Life long learning is a familiar phrase in the business world. While meant as a tool in furthering yourself and achieving greater success, it’s also an amazing tool for anyone looking to enrich their lives or when moving through transition. Why? Because learning isn’t limited to books, business and academic theories. It’s found in our everyday experiences and anytime we try something new.
Life long learners think differently because they approach situations, opportunities and experiences with different intentions. They look for insights and a beginner’s willingness to learn. Perhaps you’ve heard the term “beginner’s mind”? It’s a positive state in which you accept your lack of knowledge. With an open and eager mind you enter the unknown.
Transition, be it career, relationship or lifestyle implies movement from the known to unknown. While you may bring some previous skills, ideas or knowledge, you will also enter new territory. Areas you can’t see or know the contents. Beginner’s mind is a positive energy and a feeling there are good things possible. Even if they aren’t immediately obvious.
Transition and Life Long Learning
When we look at things this way, even the unintended and difficult transitions are tools for greater knowledge. It’s a way to build resilience and helpful as we move through hard emotions and decisions. In the short-term, you may not feel positive, but as the situation evolves you are willing to accept and create anew.
Many of us face a major health concern. Big enough that it interrupts everyday life and thrusts us into the medical system. Uncertainty, new terms and strong emotions. You don’t know where the path leads and you may well wish to get off it and back to the way things were. And yet, if you choose, there are countless points of learning.
In the past you may have accepted all information given as the only source. Now you may find yourself keen to research alternatives. Perhaps your journey of learning teaches you perseverance in treatments or in challenging the limits placed upon you. You may choose to learn about becoming a good self advocate or even how to accept help.
Often it’s a time to re-evaluate who and what’s important in your life. And yes, it can mean change. The knowledge you acquire can have both practical and personal benefits. How and what you learn is entirely up to you, as is how you use it.
The Benefits of Life long learning
I believe all knowledge is useful. We may not have immediate applications for it, and yet it often circles around in unexpected ways. As I better understand the gifts of the changes and challenges in my life, I’ve a greater appreciation for all I’ve learned.
Death has visited my life more than many I know and more often than I would wish. Yet, it’s from its frequency I’ve developed both greater acceptance of its inevitability and also greater zest for fully living life. Efforts to find meaning and understanding push me to look inside and outside of myself. In doing so, not only do I understand myself better, but also those places where so many of us falter. In the greater scheme of things, this seems an incredible advantage as I move into the next chapter of my life.
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