There’s always something new to learn, some way to expand our knowledge base and better ourselves in our jobs, social circles, and increase our personal confidence through learning and engaging with information around us. As human beings we are innately curious, with a natural desire to learn and progress, and although some people are distinguished as ‘life long learners’ – namely researchers and academics, that’s not to say that we can’t all do the same in our own ways.
Learning not only builds on our self-esteem and self-efficacy, it is also a great way to fuel creativity. Getting the creative juices flowing can unlock great ideas, and can help you to think outside of the box, or see things from a different angle – it’s just a matter of triggering those thoughts and skill sets.
Learning new skills doesn’t have to be a big task; it can be something as simple as learning a new word, or instating a ‘fun fact’ day at work, to throw ideas about with colleagues. I find that if you try to learn one new thing every day, no matter how big or small, it helps to generate fresh ideas, gives you a boost of inspiration, and it can also help you to meet new people with interests similar to your own.
So why is learning so damn good for us? Well, here are 5 things to consider:
1. Empowerment. You’re familiar with the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ – well, it kind of is, if you know how to apply that knowledge. Self-education enables you to see the world from different perspectives, to make counter arguments, even if only with yourself. Knowledge gives you a much more holistic approach, and therefore the freedom and capability to make more rounded decisions.
2. Interesting conversation. Learning new facts, fresh skills, interesting trivia makes for the interesting interlocutor because you can dip in and out of conversations, get involved in a debate, and tell engaging stories.
3. Meeting new people. Joining a club, a class or a course will put you in direct contact with a group of people with similar interests. You’ve all signed up to learn about something specific (or broad) and this is a great way to share ideas, to motivate and inspire one another, and it’s the perfect way to make new friends.
4. Less time to get bored. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s a good idea to unwind and just relax in your spare time, but it’s also a good idea to fill gaps with something productive. Take a dance class, learn a language, embark on a coding course – you can guarantee that you will feel great after each step, as you fill your knowledge pool with something new.
5. Personal growth. This is a big one for me, because in my opinion, it’s important to keep on learning, to continuously expand our skill sets with fresh knowledge. It’s a way of gaining a deeper understanding of the world and the people we interact with. By continuously learning new things, we are simply unleashing our potential to experience new things.