Mastering The Art Of Continuous Learning On The Path To Success

I’m sure you’ve heard about ‘the importance of continuous learning’ a few times by now; it’s a concept that consultants often advise companies and employers to incorporate in their culture for a way to continually increase the kills of their employees.

From 2011 to 2016, there were 90,000 more mature students (above the age of 25) enrolled at universities than typical-aged student, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In the U.S., adult or mature students are now the majority of degree seekers. 

The explosion of education tech allowed even bigger population of global learners to obtain new skills and achieve precisely personalized goals, small or large.

In fact, many adult online students are already successful professionals with great salaries. They want to learn for the sake of knowledge, not necessarily career change. 

But for some people, especially those with great responsibilities both at work and home, just thinking about this vague concept of ‘continuous learning’ might make you physically fatigued – like thinking about cleaning out the Hoarders-worthy garage. Some might feel overwhelmed with the choices they have to make as to what learnings you should pursue or prioritise among all their interests.

It really does not need to be so daunting. Here are some ways you can successfully adopt continuous learning in your life to win the way you desire. The list is in the order from small (nevertheless could be just as impactful) to large on the effort scale. 

1. Read articles, news, and/or books in consistent intervals

You can decide to set google alerts on a couple topics you find interesting and follow the current events unfolding in the areas. This will not only help you expand your knowledge on the topic with minimum time investment but also allow you to debate, converse and exchange ideas with other people from whom you can learn. 

Starting a book club with your friends or colleagues is also a good way to master continuous learning; and it can be fun and social! You can set your own pace based on your schedule and even plan fun events related to the book’s themes for your meetups. 

2. Take on real-life activities outside your work where you can meet people you wouldn’t normally run into

The activities do not have to be intense or even necessarily related to your job or academics. Doing volunteer work for issues you care about and getting more involved beyond donations or events could provide a wide window of opportunities for some new skills and new friends. 

Connecting with people of all walks of life expands your professional and personal network; but more importantly, it will broaden your understanding of the world. You will learn about roles, hobbies, travel ideas, trends, and perspectives you didn’t know existed. 

If you work at a large company with employee engagement initiatives, you can take on a leadership role for one or more. Run your own event (even if it’s just a small panel discussion with small audience) and you will be shocked by how much you mature from the experience. 

3. Pursue a degree – but on your terms

Getting a degree is no longer how it used to be – going to a physical campus or taking 2 or 4 years of classes determined not by you. There is so much flexibility now. 

Listen to how this woman, who went back to school to get a degree in business and tourism while working full-time, was able to obtain not just the knowledge but the learning experience she wanted by taking online postgraduate courses in Australia. Even the term ‘degree’ now encompasses a much wider variety of academic certifications. 

4. Create your own challenge and learning mechanisms

If there is a will, there is a way. If you have some friends or colleagues with similar interests and drive, you can create your own challenge. Select an initiative (and there is no shortage of publicly available project materials and data sets), agree on the scope and terms including timelines (maybe even a prize or reward), and form teams.

Document your results as much as possible so you can use share those materials for interviews or simply to inspire others.

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