Why you should never stop learning

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“Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”
― Roy T. Bennett

“From the sadness, learn something; from the happiness, learn something. From the setback, learn something and even from the success learn something. Never stop learning from any situation in life, for that is where the wisdom lies.”
― Gift Gugu Mona

The basic truth is that life is a continuous learning process. Right from the day we arrive God’s green earth to the day we let out our last breath, we are finding out new truths and understanding about our existence and about the obvious even more. That is probably why at a certain age, we start to question our existence, our purpose in life and long desperately for fulfilment.

Questions around our happiness and state of mind then becomes paramount and we start to pursue the things we believe will make us genuinely happy and complete. It’s becomes quite an interesting cycle when you discern the obvious truth- that we will only find fulfilment in any endeavor in life when we render selfless acts to others using the talents God has given us.

Many young people erroneously assume that learning ends as soon as they are done with schooling. They are so eager to leave college or the university because in their skewed view of life, they yearn for a life where they would no longer be subjected to such a formal education. But learning doesn’t stop when we graduate from college or university, in fact it is just the beginning!

We learn in every experience that happens in our life. We learn from our bad experiences as well as good experiences. Therefore, throughout life’s journey, being willing to learn will avail one the opportunity to take advantage of the lessons life has to share.

Learning is important because, it shapes us as a person. It fills us with knowledge. It boosts our confidence. When we keep learning and knowing things, it makes us richer by thoughts and creates an amazing mental resilience for the journey ahead.

I am quite convinced that everything we learn prepares us for the challenges ahead. Nothing learnt is ever lost. It may not sit primarily in our conscious mind, but it would come in handy when the need arises.

But a lot of young people will go through decades of life challenges without really learning anything. You know why?

Because learning is a conscious action most of the time. It is often a deliberate and intentional act that must be processed, discerned, and accepted. Sometimes it is hard, especially the acceptance bit, if the learnings come with a lot of pain, personal losses, bereavement, and utter disappointment. These situations could easily becloud our judgment and cause emotions to blindside reason, logic, and rationality. Everyone has setbacks from time to time. Some are annoying, others are debilitating. But they will come, that is certain.

Everyone has complaints about their past, a mistake we made or even regrets. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The important take-away is that we learn from your mistakes. The best approach is to expect them, acknowledge them, work through them, and move past them.

Unless one is mentally tuned to learning, life will speed by almost unnoticed and then the popular proverb “a fool at forty” will taunt that individual for life.

There are quite a number of ways to learn as we grow.

  • Reading is perhaps one of the most impactful ways to learn. Not everything available for reading is appropriate for our minds. Some books will impair our thinking process and corrupt our moral compass, but some will enrich our minds and open our hearts to true knowledge. Create your interest in reading. The more you read the more things you will know. Therefore find your areas of interests and find the books or other online medium where you can find related content to digest.
  • Another impactful way to learn is from interaction with mentors. Mentors serve as a source of knowledge as they provide specific insights and information that enables the mentee’s success. Individuals starting their career can benefit from such guidance by copying the good values that their mentors demonstrate. It is said that,

If you want to become a great actor – watch the best actors.

If you want to become a great athlete – watch the best athletes.

If you want to become a great writer – read the best writers.

This is important. Successful people don’t always share their “secrets of success” in a book, podcast, or video, but it doesn’t matter, because you can still learn a lot about what makes someone successful simply by observing them and watching what they do.

“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.” – Tony Robbins

Careful selection of a mentor is therefore an important part of mentorship.

  • Just like learning from reading tons of books, we can also learn by listening to podcast, interviews and even watching videos where ample knowledge is shared. We can learn new stuff from those who have experienced them before us in order to prepare us for the challenges ahead. We can replace the time we spend on comedy skits and fun stuffs with 15mins TEDtalk videos and similar knowledge sharing apps online to enrich the mind.
  • My final tip to encourage constant learning in life is to just DO IT. Stop hesitating and wondering whether doing something would work out or not. Experience is the best teacher. No matter how detailed you learn about the feelings of others or awkward situation from books, mentors, podcast etc, until you experience it, you wouldn’t truly have learned anything.

We are more productive in learning when we do things ourselves. We learn from doing things more than we could ever learn from any other source.

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius

When it comes to learning a sport or anything with a high degree of practicality: acting, dancing, driving, martial arts, a musical instrument, public speaking, swimming etc. You have to do it. You have to drill it. Over and over and over and over again. Book knowledge and theory isn’t enough.

If you want to learn to dance – dance.

If you want to learn how to drive – drive.

If you want to learn to swim – swim.

Practice beats theory any day of the week because it develops coordination and muscle memory, also known as feel, and feel isn’t something you can develop unless you actually do the thing you want to get good at over and over and over again.

Remember: “Practice makes perfect”. Not “study makes perfect”.

The sooner you go from theory to practice, from thinking to action – the better.

“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you.” – Bruce Lee

My parting words;

In order to tap into these huge resources of knowledge one must learn to question everything.

Those who crave to learn must learn to ask questions.

Please drop your comments.

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5 thoughts on “Why you should never stop learning”

  1. The universe has a way of teaching us lessons in different ways until we learn it. Succinct to say the earlier we learn the better.

  2. Adebayo Ogunrinde

    I totally agree with the writer, if you desire knowledge, you have to be intensional. No pain no gain.

  3. Adedamola Ilori

    Absolutely,reading is fantastic and practicing over and over is best. I’m a much improved version from reading than I was many years ago.
    Good job, omo Akin!

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