Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Ian Garner
Business Writer
12:00 AM 25th May 2024

Lifelong Learning

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Learning is beneficial because it is a continuous process that requires you to go beyond your formal education. People who embrace learning after school and university can be described as lifelong learners. They take advantage of every opportunity to improve their skills in varied fields.

One of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein, said: “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

Understanding the benefits of lifelong learning can help you broaden your knowledge base, alter your perspective, and improve your employability.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner who wishes to inspire employees to continue to learn, a long-term employee of a business who wants to improve their skill set, or someone who wants to learn a new skill as a method of kickstarting their career; lifelong learning is a way of gaining new information and acquiring qualifications and skills in a way that benefits their minds.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Individuals benefit from lifelong learning because it helps them improve themselves at various stages of their lives.

For employees, this could mean being more likely to develop and broaden their range of skills; for people who are out of work, it could help them gain the skills they need for an attractive new role or convince potential employers to take a chance on them.

Business leaders understand that an employee’s suitability for a role is based on more than just traditional forms of education. Instead, the determination to complete courses in their own time and a generally positive outlook on learning new skills and information speak volumes for their character, and that alone could potentially increase their chances of employability.

Lifelong learning and continuous professional development are a valuable investment in someone’s future.

Exercising the brain is a vital and enjoyable part of everyday life for everybody. It is a positive, healthy lifestyle, the equivalent of physical exercise. It is also believed that stimulating leisure and social activities is crucial for maintaining a healthy brain.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Studies have investigated the role that mental exercise may play in reducing the risk of developing dementia and the benefits it offers to people with dementia.

Continuing professional development is defined as learning experiences that help you develop and improve your professional practice.

This can include building on your strengths and developing yourself where you have capability gaps. That’s why it’s so important to take as many opportunities to learn throughout your life as you can.

Lifelong learning is about more than just career advancement. Learning is an ongoing thing that keeps your mind active and alert.

American industrialist Henry Ford is believed to have said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

Studies have shown that mental decline is not an inevitable part of ageing. People who lead intellectually stimulating lives are more likely to be free of dementia conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

There's some truth in the saying 'use it or lose it'. It's a question of keeping your mind trim to retain your mental abilities.

Keeping yourself mentally and physically fit will make you feel better, improve your brain power, and help you stay independent for longer.

Many people recognize Mahatma Gandhi as one of the greatest political and spiritual leaders of the twentieth century. He is reported to have said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know.
Albert Einstein

Ian Garner is a retired Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI) and the Institute of Directors (FIoD).

Ian is a board member of Maggie’s Yorkshire. Maggie’s provides emotional and practical cancer support and information in centres across the UK and online, with their centre in Leeds based at St James’s Hospital.

He is the founder and director of Practical Solutions Management, a strategic consulting practice, and is skilled in developing strategy and providing strategic direction, specialising in business growth and leadership.