In our world of information overload, the question “what is continuing education?” is a very common one. Depending on the individual and situation, it can also mean a variety of things that range across the education spectrum.
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What Is Continuing Education?
Continuing education is an all-encompassing term that describes a variety of formal and informal learning activities and methods.
For example, at one end of the spectrum, we have courses and certifications that enabled you to further develop your skills and knowledge in specific areas of your career or profession. At the other end of the spectrum, we have much simpler activities such as reading or attending seminars which you can also utilize to great effect to continue educating yourself.
There is no right or wrong option here. The real goal is figuring out which option works best for you and how you can apply it to your daily life.
In the end, self-education comes down to your pursuit of acquiring knowledge or developing skills.
Keep in mind that continuing education ranges from getting the requirements to take that next step in your professional life, to learning and pursuing research based on your interests.
Throughout the process of education, we begin to adopt the idea that we can only learn from authority figures, such as people with the appropriate credentials and accolades, or those who are given the title of teacher or professor.
This is an outdated opinion, especially given the contemporary world where most people already have access to so much relevant information at the tip of their fingertips.
There is something that can be learned from everyone and every experience that you have in your life. But to begin grasping those lessons, you first need to appreciate them.
Imagine this scenario:
You are walking down the street in your home town and somebody stops you to have a quick conversation. However, you think you are busy so you avoid them. This is an unfortunately common occurrence for a lot of individuals.
If you walk around thinking that you are better than other people, or as though you are too busy to make time for them, you are going to miss out on many potentially important lessons.
This is why an attitude of gratitude is becoming increasingly important. If we can learn to adopt an attitude of gratitude, we are going to become more receptive to the lessons around us.
This enables us to better answer the question we started with:
What is continuing education?
It is being open to the opportunities that the universe presents us so that we can continue to learn.
Imagine if you could not only retain what you were learning every day but also build on that knowledge. Think about the impact that would have on your life.
Why Is Continuing Education Important?
Now that we have a better understanding of the answer to the two questions mentioned earlier, it is time to discuss why all of these are important.
After all, if we do not understand why continuing education is important, we are more likely to lose motivation, which is an obstacle that we would prefer to avoid.
Compliance With Professional Standards
For professionals and workers who are required to stay up to date with their knowledge and skillsets, the need for continuing education is quite clear. This type of education enables them to comply with the laws, standards, and certifications that allow them to remain licensed and working within their profession.
They need these opportunities to start a career in their field of interest. Continuing education allows them to become more qualified so that they can progress to higher levels within their profession and gain more income, freedom, or responsibility.
Learning More About What You Are Passionate About
However, for other individuals, continuing education has another importance. Continuing education enables people to learn more about the things they are passionate about.
This impact can take effect in a variety of different ways. Continually educating yourself could give you the confidence boost you need and serve as a foundation for the next step you want to take in a given area of knowledge.
Sometimes people are not yet fully aware of their passions in life. Reading this article can help you find yours: How To Find and Develop Your Passions.
Opportunities to Meet People
Another significance of continuing education is that it presents opportunities to meet other people. In a world that puts high importance on having a wide social network, continuing education becomes very useful. Even if you are just making new friends in your field, it can have a significant impact on your path towards your education.
Finally, and possibly the most important reason is that continuing education allows you to learn about the things that you have an innate curiosity for. It allows you to begin pursuing your passions and directing yourself towards the future that you would enjoy bringing into reality.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude for Continuous Learning
Now let us shift from our original question of “what is continuing education?” to “how do we develop attitudes of gratitude?” for a brief moment.
In the next section, we will quickly examine why this is an important component of our answer to the first question.
There are a few ways to begin working towards embodying an attitude of gratitude, and you can pick and choose the attitudes that resonate with you the most.
Here are a few examples that you may consider:
1. Take the Time to Meditate
Meditation is one way for people to begin developing more gratitude within themselves. This may seem counterintuitive at first. But how does doing nothing develop a grateful attitude? You are right, it does not.
However, it does put us in a great headspace, which encourages us to become more mindful in our daily practices and make us more receptive to gratitude.
If you want to learn more about meditation, this quick guide may help you: The 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime.
2. Express Your Gratitude Verbally
Another straightforward way to begin developing an attitude of gratitude is to begin talking about it more and expressing your gratefulness. You can express it to someone for something as simple as them opening up a door for you. Saying thank you goes a long way for you and others.
By acting gratefully, you will begin having these emotions more regularly, which can eventually integrate into your normal actions.
3. Create a Daily Gratitude Journal
Another method is to keep a gratitude journal. This brings your gratitude from your mind to your external environment where you can more effectively visualize what it is that you are thankful for.
For example, say you are thankful for your family. The next time one of them gets on your nerves, read your journal so you will be more reminded of how you are grateful for them, even though they annoyed you.
Overall, these activities instill the mindset of being receptive to the lessons around you so that you can fully absorb them and grow into a better person.
If you like more tips on how to develop an attitude of gratitude, check out this article: 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude
Hopefully, you now have a better answer to the question of continuing education now that you have read this article.
By now, you should not only understand what an attitude of gratitude is, but also how you can begin developing it in your own life. Hopefully, through these efforts, you will prime yourself to become more receptive to new learning experiences in your daily life and never miss another opportunity to grow as an individual.
Finally, you should now know the importance of continual education, both from a professional standpoint and a personal one. Through this, you can truly take your life wherever you would like it to go and become whatever type of person you wish to become.
Your future is in your hands.
Want to Know More About Continuing Education?
- 5 Ways To Keep Learning After College
- 10 Inexpensive Ways To Continue Your Education Outside of School
- 17 Best Careers Worth Going Back to School for at 40
Featured photo credit: Clay Banks via unsplash.com
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