If there’s one thing we should all continue to do in life, it’s learn. In fact, Abraham Lincoln once said, “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” Learning helps us become better professionals and people.
Not sure how to become a lifelong learner - both personally and professionally? Here are a few tips:
1. Foster the right mindset
In order to become a lifelong learner, you need to believe that you can learn for as long as you live. Don’t let your comfort zone hold you back. If a new piece of technology or software comes out, don’t say “Oh, I’ll never be able to learn that!” and pass it off to the younger folks around you. Believe that you can learn it the same way they did (because trust us, you CAN).
2. Determine your preferred learning style
As you probably figured out in school, everyone has a different learning style. Some learn best by reading and/or listening, others by watching and/or doing. Determine which style works best for you, then go after it wholeheartedly. If reading is your thing, read, read, then read some more. More of a hands-on learner? Sign up for some classes or a one-on-one training (even if it’s just with a friend). The more you like what you’re doing, the more you’re likely to stick with it (and get from it).
3. Ask questions
To be an effective learner, you need to be an active participant. That means asking questions rather than just passively consuming information. The more questions you ask, the more you’ll truly understand a topic - and you’ll thank yourself for that later.
4. Surround yourself with other lifelong learners
Now I’m not saying you have to surround yourself with Einsteins or Newtons, but if you can surround yourself with people who like to learn, and more importantly, make an effort to learn, you’re bound to be successful. These are the kinds of people that will motivate you and inspire you.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Don’t just consume information and call it a day. Put that knowledge into practice. If you’re learning about art, go to an art museum. If you’re learning to code, code. This is how you’re going to perfect your skills and really learn what you like and don’t like.
Now as we mentioned, learning can (and should) be both personal and professional. Looking to focus on the more professional side of things? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below. It’s filled with best practices for membership recruitment, engagement, retention, and more!