My Name is Carole and I’m a Learnaholic. This isn’t something I usually write about, but I hope you’ll bear with me. You see, I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about how much I’ve gained from dedicating myself to lifelong learning. And I wanted to share some of those thoughts.

I find it exhilarating to pick up new skills. And the more I dedicate myself to the pursuit of knowledge, the more I crave the satisfaction of learning something new.

Looking back, I think I’ve always been obsessed with learning. It would certainly explain my early appetite for Arthur Hailey novels like Airport, Hotel or Final Diagnosis – which are well researched, fictionalized explorations of different industries.

And of course, a big part of why I love what I do has to do with my passion for learning. My diverse clients offer a glimpse into a wide variety of industries. One minute, I’m exploring ways to get kids reading. The next, I’m helping a cardiologist present his research on how to identify the risk of heart disease in younger patients.

And it’s not just the subject matter I’m learning about. I’m also learning about new and creative ways to deliver that content. Today, I know how to produce different styles of explainer videos, infographics, presentations, and more. But five years ago, when I first launched my business, I knew only a fraction of what I do now. And very little of my learning has come from taking a traditional course. Mostly, I’m always on the lookout for natural daily opportunities to expand my knowledge and skill base.

Why do I love learning so much? Yes, learning keeps things interesting. But that’s not all. In this post, I’ll share seven life-changing benefits of lifelong learning.

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.”

– Heraclitus

Learning to Keep Up

The first and possibly least inspiring reason to keep learning is that you have no choice. Like it or not, the constant change we’re seeing in every aspect of our lives will make our current knowledge obsolete at a faster rate than ever before. To keep up, you have to keep learning.

Continuous Learning and Innovation

When you’re always learning, you can help lead innovation, rather than just be swept along for the ride. The more you learn, the more you can apply new knowledge to your life and work, and the more you can contribute to continuous innovation.

Learn to Make Better Decisions

When you’re armed with current knowledge, you’ll be quicker to identify problems, to conceive solutions and to find efficiencies. You’ll be more likely to make enlightened decisions that take recent developments and trends into account.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

– Henry Ford

Learning to Keep Your Mind Sharp

According to Harvard University, learning new skills is a great way to keep your mind sharp and to slow cognitive aging. And other recent studies have shown that learning new cognitively demanding skills in older adulthood can improve your memory.

Continuous Learning Builds Confidence

At first, trying to pick up a new skill can seem intimidating. But in the long run, learning boosts confidence for two reasons. First, increased competence leads to increased confidence. But also, once you prove to yourself that you can expand your skill base if you set your mind to it, you’ll be less reticent to accept new challenges.

Continuous Learning for Growth

in the past, people often dedicated their entire careers to the same company. Today, that’s an increasingly rare occurrence. In fact, research shows that people change jobs 10-15 times in their career. If you dedicate yourself to learning beyond the narrow scope of what is required of you each day, it will give you options. You’ll be better equipped to take on new and exciting job opportunities as they arise.

Companies and Continuous Learning

There are so many reasons for a company to invest in continuously developing their employees. Companies that foster a culture of learning promote innovation and tap into their employees’ full potential. According to Forbes, “one of the most important sources of competitive advantage is your corporate learning strategy.” Finally, investing in your employees’ development fosters a sense of trust and improves employee retention.

Over to You

How about you? Have you made a point of keeping your skills and knowledge up to snuff? How has it served you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing some new and unexpected ways to be a lifelong learner. Subscribe (below) to my blog to be notified when that post is released.