Lifelong learning/Self Direction

Lifelong learning/Self Direction

  • Youlead|  
  • May 25, 2021

Are you constantly motivated to learn? Do you enjoy learning about new subjects and understanding the world better? If you are always learning new things, you are a lifelong learner. To be one, you have to be self-motivated or have self-direction. Not everyone is interested in continuing education once they leave school. Many will be content to only follow social media or the news, and never again learn something new. Only a few very motivated people will continue to learn and grow to the end of their days. But, that is important. Every day the world is changing, and we cannot sit idly by. Learning a new subject or even a skill will help you be more aware of what is happening in the world and also help you get ahead in the workplace.

What is lifelong learning/self-direction?

Lifelong learning is voluntary and self-motivated learning. The search for knowledge can be for either professional or personal reasons. It should be something you are interested in but it will have many benefits for you in all aspects of your life.

How to engage in lifelong learning/have self-direction

You might have read about how the great thinkers and doers of the world throughout history have always kept on reading and learning. You may have marvelled at how many books they read each year. You might have thought how do they have the time? But, that is exactly what you need to do too if you want to be successful. You should follow in their footsteps and read more and read widely. Reading from areas you don’t know about will help open your eyes to the possibilities of the world. It will make you see what others are saying and thinking about. Even if it is a biography of a famous person, there is much to take away from the book. It might spark an interest in you to learn something. This will guide you towards the next area you can learn about.

Of course, you cannot just read and then learn something. You have to have the motivation to do it. That is why it is easier if it is an area you are interested in. Let’s say that you are a marketer and you have learnt about the theory of marketing in school or at college. You have been applying this knowledge at work and been reaping some benefit. But then you read about how content curation and social media marketing are the new areas to focus on. You invest some time to learn more about this new area and you read more and more about it. You then feel confident enough to try it at your own workplace, to great success. This is you applying your lifelong learning skills to the practical world and benefiting from what you learnt. It is fun to learn something new and it will most often have far-reaching benefits.

Elements of lifelong learning/have self-direction

  • Have a curious mind. It is important to stay curious about our world if we want to learn new things.
  • Be self-motivated. It is not easy but self-motivation is the best way to make sure that you stick to your plan to learn something new, whether it is a skill, a language, or a subject.
  • Read widely. There are many resources available today that can make lifelong learning super easy. There are hundreds of thousands of books and articles on every imaginable topic. Read widely from the area you have chosen and don’t get limited to only one mode.
  • Keep in mind your need or goal for lifelong learning. Is it for fun, for work, or to get another qualification? Understanding why you are doing it will help you keep going.
  • Discuss and share with others what you learn. This will help you better understand and retain the information.

Don’t let life get in the way of learning. Continue to explore new areas so that you can stay connected to the world.

 

 

This content is the sole responsibility of its creators. Any opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government, European Union or Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation.

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