If we say that we spend the first 20-25 years of our lives just by learning something, we wouldn't be wrong. Most of this time is spent acquiring new information in schools. After school is over, we feel as if the education period of our lives is over. We think that it is necessary to start life at this time. But is this thought true as it seems? Should we learn something for 25 years and live the rest of our lives trusting this information? Is the things learned in 25 years really enough for us in the next 50 years? If you also want to improve yourself, you must be able to be a student for life.

1. Why Is Lifelong Learning So Important?
 
You earn more. 50-60 years ago, after graduating from university, you could have the education you would need for your entire life. However, we do not have such luxury today. It turns out that what we knew right 5 years ago is wrong today. And we will probably be working in different sectors in 10 years that we can't think of today. For this reason, you need to acquire new skills yourself in order to keep up with the competitive environment and increase your earnings.

Being a student for life will both provide you with income in terms of income and help you have the equipment you need to start your own business. For example, names like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford never went to school. These people have been able to achieve so much success by educating themselves and always keeping the curious child inside them alive.

You become a more interesting and charismatic person. Those who met Theodore Roosevelt, one of the former presidents of the USA, were amazed by his general culture. For Roosevelt was a man with a vast knowledge of everything he spoke to. How did Roosevelt, who knows many subjects from poetry to politics, from sports to agriculture, did this? Roosevelt was a person who could read fast. He was a person who read books all the time and finished several books a day when he was not meeting with anyone in the White House.

It is estimated that he read nearly 10,000 books in his lifetime. As a result, it is quite natural that he is a person who has a high knowledge and culture about every subject he speaks.

You become a better leader. Improving your communication skills with other people makes you both an interesting person and a good leader. The more information you have, the more people you will meet. As a result, since you have a solid environment, you will have the opportunity to overcome the problems you encounter more easily.

You will be independent and free. There are some people. They know hunting, shoe repair, clock repair; They cook very well, speak English fluently, and are well-known masters in their profession. Even after these people retire, they continue to deal with something new. They constantly try to increase their knowledge and skills.

When these people are faced with a problem because of their very different abilities, they can solve the problem on their own without being dependent on anyone. No mechanic enters the house of these people. In other words, people who embrace lifelong learning are in a way independent and free. They can do their own work.

You protect your mental and body health.
Henry Ford's promise was scientifically proven almost 100 years later. Margie Lachman, a scientist working on aging at Brandeis University, says: “Education is extremely important for mental and physical health. Education has a great effect on a person's health and longevity. " In the experiment conducted by Lachman, it has been revealed that educated people are more successful cognitively than uneducated people.

Learning new things and keeping the mind alert can also protect against diseases such as forgetfulness and Alzheimer's. Elderly people who want to learn new things about the world are 2.5 times less likely to get Alzmeimer than the elderly who do not engage in mental activity.

You will enjoy more living. Dan Pink says in Drive (Drive) that we need three things to enjoy life and be motivated: autonomy, skill, and purpose. Accordingly, people who adopt lifelong learning act in a way to meet these three needs.

When you can learn something by yourself, nobody tells you what to learn. Your family, teachers, bosses are disabled here. Instead of listening and memorizing what someone speaks, you refer to the information in person. So you learn by yourself, autonomously. As you learn new things, your skills and proficiency increase. There are many goals that an independent and skilled person wants to achieve.

The more you know about the world, the more experiences you can enjoy in life. Because you will learn to look at an ordinary event with different glasses. While reading, traveling, talking, you establish different associations and different connections. So you can understand the dimensions behind what you are looking at. In short, you live a richer life as long as you don't stop learning about the world.

2. What are the Barriers to Lifelong Learning?

Many people think that there are obstacles to lifelong learning, but again, the same people browse social media meaninglessly for 4-5 hours a day.
 
Time: You may be busy. You may not even be able to spare time for your family and friends due to business life. However, when you adopt the lifelong learning approach, you do not have to catch up. There is no specific test in front of you. When you spend 30 minutes a day on a subject and you are stable in this regard, you will have a great knowledge of that subject. So even if you spend less than 30 minutes a day on Twitter or Instagram, you can create time for yourself to learn something.

