Success is Learning
Estimated Lesson Time: 5 minutes
Stop learning and start doing. This is what most of us are encouraged to do at some point early in our lives, either consciously or unconsciously. The beginning of one’s career is often the end of one’s education as well. Sure, there may be some job training down the road and even an occasional non-fictional book or two, but nothing like the education we receive early on in life. Successful individuals embrace the habit of learning and make it a life-long process. Successful individuals are encouraged to start doing and keep learning.
Learning is the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill. In traditional education, topics are chosen for us and rightfully so. After all, if it were up to 10-year-olds, they would study video game cheats and the art of tormenting siblings. In traditional education, class times are fixed, as are schedules. This rigid educational system tends to turn many people off from learning early on. Learning beyond traditional education is very different; it is an unstructured process that begins with a desire within oneself to attain knowledge or a skill. This type of learning is both motivating and addictive.
So why bother learning after formal schooling is completed?
- Law of entropy. The law of entropy basically states that if we don’t use it, we lose it. Unless we continually exercise our brain by feeding it information through learning, our ability to retain information deteriorates.
- Perception. Others tend to judge us based on how educated we appear to be. Although this is a form of prejudice, it happens all the time.
- Advancement. Continuing education can help you advance in your current career. Don’t just think about degrees and titles; think about acquiring the knowledge that will help you do your job better.
- Discovery. We are expected to decide on a career relatively early in life. For many people, this usually leads to a life of contentment, not passion. Continue to study topics that interest you, and you may discover that your true passion in life has nothing to do with your chosen career.
- Confidence. Continual learning builds confidence on a regular basis. Think about it, how can you not be more confident knowing that each day you become smarter and wiser?
There have been numerous successful individuals throughout history who lacked formal schooling. Yet, with the desire for knowledge, the need for personal growth, and the love of learning, they became very educated. Those who are not fortunate enough to have the opportunity of formal education are not destined for a life of ignorance. Education does not have to cost money, and it does not have to take very much time. Learning is for everyone who has the desire to embrace it.
Here are just some ways in which you can continue the learning process throughout your life.
- Formal schooling. If you never completed your formal schooling, it is never too late to go back. Don’t feel as if you are “too old” or it is “too late.” Colleges are full of students of all ages. High school equivalency tests (GED) are even available on-line now.
- Adult education. Most communities have adult education classes on many subjects. These classes are less frequent than standard college courses and usually cost very little. Contact your town/city hall for more information and schedules.
- On-line courses. The Internet is the greatest source of education available today. You can find courses on just about any subject you can imagine. Some of these courses are completely free, and some do cost money. However, just about all of the on-line courses can be done at home, and most even at your own pace.
- Books, audio, and video. There are millions of non-fiction books, podcasts, audio lectures, and videos available today on virtually every conceivable subject. Books can be taken just about anywhere and read at one’s own pace. Audio programs are great while driving or exercising. And videos make great teachers for people who prefer learning visually. Best of all, local libraries make these incredible learning tools available for free.
- Other classes. Why not expand your mind while conditioning your body? Try martial arts, yoga, Pilates, aerobics, swimming, tennis... the list goes on.
The key to learning is to first create the desire for knowledge. Understand that continual learning will increase your odds of success and help you reach your goals faster. Learning comes in many forms besides formal schooling and certainly does not have to stop when a career begins. Be inquisitive, ask questions, and seek answers. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty,” said Henry Ford. “Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
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- Buy the Book. Year To Success - Available in hardcover, signed by the author. Also available in ebook, paperback, and audio from Amazon.com.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)