I loved school, an opportunity to learn something new everyday was intoxicating. Ok, I was a bit of a girly swot. But just because school has ended doesn’t mean that we should stop learning.
Some might say that learning and changing things are for the young. But personal growth and self-development is actually something we should all do, no matter what age you are.
Lifelong learning can benefit you at whatever stage of life you find yourself at. I’m going to give you 8 great reasons why you should make it a practice to learn something new everyday.
1. You’ll Feel More Confident
When you’re good at what you do, you feel confident in yourself.
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To build greater confidence and self-belief, embrace lifelong learning. By doing so, you’ll tap into the hidden reserves that you have to increase your capabilities. Although you may already be good at something, enhancing your strengths can give you a good advantage in life, especially in the workplace.
Stay ahead of your colleagues and give yourself a good dose of self-esteem at the same time.
As I’ve probably mentioned before (ok, quite a few times), you are more likely to succeed when you feel confident because you’re more likely to:
- take more risks, which can bring you greater rewards
- build resilience when things don’t go according to plan
- be open to new opportunities
2. You’re Better Prepared To Deal With Challenges
For many professional women, the workplace can be fraught with unexpected challenges. You go into work expecting the day to be pretty straight forward and literally as you walk through the door, something happens like:
- Your boss unexpectedly throws a new project in your direction
- you’re called upon to resolve an issue for which nobody seems to have an answer
- you have to intercept a heated discussion between two colleagues
When you value ongoing learning, you start to see these challenges more as opportunities to be explored.
Life has a habit of throwing curveballs from time to time, but your ability to learn will help you stretch beyond your comfort zone and help you grow. The alternative is to run to the ladies and wallow in misery at your misfortune.
Learn something new everyday, so you’re prepared to face those challenges face on without fear and self-doubt.
3. You’re More Employable
Gone are the days where you would work in the same company or similar position for your whole career.
We all need to keep learning to survive in an ever-changing job market.
The best way to stay employable and continue to advance your career in your chosen field is continuous professional development. Although many professions have this as a prerequisite.
But rather than have this as an obligation, look at the ways you can learn something new everyday to help you make progress. Suppose you want to be considered for promotion in your current job. In that case, many employers will consider work that you have done outside your job role specifics. Extra credit is given for work you volunteer to do!
In addition, your knowledge and skills will need to grow with your industry, and at some point, you might change careers altogether.
The Covid pandemic taught us how some jobs are vulnerable. You may have had to adapt your working practices in some circumstances.
Even if the worse scenario of impending redundancies looms, you’ll be confident to apply for other jobs because your mindset is already primed to learn new things.
4. You’re Better Prepared For World Changes
The world of business is global and, as such, is continually changing and evolving. If you don’t try to keep up, you can soon get left behind due to:
- New technology
- World events
Or even just the skills needed to survive in the business world. It’s vital to stay fresh and update your knowledge on the latest thing.
The more you know and take the time to learn something new everyday, the more prepared you are for changes which mean you can keep up with life in the fast-paced world.
Additionally, you’ll always have something to talk about when you attend a networking event. You’ll be able to speak more easily with people from different industries.
5. You Can Value and Understand Different Perspectives
Diversity in the workplace is something that most employers boast of. One of the characteristics that an employer will look for is diversity awareness in their employees. I cover this in my course Discover You – for more information, click here.
So, rather than think you already know it all, continuous learning helps you see how you gain a great deal from other people.
Knowledge helps you understand different viewpoints, solutions and perspectives. The more you know, the more you value how others have different ideas from you.
Only when you are open to learning something new everyday can you truly change who you are and what you believe.
6. Your Social Awareness Increases
As a follow on to reason number five, only when you intentionally seek out perspectives and viewpoints different from yours can you increase social awareness. With that comes greater empathy – another highly valued characteristic of leaders.
If you want to know more about the world and make an impact at work, then a willingness to learn about problems people face by raising your social awareness is a must. After all, how can you help find solutions to help others if you don’t understand the different intricacies involved?
An easy way to do this is to listen to community-led radio or podcasts that look at different cultures. They are always full of great insights.
If you have the bandwidth, consider getting involved in a community project. Not only will you raise your social awareness, but you’ll also do some good at the same time. You can find details of volunteer opportunities at Volunteer - Gov.UK.
Volunteer work is guaranteed to provide you with the opportunity to learn something new everyday outside of your usual work routine.
7. You Can Share Your Knowledge With Others
Those who value lifelong learning appreciate the opportunity to share what they know with others.
When you learn something new everyday, it’s an excellent opportunity to pass on that knowledge by sharing it with others.
When you help others learn, you become a leader. Or at the very least a mentor to others.
Helping others allows you to apply your knowledge in new ways which can strengthen your understanding.
The joy of being a continuous learner means you want others to continue learning as well. Also, going back to my point about employability, it’s a great way to make an impact at work and gain recognition. Remember what I said about promotional opportunities?
Many companies have an annual salary review process. It doesn’t mean you automatically qualify for a pay rise. Still, if you are recognised as someone who helps others and moves the business forward, then this will stand you in good stead at review time.
8. You Will Live Longer
Yes, it’s true. If you’re mentally active throughout your life, you will:
- Live longer
- Be more fulfilled in later years
Ageing experts insist that if you learn something new everyday, it keeps your mind and mental health in good shape.
Bearing in mind, we are living longer, having robust mental health is paramount. And this can be achieved through the simple act of taking time to learn something new. A study by John Field supports that lifelong learning impacts reducing depression and increasing fulfilment in older adults. For more information, have a look at Field, J. (2009) Well-being and Happiness. IFLL Thematic Paper 4. NIACE: Leicester
If you think you’ll reach the age when you don’t have to learn anything new again, you’ll miss out on many enriching experiences.
I know what it’s like to get home after work and think, ‘I’m too tired to do any more thinking today.’ But you’ll be pleased to know how you can rest some areas of your mind and still give other regions a good workout!
You can learn something new everyday by considering some of the ideas below:
- Read something – the best way to absorb new information is to read. You’re likely surrounded by reading material, the daily newspaper, magazines and of course, there are always books!
- Explore a subject you’re interested in. This is one of the most fun ways to learn. When you’re interested in something, you’ll be endlessly fascinated by the new facts you learn
- Listen to audible books. If you don’t claim to be an avid reader, then have a story read to you. After all, who doesn’t love a good story?
- Do a crossword puzzle – if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a dictionary handy to look things up. You’ll be looking up and learning new words all the time.
- Join a club – find a club that focuses on a subject you’re already interested in. Lots of professional women I know have joined a craft club. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet. You’ll learn by observing and doing. And have something to show for it at the end!
- Get out more – when you’re relating to others, you gain new knowledge. And you discover and experience new things. Make it a point to get out and about at least weekly.
- Go window-shopping. It’s not spending money that expands your mind; it’s going to the shops and exploring what’s new. New things are invented every day. You’ve probably never thought of window-shopping as a learning opportunity, but at the rate, technology is growing, it is.
So, set yourself a challenge to learn something new everyday; your confidence and mental health will thank you for it.