(an excerpt from my new book Assess, Collaborate, Execute: ACE Your Way Through Life, available via Kindle or Nook devices or apps)
Formal learning is more accessible and varied than ever before. Considering the proliferation of online schools, a course of your choosing is just a click away. You can start tonight, and earn a degree in almost anything. Google a subject you want to learn, and a number of options will pop up; of course, I encourage you to do your homework and ensure you are not just “buying a degree” from poorly-credentialed professors.
Beyond formal learning, many resources for stretching the mind and spirit abound. Do you ever go to your public library? Check out their menu of different options, such as workshops, classes and speakers, as well as the multitude of print, digital and audio resources that are available. Talk to the reference librarians; they are working there for a reason, because they have a passion to help people learn and study. Visit your church, temple or mosque or other religious community, and check out their library as well. If you participate in a civic group, you’ll be treated to numerous speakers on a variety of topics that can enlighten you. See if your corporate office has a lending or resource library.
The Web is awash with thousand of podcasts and videos on different subjects. Again, if you did nothing else but use online databases or Google and search for a topic, you will still learn a ton. No one I know cannot find at least 15 minutes per day to do a search on a topic. Go ahead, try to make a case to me for why you’re unable to execute even a few minutes of learning spread here and there across your day; take this challenge and email me, and if I can’t poke holes in your argument I’ll send you a free eBook!
Another huge resource to leverage for learning is people. Are there grandparents, parents, uncles, neighbors, etc., at home and in the community? There is so much to learn just from people’s lives. Everyone tells a story. Start capturing those stories now from the seniors you know, before they’re gone. Remember that some of the best learning comes from children as well, given how they see the world with fresh eyes and can offer profound insight
Do you want to be a lifelong learner? Stop and assess! Collaborate and take action. It’s all about how badly you want it.