It seems more and more difficult to find people nowadays who love reading books even when they are not forced to.
As soon as we get out of school, we are eager to reject any form of learning, including reading books of our own free will: never reading another book in their life seems to be true for one-third of high school graduates, and even 42% of college graduates follow their path. Very high percent of adults and families also shy away from going into a bookstore, buying a book, and not to mention reading it.
We become so resistant to learning, as we perceive it as an obligation, and as soon as we say goodbye to our formal education, we think – that’s it, no more learning, thanks god. What we fail to understand is that constant learning should be an important part of our lives, as it doesn’t just provide us with knowledge, but improves many other skills and provides numerous benefits.
You Can Easily Reap These 4 Benefits When You Keep Learning
Constant learning can make us more adaptable to the challenges and changes at work and in life and better our problem solving skills
There are constant changes happening around us, in our everyday life we see so many technological innovations, and you are probably constantly facing changes at your workplace, as every business needs to keep up with this fast-paced modern world. UC Irvine neurobiologists found that learning helps your brain function at a higher level, and thus making you more adaptable to changes.
Learning can make us happier and healthier which helps fight dementia and brain ageing
Gaining knowledge constantly and learning new skills is not just useful, but it is good for your brain as well. A comprehensive study by Thomas Bak dealt with bilingualism and brain ageing. His findings suggest that learning a second language, even later in life, can benefit your brain and delay dementia.
Learning can make us more confident and interesting, which helps with our interpersonal relationships
Working on your personal growth gives you confidence to engage in social interactions and participate in any conversation, and freely express your ideas with newly gained knowledge. While constantly learning, you come across many interesting facts that you can share with others at social gatherings and thus form many new relationships.
Learning can broaden our views and help us make better decisions
By constantly learning, you are constantly expanding your knowledge base, and are therefore to able to see things from different perspectives. When you develop this ability to approach every situation from a different angle, you will be more confident when making new decisions based on all the knowledge you are continually gaining.
Lifelong Learning Becomes Effortless When You Turn It into a Daily Habit by These 4 Ways
Learning new things might seem as an obligation, but as soon as you learn how to incorporate learning into your everyday routine, the process will become effortless.
Keep the big goal in mind but do the minimum work
It is normal to want to achieve significant goals when learning, but it might seem overwhelming when you, for example say “I want to learn a new language in 6 months”, and you force yourself to learn 50 new words every day. After a while, it will start to burden you, and you will quit.
The best practice is to have the main goal in mind, but try to break it into sets of smaller achievable goals, and you will thus feel like you are making progress and will be more eager to continue. Decide what you want to achieve in the next month, for example, and the minimum of work you need to do every day. When learning a new language, you can say that you want to read 5 pages of a book in that language every day.
Make use of the “if-then” approach to make your brain feel less burdened
When incorporating new habits, it is often difficult to stick to them and find the time during the day, since we always have something else to do and tend to forget that we planned to learn something. If you want your learning habit to stick, try to connect it with your current routines, instead of trying to change them completely.
To do that, you can use triggers. When you say “Today, I want to learn for one hour”, it is to general as you cannot associate it with any other daily routine. It would be better to say “When I finish having shower, then I will learn” and you will have a contextual clue that will trigger the habit.
Eliminate excessive options
When having too many options it is difficult to focus on learning – you want to watch something on TV, or you can play some games, or listen to music. Make a decision which period during the day you will dedicate to learning, and set the time aside just for learning. At the beginning of every week make a plan what learning materials you will cover and stick to your plan. Once you get used to the fact that you learn during that certain period, you will do it automatically without thinking.
Don’t just think about the desired result – visualize the process
A study conducted at UCLA  found that when visualizing the process and steps you need to go through to reach the desired result, you are more likely to stay consistent. Just visualizing the result and the end goal can make it seem impossible and too far to reach. So, you need to take one step at a time, and first visualize the next step towards your goal, and once you are done with that step, visualize the next step and so on.
|Mental Floss: Who Reads Books?
|Science Daily: Learning keeps brain healthy: Mental activity could stave off age-related cognitive and memory decline
|Wiley Online Library: Does bilingualism influence cognitive aging?
|SAGE journals: From Thought to Action: Effects of Process-Versus Outcome-Based Mental Simulations on Performance