If the idea of learning something new makes you cringe, it’s time for a mindset shift. You don’t have to go back to college, and you don’t have to sit in front of a boring textbook reading the same sentence over and over because you keep getting distracted. There are so many ways to grow and develop, especially in modern-day life. You can take a class, enroll in an online course, or even teach yourself through research and hands-on experience. There are many ways to widen your skillset that don’t have to be sleep-inducing.
Learning opens up doors of possibility, ignites enthusiasm, and expands our potential for greater things. It can give us a deeper understanding of the world we live in and change our lives for the better. Whether for personal improvement or professional improvement (or both), there are so many benefits to exercising the muscle of our brains.
In fact, here are 9 specific reasons to keep learning.
1. Save time and energy. There is a surplus of apps, programs, platforms, and systems out there designed to make your life and work easier. Staying up to date with the latest technology can allow you to save time, automate mundane tasks, and boost your productivity.
2. Keep up with your fast-evolving industry. Times change. And if we aren’t staying ahead of the changes, then we are falling behind. Growing our skillsets allows us to do our jobs better and be more creative and innovative in the process.
3. Make more money. New skills can mean a promotion to a higher-paid position. When you can offer more value to an organization, they are often willing to pay for it. They may even help you pay for that training and education. And when you’re self-employed, learning new skills can open new doors of revenue.
4. Achieve personal goals. If you are a human being, alive and breathing, then you have hopes and dreams of some kind (even if they have fallen away into the background). Expanding your horizons with learning and development can help you reach your goals and simply make you happier.
5. Reap hidden benefits. Learning new skills almost always impacts our lives in other positive ways that weren’t part of the intention. You learn an instrument in order to satisfy your love of music, but it ends up helping you connect with your child. You learn a computer program for a job, which you end up using for personal projects as well. You learn people skills for your retail job, which helps you better negotiate your own deals when you call up your credit card company or interact with the pest control guy. Who doesn’t love a good bonus?
6. Get a confidence boost. Adding to our own personal knowledge base feels good. It gives us value and a sense of self-worth. It reminds us we are in control of our destiny. And that’s an incredibly empowering feeling.
7. Expand your worldview. Learning opens doors we didn’t even know were there. We stretch our minds and literally change the pathways in our brains. (It’s called plasticity.) Our perspectives can open up as we start to see the same old situations in brand new ways, and we can even become more empathic towards others as these new perspectives emerge.
8. Create new and deeper relationships. If done in a group setting, learning can lead to strong bonds and new social relationships with other like-minded individuals, which can in turn lead to more in-depth and better learning. And collaboration with others can lead to greater rewards and better solutions to problems.
9. Battle the negative effects of aging. As humans age, reflexes slow, memory fails, and the brain actually physically shrinks. It’s not pleasant to think about, but there are proven actions we can take to fight it, and there happens to be strong evidence that shows that lifelong learning and cognitive training reduces the decline and increases well-being in old age.
Keep learning! Make investments in yourself that will continue to serve you for the rest of your life. If knowledge is power, then continuing to seek it out is an empowering choice that can make a lifelong difference.
“Today is life—the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” –Dale Carnegie