the other day was 6 Key Blogging Lessons From Famous Business Pivots. If you are into blogging, you will want to add that blog post to your list and possibly add the blog to your list of favorite blogs.
Reading books and blogs helps expand the mind and give you new ideas and insights.
Blogging / Writing
Going in hand with reading blogs another area of learning is writing blogs. This is where that content creator side of you will thrive, as well.
Why does this fit in the category of learning? I have the answer for that.
To write a blog one must do research, as well as organizing those thoughts into something that is interesting to your readers.
Trying new things, going to new places, and learning about different stuff are all great ways to get ideas for blog posts as well as a great way to keep learning. Many people have made careers out of blogging that is essentially an online diary of all your great thoughts and opinions… and all that you are learning.
Traveling / Exposure to Adventure
Visiting new places is another great way to learn. The brain reacts to new environments and responds to exciting situations. By going to new places and learning about new cities and experiencing new cultures, we are expanding our knowledge and also finding great things to blog about in our next article.
Museums, zoos, and aquariums are all great attractions to visit when traveling. Many times they are accessible in most metropolitan areas. They also offer the opportunity for pictures to share in social media.
Classes, Meetings, and Online Training
Most cities and towns offer some classes that can be taken in the “old fashioned” brick-and-mortar fashion. There are places you can drive to, like community education, yoga classes, or even painting class.
Sometimes there are book clubs that meet in coffee shops. It may not be a class, but it is a way to get out of the house and learn something new. The local library or community center may offer free or low-cost classes. If not, maybe you could try proposing one.
If free classes are not available, consider paying for a course that you would highly enjoy such as learning a new language or learning how to draw. Classes are one of the best ways to take in information while also interacting with others.
Another great place to learn is online classes like the following:
Here are some favorite classes on Udemy (one of which is my own):
- How To Get Hundreds of Views To Your YouTube Channel Daily
- Taking Your Google Hangouts On Air to the Next Level
Whether you continued learning by reading, watching videos, attending yoga classes, or even watching Hulu, find a way to ingest new ideas and allow your mind to soar. If you haven’t experienced it, you can find a new exhilarating way to spend time, in a way that you want to spend it.
Let me leave you with a quote from Malcolm Gladwell, “It takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice achieve mastery in a field.” Don’t focus on the number, notice the word “mastery.” You can do anything. The first step is the learning (part of which is practicing) and soon you will be on your way to that mastery. You can be a master of your newly added skill, or a skill that you want to grow. Go for it!