1. Be alright with being an amateur at something for a while
In order to be a life-long learner, you have to accept that it might take a while to learn a new skill or become good at an activity. Many people want to learn something quickly and get easily discouraged when they are not instantly a pro. Life-long learners are comfortable with being an amateur for a while. They put in active effort to improvement but understand that learning takes time.
2. Try new things outside of your normal habits/routines
We can get stuck in our same routines. Life-long learners push themselves outside of those normal routines to try new and different things. This allows them to discover new strengths and passions that they would not have otherwise known about. This could look like trying a different food once a week or joining a new community group!
3. Value wisdom and learning over material possessions
This suggestion may seem obvious but sometimes we can get caught up in striving for things as opposed to wisdom or learning. Life-long learners prioritize knowledge and skills over possessions. They will seek after gaining new insight or challenging their mind instead of always taking the route that will make them more money or get them more things.
4. Read (books, magazines, news, etc.)
Reading more is probably the easiest way to become a life-long learner. We can have a goal in general to read more often but unless we make it a priority, it will probably not happen. It is also a good idea to figure out what you enjoy reading. Do not force yourself to read overly academic books or genres you think are "better" to start off. Reading is a skill and starting with the types of books you may naturally have interest in will build that skill and then transition to more difficult books.
5. Watch documentaries and foreign films
If books are not entirely your thing, movies can also cultivate life-long learning. Watching documentaries is an amazing way to learn about topics and issues that you would never have heard about otherwise. These days, all of the streaming services make it simple by having a documentary category on their platform. There are also many lists of top 100 documentaries or even ones that have won film awards that you could use to pick some. Foreign films are also beneficial to life-long learning, especially if watched in their original language with subtitles. This exposes you to a different language while also learning about new cultures and filmmaking styles.
6. Teach yourself how to do things
Life-long learners teach themselves new skills or topics. Being able to teach yourself is an incredible skill that will help you in all areas of your life. However, self-teaching can be difficult, not only with information but also motivation. So not only will self-teaching build your skillset and learning, it will also help you cultivate discipline and dedication.
7. Learn another language
Learning another language is a great way to practice self-teaching and can be very practical as well. You can also watch foreign films in that language to practice or, if you are able, travel to that country to experience the culture.
8. See an opportunity to learn from everyone
No matter who they meet and interact with, life-long learners are always learning something from those around them. This comes with the ability to respect and listen carefully to those around you. There is so much that can be gained through simple observation and the people around you will be able to tell you have a learning mindset and can share more with you. This is a great way to learn while doing ordinary, everyday activities.
Traveling is an amazing way to learn more through experiences. This does not have to be somewhere very far away. Life-long learners can learn a lot just by moving to another place close by. It is more about experiencing a different lifestyle and perspective than about the amount of distance moved.
These are only a few of the things you can start doing to cultivate life-long learning. We hope they are helpful in beginning your journey!
Whether you just finished school or have not stepped into a classroom in years, life-long learning is a process that can make life more engaging and a way to learn about new things without needing to enroll in courses or take out student loans. Here are our tips for cultivating a mindset of life-long learning!