Lifelong learning is defined as all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and employment-related perspective. Constant change is the new normal. In order to survive and thrive, organizations and individuals must be able to adjust, and enhance their knowledge and skills to meet evolving needs. This means the most important thing someone can learn is how to learn. Peter Drucker said "We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn." Learning doesn't stop when we graduate from school. Albert Einstein said "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." He also said "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease at death." Socrates said "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." Mahatma Ghandhi said " Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." Leonardo da Vinci said "Learning never exhausts the mind." Benjamin Franklin said "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." So how do we become a lifelong learner?


In Stephen Covey's best-selling book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", the seventh habit is Sharpen the Saw. According to Covey, one must be increasingly educating the conscience in order to grow and develop on the upward spiral. The idea of renewal by education will propel one along the path of personal freedom, security, wisdom and power. Most traditional colleges and universities recognize lifelong learning as important as degree attainment. Most offer adult and continuing education and E-learning. Reflective learning and critical thinking can help a learner to become more self-reliant through learning how to learn, thus making them better able to direct, manage and control their own learning process. Become a voracious reader! There's something on everything you want and need to learn. There are books, e-books, websites, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, blogs, whitepapers and articles. There are also videos, vlogs, podcasts, and radio and TV shows. Confucius said "You cannot open a book without learning something." Abraham Lincoln said "All I have learned, I learned from books." John Adams said "I read my eyes out and can't read half enough...the more one reads the more one sees we have to read." Though Henry Wadsworth said "A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books." Meet with successful people. Connect with people online through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and in-person through networking. Most companies and industries offer professional development and on-the-job training. There is no lack of seminars, workshops, webinars, Google+ hangouts, conferences and networking groups and meetings to attend; all of which offer opportunities for learning anything you want or need to learn. Take action and do something. Richard Branson said "You don't learn by following rules. You learn by doing, and falling over." Henry Ford said "Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward." Plutarch said "To make no mistakes is not the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future." Ask questions and listen. Lou Holtz said "I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions." Ernest Hemingway said "I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen." Work hard. Margaret Mead said "I learned the value of hard work by working hard." Thomas Huxley said "Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."


So are you a lifelong learner? Henry Ford said "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." Do you want to stay young? Brian Tracy said "Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future." Do you want to be more successful? Then be a lifelong learner. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Here's to your lifelong learning and success.

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