“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
― Albert Einstein
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
― Henry Ford
Many great minds have commented on education, and as grand or poetic as some of these quotes may be, they all point to a subtle truth: that to keep learning is a great gift. Whether it is through formal education, learning a new skill at work or simply asking questions when you meet someone new, the ability to keep learning is a great one.
And science has certainly backed up this idea. Research has shown that some of the benefits of engaging in lifelong learning include improved mental health, better memory, greater life satisfaction, enhanced economic outcomes and it has even been correlated with increased longevity. That’s a pretty impressive list for something so simple!
Late career and retirement are two great opportunities to put on our learning hats again. Whether it be because we have more time on our hands, or we want to change careers or develop a new hobby, there are plenty of reasons why we might want to learn something new. If you are interested in making a career change, and you know you may need to upskill in order to make that transition – this article may be really helpful.
Fortunately, there are lots of amazing resources available to help us learn new things. One amazing development to come out of the internet is the creation of massive online open courses (MOOCs). From art to science, from engine rebuilding to badminton, there is a course to be found online for basically anything. Got an interest in learning about the incredibly niche subject of osteoarchaeology – there is a course for you! And the best part is often these courses are very affordable (or free) and can be taken at your own pace. Some great websites for online learning are: Udemy, Coursera, Khan Academy and edX.
The rise of the internet has created some amazing online educational tools, but learning doesn’t have to mean enrolling in a new course or workshop. It could simply be subscribing to a new magazine or picking up a good book. Education doesn’t have to stop when we leave school. To continue to learn is a great gift to ourselves, and it may even help us live a longer life! So, what are you curious about? What skill have you always wanted to learn?