You can also listen to audiobooks instead of listening to music, for example, while traveling on the subway. When you take your spouse to the dentist for control, instead of watching the old Yeşilçam movie, you can read 40 pages from the book you carry with you. Examples like this can be multiplied. In short, timelessness is not an obstacle or an excuse for lifelong learning.

Money: If you believe you have to go to a course or school to learn something, yes, money is one of the obstacles to lifelong learning. However, there is such a thing as the internet. There is something called Youtube. As a result of a little research on the internet, you can find wonderful e-books and pdfs on every subject. Likewise, there are informative videos on almost every subject on Youtube. At the end of the article, we have compiled many resources that you can use for free. You should definitely take a look at them.

Lack of Information: With the Internet, this excuse is also no longer valid. In other words, if there is no one around you who can give you information about "strawberry cultivation", you will come across dozens of useful information when you type "strawberry growing" on Google. In addition, if there is a situation that requires one-to-one training, you can easily find the expert of this business thanks to the internet. We live in the information age, and access to information has never been so easy and practical at any stage in human history. We need to understand the value of this.

Space: If you reduce learning to going to school, space also becomes a problem for lifelong learning. You can learn something in your home, car, garage and just about anywhere. Yes, you may need to go to Erciyes to learn how to ski, but such situations are exceptions. You can now learn new information wherever you want.

3. How Is Lifelong Learning Performed?

Aim for improvement. The main factor that keeps you from learning new things is that you think you don't have the ability to learn new things. However, psychology and neurology sciences reveal that this idea is not true. The human brain has an elastic structure and thanks to this flexibility, even an 80-year-old person has the capacity to learn new things.

That's why you need to come up with an effective lifelong learning strategy. The human brain has a structure that is suitable for lifelong learning and we, as human beings, must believe in this idea. Psychologist Carol Dweck of Stanford University has discovered that people have two mentalities. You are either fixed minded or flexible minded. A fixed minded person does not believe in progress. When his thoughts are correct he is stubborn and therefore does not need new knowledge. However, flexible-minded people believe that they can always improve themselves and they work in this way.

If you want to adopt an approach towards growth, you should pay attention to the following points stated by Dweck:

Reading research and books about how progress and improvement is possible
Trying to be flexible, being open to understanding different points of view.
Trying things you haven't done before
Reading life stories of inspiring people
Review your learning style and change it if necessary. Learning doesn't just happen in school. We get the most useful information in life at home, on the street, from our mothers or friends or something. If you believe in lifelong learning, you must be convinced that education is not limited to school. There is always the opportunity to learn new things. As long as you know how to look around. Also, learning doesn't just happen with books. Practical skills are also an important part of learning. Life experience also teaches a lot of things.

Set new goals. What do you want to learn? What will you do with this information? Identify new knowledge and skills you want to acquire yourself each year. For example, you can set three goals for 2017, such as opening a new YouTube channel, learning Japanese and getting underwater diving training, and try to implement these goals. In 2018, you will see that you know a lot about these three subjects.

Apart from these three goals, you can also set daily goals. For example, learning 5 English words every day, discovering new features of a computer program you use often are also achievable goals on a daily basis.

You can also prepare a reading list and set the goal of reading these books within a certain period of time. For example, reading a 200-page book per week is a very reasonable and achievable goal. Even setting such a goal can motivate a person. Because as you read, your knowledge and self-confidence will increase.

Find resources for yourself. After determining your learning goals, do research on the internet and go to the library if necessary. Because books in libraries can be much more detailed and satisfying than resources on the internet. Check out the courses if what you are aiming to learn should be under the supervision of an expert. For example, if you want to learn tango, ask people around you if they know a tango instructor.

Ask question. Effective learning happens with active participation. You cannot go far by just consuming information. Ask questions while talking to experts or reading. Do not be afraid that your questions will be simple.

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