The benefits of lifelong learning – with tips

Over the past 20 years scientific research has conclusively proven that a stimulated and active brain contributes to a fuller and life.

Over the past 20 years scientific research has conclusively proven that whether you are a student, a baby boomer or somewhere in between, a stimulated and active brain contributes to a fuller and more vibrant life.

People who keep their brains constantly engaged can stave off both mental and physical ailments and diseases.

The prescription for doing this is simple – lifelong learning.

Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge. It is no longer confined to childhood or a classroom but can take place at home, at work or at play.

It can include non-credit courses at the College of New Caledonia, educational travel, a closer relationship with your library, community service and volunteering, reading the Caledonia Courier, even certain television shows.

Ms. Nancy Nordstrom, a lifelong learning guru says “When you look at the benefits of keeping your mind sharp, it’s incredible.

Lifelong learning is like a health club for your brain.”  Other benefits that lifelong learning delivers are: an increased ability to cope in a fast changing world; increased job opportunities and income, and a richer and more fulfilling life.

Here are some tips on how to cultivate lifelong learning:

1. Always have a book – It doesn’t matter if it takes you a week or a year to read a book.  Have one on the go at all times.

2. Keep a to-learn list – we all have to-do lists, have a to-learn list too. Bird watching or Shakespeare, whatever motivates you.

3. Get friends – Spend more time with people who think, not just people who are smart.  It rubs off.

4. Guided Thinking – Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who reads too much and uses his brain too little, falls into lazy habits of thinking”.  Think through ideas yourself.

5. Teach Others – You learn what you teach. Communicate your ideas with others, mentor someone, discuss things with your friends.

6.  Unlearn Assumptions – Actively seek out information that challenges your worldview.

7. Start a Project – Doing something you don’t know how to do can be fun and challenging. Build a birdhouse or a kite; think you’re a terrible artist? Try a painting.

8. Follow your Intuition – With lifelong learning you can’t always be sure of what to expect, our lives are mainly guided by logical decisions, let your imagination drive you sometimes.

9. Learn in Groups – You don’t have to surround yourself with dusty textbooks. Join an organization that teaches skills. Sign up for a workshop.

10. Write Something – Your life is unique, jot down some of the more memorable bits, put it to poetry.

Like Henry Ford said: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young”. For more information call Alex, Shana or Kathie at the Learning Hub 996-7078.