Lifelong learning means that you never stop taking in new information. You keep developing your critical thinking abilities. You use every opportunity to learn new insights and skills.
Formal schooling, education and training courses are just one way of learning. But life offers learning opportunities everywhere.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
– Alvin Toffler
1. Learning to know
As a lifelong learner you choose to learn. You have a positive attitude to change. You look for new and better ways of doing things. You are curious and open-minded. You make a deliberate effort to learn for personal and professional development. You use a variety of ways to keep learning: the internet, books, the media, in addition to formal courses. You know how and where to find reliable information. You can analyse facts and change your own opinions when the facts do not support your position. You can distinguish between authoritative and unreliable information in books, the media and websites, for example.
Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.
– Isaac Asimov
2. Learning to be
You pursue personal development. You learn to keep growing in maturity:
- Physical maturity, which means that you care for your body. You make an effort to stay fit and healthy
- Emotional maturity, which means that you are in touch with your feelings. You learn to control your emotions and express them in the right way
- Mental maturity, which means that you can evaluate information. You learn to take decisions based on facts
- Social maturity, which means that you can listen to others with empathy. You learn to disagree respectfully and you can be honest and polite at the same time
- Spiritual maturity, which means that you know exactly what you believe and why. You can respect others who don’t share your beliefs
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
– Henry Ford
3. Learning to do
You keep learning for your professional development, knowing that most people now have several different careers during their lifetime. You are enthusiastic about skills development and about acquiring transferable skills. You seize every opportunity for employee development, coaching and mentoring. You learn about your passions and interests, hobbies and pastime. Many entrepreneurs have developed their passion into a business.
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
– Chinese Proverb