If there is one thing I’ve found in my life, one piece of advice that I can pass over to you today it is, never stop learning. I don’t care if you have 12 Masters degrees and have written one thousand award-winning books, there is always something new to learn. If you’re wise, the learning process shouldn’t stop the day you bid the campus farewell. That diploma or degree may testify that you’ve been educated, but education and wisdom aren’t the same thing, nor are education and learning synonymous.
Keeping up with your studies during critical developmental ages, which are actually post high school, can increase lifetime brain maturation according to Brigham Young University. And, if that weren’t enough you can actually keep your brain “young” longer through mental stimulation, according to Harvard Medical School.
Socrates was quoted as saying, “A wise man knows he knows nothing.” When you think about it, that’s the best part of learning–the knowledge that there’s still more to learn. How boring life would become if you knew everything you needed to know. This list is far from exhaustive and, given some of my personal debacles of the past fifty years, I clearly have a long way to go during the homestretch. But there are several key tips I’ve picked up along the years that if taken into action will ensure that you never become stagnant on your learning journey.
- Read, read, read. No matter the book, only good will come from it. ( check out ourprevious post about the benefits of reading).
- Take classes–You need to get used to learning, even if it is the most elementary or obtuse subject matter, you will get something out of it.
- Let your kids and those you mentor actively teach you. This gives them a situation within which to shine, let’s you determine their progress, and allows you to be learner and a teacher.
Learning is undoubtedly a lifetime pursuit. I discuss this topic further in the 9th chapter of my first book Ingredients of Outliers: A Recipe for Personal Achievement. By keeping your mind open to new possibilities you open yourself up to an unimaginable realm of continuous knowledge. Share the last situation, in which you learned something completely new unexpectedly, we’d love to hear your story.
A proper diet is good for your body and the best books are good for your mind. Your life will be determined by the people you associate with and the books you read. Many people you’ll come to love will be met in books. Read biographies, autobiographies, and history. Your books will provide all the friends, mentors, role models and heroes you’ll ever need. Biographies will help you see there is nothing that can happen to you that wasn’t experienced by many who used their failures, disappointments, and tragedies as stepping-stones to a more tremendous life. Many of my best friends are people I’ve never met: Oswald Chambers, George Mueller, Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Tozer, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, François Fenelon, Jean Guyon, and hundreds of others.”
– Charlie “Tremendous” Jones