Many of us apply labels to ourselves that shape our identity. Some say, “I’m a sports fan,” and this attitude motivates behaviors such as cheering for the home team. Others identify themselves as introverts, extroverts, vegetarians, gamers, athletes, scientists, and/or engineers. Each label implies its own set of habits and activities.
I think it’s time for more of us to identify ourselves as life-long learners. To me, a life-long learner:
- Aspires to keep learning new things
- Seeks knowledge or skill beyond what would be immediately useful
- Invests time, energy, and money to learn new things
- Shares knowledge to help other lifelong learners
This is the best way to keep growing over your entire lifetime. I’ve seen numerous people proactively learn about new technologies or gain skills in everything from product management to personal health, and develop as individuals as a result. They seem happier, and I’m sure they contribute more to their communities.
Every weekend I spend several hours reading or taking online courses. This learning helps me do my work better, but I enjoy it so much that I’d do it even if it didn’t affect my work at all.
The world is changing faster than ever, driven by technological change. So humanity needs a lot more lifelong learners to make sure we keep up. I hope you’ll join me in proudly telling others, “I’m a lifelong learner!”