Hello Workwell

Why Lifelong Learners Live Better Lives

LearnAlyssa Davis
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

"It's not skills at the exclusion of degrees. It's just expanding our perspective to go beyond degrees." – Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO

You Learn Something New Every Day

We all know learning is beneficial. That's why in the US, children are required to attend school until they are sixteen. But we live in a world where the opportunities to learn aren't confined to a classroom or lecture hall, stuffing our faces into dry, dusty textbooks. Today, you can learn from anywhere, on any Internet-connected device, at any point during the day, about any topic that interests you. There's no excuse not to be a lifelong learner. 

So you've landed your dream job, and you're all set. Or are you? By 2025, it's estimated that 50% of jobs will be redundant due to technological advancements, meaning that if you're not innovating with the changing technology, then you're not going to stay relevant in your industry. If you didn't have the opportunity to get your Bachelor's degree, you might want to think about achieving that educational milestone (there are lots of online options). A 2015 study found that those who completed their Bachelor's, earned between $445,000 and $655,000 more in their lifetime than those who never went to college. Cha-ching!

Not interested in academic accreditation? Learning a new skill can be just as beneficial for your body. Take learning a new language for example. Research published in the Annals of Neurology found that bilingualism may slow age-related cognitive decline, even if you've learned the language at a later age. So go ahead, download Duolingo or Babbel and get to learning Italian (or Spanish or Chinese or whatever tickles your fancy). Another skill that'll keep your brain fine-tuned? Learning a new instrument. The University of Florida's Jennifer Bugos found that adults between the ages of 60 and 85 who had learned piano for six months had cognitive gains such as improved memory, quicker processing times, and greater verbal fluency compared to their counterparts who did not receive lessons during that time.

The benefits are enormous for lifelong learners. A 2016 PEW Survey showed that 87% of personal learners found that doing so helped them to become both more capable and more well rounded. Well over half said that learning gave them new perspectives and felt more connected to their communities. How many of us wake up, go to work, come home, make dinner, crash in front of the tv for a few hours, and go to sleep? And this becomes our normal. What if we replaced that tv time with trying yoga or taking cooking classes? What if instead of sitting in front of a screen, we took up origami or beekeeping? Whatever sparks your interest, try it. You'll find a sense of community that we tend to lose as we get older. Stay relevant in your industry, improve your cognitive skills, and keep your friends (besides the ones you see at the office every day) – sign us up for a new hobby stat. Not sure where to begin? See if one of these hobbies (that'll make you better at your job) sparks your interest.