Lifelong Learning: Cultivating a Spirit of Curiosity and Intention
Greetings! Welcome to the Leap Forward Coaching e-newsletter. Our topic for this edition is Lifelong Learning: cultivating a spirit of curiosity and intention for personal growth, to achieve your most meaningful goals, and your most fulfilled life. I hope you find at least one suggestion, thought, or idea to inspire and encourage you. Melanie Ott
Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.
~ Chinese Proverb
The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.
~ Mortimer Adler
If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing the right thing. And if you’re not learning as you go, you won’t go too far.
~ Peter M. Senge
Intentionally Curious: Cultivate Learning
We associate autumn, not just with pumpkin pie and falling leaves, but with textbooks, teachers, and new pencils. As kids and college students alike headback to school, this can also be the perfect time for you to reinvigorateyourself and broaden your horizons with a new hobby, activity, or class.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” But what does it take to grow wiser daily? How do you develop a spirit that craves knowledge? How do you grow curious and coachable?
For today’s adults, developing lifelong learning habits is increasingly important, as our fast-paced world constantly evolves. Learning something new daily can be fun, opens our minds, and helps us adapt and stay ahead of a changing world.
According to author and adult learning expert Nancy Mertz Nordstrom, M.Ed., the benefits of lifelong learning far outweigh the effort and energy needed for ongoing growth and development. Continued learning leads to greater perspective and expanded self-awareness, a sense of accomplishment, and increased self-fulfillment through the sheer joy of learning.
Cultivating a spirit of curiosity and lifelong learning doesn’t necessarily require enrolling in time-consuming classes or spending time buried in profound reading material — although those things won’t hurt. Most adults rely on their peers, the Internet, books, periodicals, and hands-on experiences as their most valuable learning tools. The adage “old dogs can’t learn new tricks” no longer applies, as increasing numbers of adults are gaining new skills, such as foreign languages, practicing yoga, and learning to play musical instruments. Allocating just a few minutes a day can be all you need to learn something new and enrich your life.
These practical tools are important for ongoing learning, but so are less tangible elements of personal development, such as positivity, teachability, and open-mindedness. Developing these characteristics can be a challenging and ongoing process, but the ability to see and seize learning opportunities with abandon may be just what you need to reach your full potential.
Tips for Cultivating Lifelong Learning
Setting an intention of lifelong learning is a noble concept, but how do you easily implement this goal into your already-full life?
- Make concrete goals. If lifelong learning isn’t integrated into your life purpose, it can be easy to neglect. Strategies like keeping a “To-Learn” list, starting new projects, and beginning every day with fifteen minutes of self-education can help you grow and achieve your learning goals.
- Be a questioner. Intangible elements like curiosity and open-mindedness help you learn outside the classroom. Cultivate these traits by becoming more mindful, trying to notice one new thing a day, living with enthusiasm, and being open to new ideas and viewpoints.
- Teach to learn. Find yourself inspired by the insatiable curiosity of young (or mature) minds. Mentoring, teaching, and group learning settings are all excellent opportunities to broaden your own horizons.
- Seize teachable and learnable moments. In the rush of everyday life, it iseasy to let learning opportunities rush by without making the most of them. Be ready to learn when you encounter the unexpected or unknown. Embrace new technologies, like smart phone apps, audio/video messaging and conferencing,and other multimedia learning tools which remove many barriers to accessing learning opportunities.
- Surround yourself with other lifelong learners. Seeking out people whose experiences are different than yours, and whose expertise you value, can be a great source for your development. There’s nothing like the give-and-take of stimulating discussions to bring us to a higher level of enlightenment.
Further Reading on Lifelong Learning
- Cultivating Lifelong Learning
- Top 10 Benefits of Lifelong Learning
- 3 Tips for Cultivating Lifelong Learning
- 15 Steps to Cultivate Lifelong Learning
Focus on the Future …
How does the pursuit of lifelong learning relate to your life and career? Cultivating a spirit of curiosity and commitment to continual learning and personal growth can be infinitely rewarding. The more you open yourself up to personal and professional learning opportunities the greater your potential to create a more fulfilling, successful, and rewarding life.
At Leap Forward Coaching we have a process that will empower you to expand your mental horizons, increase your self-awareness, and take positive actions to grow and develop personally and professionally. By guiding you through your life as it unfolds, we can help you grow fully aware of your life’s intention and focus to achieve well-being and fulfillment.
Complimentary Coaching Meeting
If I have piqued your curiosity about the value of coaching for you or someoneyou know, please contact me for a complimentary coaching meeting to explore what coaching can do for you.
© 2011, Leap Forward Coaching
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