The ‘lifelong learning mindset’

Have you ever seen a just born flying a plane? Folks, chill! This summer heat has not yet driven me insane. But the truth is that a just born starts learning from the time it takes its first breath. There is no end to learning or let me put it this way that when you stop learning it’s the end. A baby learns to crawl, walk and then run. But much more than that. From prep to school to university and then post-graduation. And then we enter the world of work and feel that now life is and beautiful, no more learning just perform or perish. Actually, any knowledge or learning is based on assumptions, postulates and repeated cycles of experiences. As we have evolved – the way it used to work does not work anymore. The world has changed and is changing constantly even as we speak. Digital has broken all geographical barriers, the world is but a click away. Technological development has given us all wings. Enabled us, empowered us. In-fact unlearning and relearning is the new trend or you don’t enjoy the advantages of technological advancements, gadgets and even the new ways of the world we live in today.

As long as you align with a ‘Lifelong learning mindset’ you will surge ahead, succeed and leapfrog. Lifelong learning is the ongoing education of oneself. You add knowledge, awareness and live in the present, therefore you can naturally pivot, adapt and remain ever relevant. There are some very basic changes that you will need to make to grow your mindset into a continuous learning mindset. Here are the fundamentals-

Understand the need for lifelong learning

There are two types of learning. Structured or formal learning and learning from experiences. While formal training is imparted by a subject matter expert learning from experiences happens as you wade through the waters of life. Learning anything is all about attitude, not aptitude. It’s always about keeping your mind open and learning to understand, absorb and implement. Formal learning especially at your workplace can be left behind in the training room itself unless you create an action plan to use the training for self-improvement. Learning while adopting a new technology and innovation can either be just enough to float on the surface or you deep dive and turn this new technology to your advantage.

Stretch beyond your comfort zone

You can declare yourself an expert and seek comfort in your existing skill set, knowledge and expertise and take the risk of being obsolete or go beyond your comfort zone and relearn as well as learn what is new. But first you need to define your purpose of lifelong learning. Once you define your purpose, it will be easier for you to simplify and identify the areas where you will focus your learning and then turn into a ‘serial master’. Learning all the time is not easy and often people find it difficult to manage their work life balance and add the stress of new learning into their life mix. To stay relevant is one of the biggest value adds you can bring to your work and life.

Own your development

The best way in life is not to chase illusions especially about your own knowledge. It’s like diving into the icy waters of the artic with the illusion that you are an expert swimmer! If you have decided to evolve into a nourishing ‘Lifelong learning mindset’, you will need to own your development and its relevance. Remember, in today’s work world, everything is fluid and dynamic. Surf the waves of change and stay ahead. Be connected to everything around you, especially reality. Thrive on trend spotting. Every challenge has a new learning, so embrace every challenge with a view to come out victorious. Lifelong learning prepares you for anything. Well almost everything!

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”- Henry Ford

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Amitesh Banerjee
Amitesh is a seasoned positive integrated communications disruptor with several years of multi- country/multi- domain experience. He has worked for reputed organisations in senior leadership positions including JWT, ITC, New Zealand Dairy Board, Seychelles Marketing Board, Perfect Relations, Genesis BCW, Adfactors, Della Group, H+K Strategies among others. Amitesh is Senior Vice President of Beanstalk Asia- a leading Integrated Marketing Communications firm.

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