“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King.
One of the key values that Shiminly is trying to promote is the concept of lifelong learning. Many people may not be familiar with it and that is why we are going to focus on this concept in this article. We are going to focus on every aspect of this curious concept and convince you of its importance.
The concept of lifelong learning has a set of typical characteristics. First of all, lifelong learning is a voluntary process. People, who commit to the idea of continuous learning are usually self-motivated and take the initiative into their hands. Secondly, they don’t have to pay for their learning = because they educate themselves informally, they teach themselves and they understand that they can derive knowledge from anything around them.
Let me give you some examples. As part of your commitment to lifelong learning, you can, for example, develop a new skill. You can learn how to sew, how to cook or you can even learn the art of public speaking. You can also engage in self-instruction – you can learn a new language, or subscribe to a podcast.
If you want something that involves physical activity, you can join a local club of martial arts, a gym or any other sports club. If you are more into technology, you can explore new devices on the market or install a new app and learn how it works and how it can be beneficial to you. The truth is that you can learn whatever you want – as long as you are learning you are on the right track.
Subscribing to the idea of life-long learning will benefit you in many ways. Below you can read about the five most important reasons why everyone should be a lifelong learner:
IF you engage in lifelong learning, you will improve your personal and professional skills.
When you are learning something new, you are also mastering other important skills as well. This is simply because in order to learn something new we need other skills. As far as your professional career, lifelong learning is also extremely beneficial.
As a result of life learning, those who engage in it keep up with the latest developments and advancements in their industry. This makes them more competitive and qualified. This increases their job security. Even if such people lose their jobs for some reason (which is, of course, unlikely) they will be able to find something better as they will stand out due to their unique skills.
More importantly, those who engage in lifelong learning are more prone to becoming innovative individuals. There is curious research that highlights the link between lifelong learning and innovation. As an innovative person you are likely to come up with ground-breaking solutions. Naturally, this can lead you to a promotion, which in turn, leads to a higher wage and better professional fulfilment and satisfaction.
If you engage in lifelong learning, you are constantly working to improve your health.
There is extensive research that confirms one curious fact: if you never stop learning, you are improving the plasticity of your brain. You can even prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. One very curious piece of research conducted by Harvard Medical School discovered that those who were engaged in stimulating learning activity throughout their lives, demonstrated a remarkable delay in the development of memory issues and early symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
As far as your memory, neuroscientists from the University of Texas at Dallas found out that those individuals who were involved in intellectual hobbies and pursuits demonstrated a significant improvement in their memory skills.
If you engage in lifelong learning, you increase your life expectancy.
There is also extensive research that suggests that your life will be longer if you always learn. A curious study conducted at the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that there is an extricable link between our general health and education. It even suggests that one year of formal education can give you six months of life. They have also established that higher levels of education help people lower anxiety and depression. And also the more education you have, the less likely you are to suffer from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma and hypertension.
If you engage in life-long learning, you will improve your mental health.
Our daily life is very stressful and stress is becoming a major problem when it comes to our mental health. So do you want to relieve stress or get rid of it altogether? Consider this useful tip: when you read you are significantly reducing your stress levels.
Neuropsychologists from the University of Sussex discovered that reading for at least six minutes can make people stress less. During reading our heart rate is easing and our muscles are becoming relaxed. Lower stress levels contribute to better cardiovascular health, they boost our immune system, stabilise our blood pressure, and prevent the onset of depression. That is why there is a strong link between good mental health and lifelong learning.
If you engage in life-long learning, you become a sociable person.
Truth be told that many things that you know today came from your interactions with your parents, friends, colleagues and even strangers. All of that is also part of your lifelong learning. And as you may have noted this process is highly social in nature. Whenever we learn something, we become socially engaged. We are becoming connected to others because we want to learn from them and we do, in fact, learn from them. So lifelong learning will always help me be surrounded by people.
If you are lifelong learning, you are constantly improving your relations with other people. You are making use of all opportunities available to you to become forge strong and meaningful relationships. Is not that great? We are learning, we are interacting and living a satisfying life! You are also inevitably contributing to the development and prosperity of society and your local community.
Social connectedness implies various benefits. People who are developing strong social connections are likely to be happier. They are also likely to have a higher life expectancy than people who refrain from socializing.
In our life, there is always something to learn. Don’t forget about that. A long time ago education was a privilege of the few. Now, you don’t even need to go anywhere to learn something. What you need is the Internet – here you can find anything you want – online courses, encyclopaedias and simple information on any topic of interest. So don’t hesitate to make the most of the sources that are available to you!
Online education has made it possible for everyone to engage in lifelong learning. No matter where you live – you will always be able to resort to online learning. You can choose where you want to learn and at what time you want to learn. Likewise, when you learn something new and engage in continuous learning you significantly boost your memory. Your brain also becomes more efficient.
So if you still haven’t embarked on the exciting path towards lifelong learning, it is the right time too! In this article, we have discussed five compelling reasons why you should engage in lifelong learning. Not only does it improve your chances of becoming a competent and competitive professional, but it is also bound to make you a happier person.
Your Lifelong learning can start here on our Shiminly Blog! Here we are talking about concepts that are often overlooked in traditional school and university curricula. Start the process of lifelong learning by reading about the concepts of Emotional Intelligence, Global Citizenship and the ways of developing related skills. Take the Leap! Be a lifelong learner! Change the world and enjoy your life in the process!
 Marjan Laal. Benefits of Lifelong learning. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042812019751
 See: Cognitive activity relates to cognitive performance but not to Alzheimer disease biomarkers. URL: https://n.neurology.org/content/85/1/48
 See: The Impact of Sustained Engagement on Cognitive Function in Other Adults: The Synapse Project. URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797613499592?papetoc=&
Russ Gadzhiev obtained his PhD in history and politics from University of Melbourne. He also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State University of International Relations, a top-ranking diplomatic school. Russ is a strong education professional with a history of working in the higher education sector of Australia and effectively communicates with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring, writing, curriculum development, research, information management and public speaking. He is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese.