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Last Updated on February 3, 2021

12 Powerful Habits of People Dedicated to Lifelong Learning

12 Powerful Habits of People Dedicated to Lifelong Learning
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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. Lifelong learning is how you improve as a person, bit by bit and day by day.

Lifelong learners recognize the importance and joy of growth and personal development, so they never settle for what they currently know and always seek to improve and build upon their current knowledge.

Here are 12 habits of people who value lifelong learning; 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 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. Through reading, you can connect with successful people and learn from the lessons they share[1]. Through fiction, you can learn through your imagination and that of the author, connecting with worlds that aren’t your own.

Lifelong 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.

If you want to boost your lifelong learning, pick up any book to get started.

2. They Attend Various Courses

Whether it’s online or offline, there are countless courses you can participate in without spending a dime. These are great opportunities to connect with clever and like-minded people and learn from them.

Because of the advanced technology, you can now gain knowledge from online programs, from coding to self-improvement to programs from top universities.

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There are literally endless ways to thrive. What lifelong learners have in common is squeezing as much as possible out of these opportunities.

3. They Actively Seek Opportunities to Grow

Instead of spending your free time lying 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 a local meet-up, or attend a class that teaches something you always wanted to learn.

Lifelong learners stay up-to-date with growth opportunities in their area 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 move, so leading a sedentary lifestyle harms both your physical and mental sphere.

Lifelong 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:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” -Steve Jobs

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 and engage in lifelong learning. By practicing different skills, you give yourself an advantage over others. 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 success are much higher compared to when you are forced to learn.

Lifelong learners love to experience 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.

You can learn more about how to take learning to the next level and make progress in this video:

7. They Challenge Themselves with Specific Goals

In order to keep growing, you clearly define your goals. SMART goal setting is one important tool to ensure constant growth.

Since you love challenges, a difficult goal doesn’t scare you. Instead, it keeps you motivated and engaged.

Research showed that precise and ambitious goals increase the performance of an individual. As we already agreed, lifelong learners are people who care about their performance, so they never stop improving.

8. They Embrace Change

A complete change can lead to incredible results. This is especially visible in the example of successful companies.

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Often, it’s that transformation that 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 monthly active users and is considered the second biggest social network.

As a lifelong 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 that after a certain age, they are no longer allowed to start something and become successful. The truth is, it’s just an excuse to not leave one’s comfort zone.

Opposite to common misconceptions, there’s no wrong age to begin something. Henry Ford was 45 when he invented the Ford Model T car, the first affordable automobile.

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 lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” -Peter Drucker

There’s nothing better than to see the people around you 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 lifelong learner, you are extremely passionate about constant growth, and people around you can sense that positive attitude. As a result, they start acting similarly.

11. They Leave Their Comfort Zone

Is it really better to step out of your comfort zone? The answer is always yes.

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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 challenges.[2]

The comfort zone

    Every time you get out of your comfort zone, regardless of whether you succeed or fail, you learn something new, and 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.” -Don Tapscott

    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 that once you stop learning, you lose the amazing privilege humans have, namely an ability for never-ending intellectual development.

    The Bottom Line

    Lifelong learning is about building a positive attitude toward the benefits gained when you increase your store of knowledge. Even if you never enjoyed school, you can find ways to enjoy your own personal learning and professional development and learn about things that genuinely interest you. Once you start, you’ll find it difficult to stop.

    More Tips on Lifelong Learning

    Featured photo credit: Christin Hume via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    Oskar Nowik

    Oskar is a blogger and the author of "Brightening: The Positive Attitude That Will Change Your Life"

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

    What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement
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    If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

    SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

    So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

    What Is SWOT Analysis?

    SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

    S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

    All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

    How to Do a SWOT Analysis

    Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

    If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

    If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.

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    You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

    SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:

    Strengths

    What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

    What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

    What achievements have I been awarded?

    What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?

    Weaknesses

    Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

    What bad habits do I have?

    What thoughts tend to hold me back?

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    Opportunities

    Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

    Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

    Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

    Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?

    Threats

    What competition do I face in a certain area?

    What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

    If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

    Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

    Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

    1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

    One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.

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    More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

    SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

    2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

    Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

    SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

    It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

    3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

    One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

    An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

    Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

    The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.

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    4. It Minimizes Risk

    Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

    On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

    5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

    An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

    Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

    Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

    It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

    To Wrap Up

    So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

    Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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