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Longlife learning

Lifelong learning is a form of self-initiated education that is focused on personal development. While there is no standardized definition of lifelong learning, it has generally been taken to refer to the learning that occurs outside of a formal educational institute, such as a school, university or corporate training.


Lifelong learning does not necessarily have to restrict itself to informal learning, however. It is best described as being voluntary with the purpose of achieving personal fulfillment. The means to achieve this could result in informal or formal education.

Whether pursuing personal interests and passions or chasing professional ambitions, lifelong learning can help us to achieve personal fulfillment and satisfaction.

It recognizes that humans have a natural drive to explore, learn and grow and encourages us to improve our own quality of life and sense of self-worth by paying attention to the ideas and goals that inspire us.

Examples of lifelong learning

Here are some of the types of lifelong learning initiatives that you can engage in:

  1. Developing a new skill (eg. sewing, cooking, programming, public speaking, etc)

  2. Self-taught study (eg. learning a new language, researching a topic of interest, subscribing to a podcast, etc)

  3. Learning a new sport or activity (eg. Joining martial arts, learning to ski, learning to exercise, etc)

  4. Learning to use a new technology (smart devices, new software applications, etc)

  5. Acquiring new knowledge (taking a self-interest course via online education or classroom-based course)

Benefits of lifelong learning

Incorporating lifelong learning in your life can offer many long-term benefits, including:

1. Renewed self-motivation

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut doing things simply because we have to do them, like going to work or cleaning the house. Figuring out what inspires you puts you back in the driver’s seat and is a reminder that you can really do things in life that you want to do.

2. Recognition of personal interests and goals

Re-igniting what makes you tick as a person reduces boredom, makes life more interesting, and can even open future opportunities. You never know where your interests will lead you if you focus on them.

3. Improvement in other personal and professional skills

While we’re busy learning a new skill or acquiring new knowledge, we’re also building other valuable skills that can help us in our personal and professional lives. This is because we utilize other skills in order to learn something new. For example, learning to sew requires problem-solving. Learning to draw involves developing creativity. Skill development can include interpersonal skills, creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, leadership, reflection, adaptability and much more.

4. Improved self-confidence

Becoming more knowledgeable or skilled in something can increase our self-confidence in both our personal and professional lives.

In our personal lives, this confidence can stem from the satisfaction of devoting time and effort to learning and improving, giving us a sense of accomplishment.

In our professional lives, this self-confidence can be the feeling of trust we have in our knowledge and the ability to apply what we’ve learned.

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