Formal education is something everyone has to go through to a certain degree, and the knowledge it offers isn’t always that practical in real life. Life long learning is how you improve as a person, bit by bit and day by day.
Life long learners recognize the importance and joy of growth so they never settle for what they currently know and always seek for improvement.
Here are 12 signs these life long learners have in common – see how many of them you recognize in yourself.
1. They read on a daily basis
Whatever problem or dilemma you currently face, there’s definitely at least one decent book that discusses it and presents a variety of solutions.
Reading is a great way to open up new horizons, train your brain and revolutionize your life. I can’t even count how many times books completely transformed the way I view the world, and it’s always a change for the better. Through reading, you can connect with successful people and learn from the lessons they share.
Life long learners love to get lost in books and do it regularly. Bill Gates knows that reading matters a lot: on his personal blog he reviews plenty of game-changing books. Due to technology, you can access a bookshelf of the wealthiest entrepreneur on this planet.
2. They attend various courses
Whether it’s online or offline, there are countless courses you can participate in without spending a dime on it. These are great opportunities to connect with clever and like-minded people and learn from them.
Due to the technology, you can now gain knowledge from online programs, starting from coding through self-improvement to programs from top universities.
There are literally endless ways thrive and what life long learners have in common is squeezing as much as possible out of these opportunities.
3. They seek opportunities to grow
Instead of spending your free time laying on the couch and watching TV, you prefer doing something creative and practical. You know every wasted minute is gone forever.
That’s why you’d rather practice your language skills with a native-speaker you’ve met, engage in local meet up or attend a class that teaches something you always wanted to learn.
Life long learners stay up-to-date with growth opportunities in their areas and participate in them frequently.
4. They take care of their bodies
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
John F. Kennedy
A clever mind combined with a body in a great condition is the best asset you can have. Our bodies were designed to run, walk, jump, swim, lift and much more. Leading a sedentary lifestyle harms both your physical and mental sphere.
Life long learners know the body is your temple. In order to make it flourish for as long as possible, they train regularly, move a lot and eat healthy.
5. They have diverse passions
Among Steve Jobs’ wise quotes, there’s one I like especially. It’s about connecting the dots. Each dot is some event or skill in your life, and it’s only when you go through these elements that you know how to combine them into something great.
Having a variety of passions indicates that you love to progress. By practicing different skills, you give yourself an advantage over the rest of the people. During hard times, you are more likely to to act intelligently and solve your problems with less effort.
6. They love making progress
If behind the efforts, there is passion and a deep desire to grow, your chances of a success are way higher, compared to when you are forced to learn.
Life long learners love to experience the constant growth and improvement. The breakthrough moments help them to notice the impressive change that took place because of the learning process. Any milestone serves as a driving force for further headway.
7. They challenge themselves with specific goals
In order to keep growing, you clearly define your goals. Since you love challenges, a difficult goal doesn’t scare you. Quite the opposite, it keeps you motivated and engaged.
Research showed that precise and ambitious goals increase the performance of an individual. As we already agreed, life long learners are people who care about their performance, hence they never stop improving.
Smart goal setting is one of the tools to ensure constant growth.
8. They embrace change
A complete change can lead to incredible results. This is especially visible on the example of successful companies. Oftentimes, it’s that transformation which created space for their so-called overnight success. Twitter was originally created as an internal service to serve Odeo employees. Currently, it has over 300 million active users and is considered the second biggest social network.
As a life long learner, you know a change can lead to extraordinary results so you welcome it and stay open minded about making a shift.
9. They believe it’s never too late to start something
Some people tend to think after a certain age, they are no longer allowed to start something and become successful. The truth is, it’s just a lame excuse not to leave the comfort zone.
Henry Ford was 45 when he invented the Ford Model T car, which is considered as the first affordable automobile.
Oppose misconceptions: there’s no wrong age to begin something. Sure, for some domains like becoming a professional athlete starting early is required. However, to learn and improve for its own sake, you are never too old.
10. Their attitude to getting better is contagious
“We now accept the fact that learning is a life long process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”
There’s nothing better than to see your surroundings getting involved in what you actively participate in. Oftentimes, the best way to achieve that is to inspire them and be the example. As Gandhi would say, you need to be the change you want to see in the world.
As a life long learner, you are extremely passionate about the constant growth and people around you can sense that positive attitude. As a result, they start acting similarly.
11. They leave their comfort zone.
You always embrace discomfort as you know the path to success leads through hardship and countless obstacles. Instead of being afraid of facing them, you challenge yourself to overcome more and more difficult handicaps.
Every time you get out of your comfort zone, regardless whether you win or fail, you learn something new. That’s the part you love the most!
12. They never settle down
Knowledge is exploding, so you need to commit yourself to a plan for life long learning.
A sense of being clever enough is something you don’t experience. Without a doubt, you appreciate what you already know, but that’s never a reason to stop. You just know once you stop willing to learn, you lose the amazing privilege humans have, namely an ability to a never-ending intellectual development.
Featured photo credit: Cropped image of a young man working on his laptop in a coffee shop, rear view of business man hands busy using laptop at office desk, young male student typing on computer sitting at wooden table via shutterstock.com