On some level, everyone is familiar with the idea that “knowledge is power,” and that it’s good to maintain a healthy curiosity about the world throughout life.
Often, though, as we get older, we naturally fall into certain routines and patterns and lose the motivation to continue exploring and investigating the world, and learning new things as we go on.
Lifelong learning isn’t just an abstract “good idea,” though. It’s something that can have real, tangible benefits for your life.
Here are just a few ways in which a focus on continuous learning can improve your life.
By making you a more interesting person with a broader range of perspectives
First and foremost, the more things you “know something about,” the more interesting you will be, and the broader the range of perspectives you will have.
If you were having a conversation with a friend who was really interested in cars, for example, being able to mention something like 4 Dirty Little Secrets About the Ford Industry would help you to develop rapport, while simultaneously giving you a greater degree of understanding on another perspective on a particular topic.
Generally speaking, the more perspectives, tidbits of information, and insights you can accumulate, the more interesting the world will tend to seem to you as well. After all, you’ll become increasingly capable of finding fascinating things to give your attention to on a daily basis.
By increasing your “skill stacks” and enhancing the odds of entrepreneurial success
Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comics, has not had a “straightforward” path to success by any reasonable definition.
According to the account of his life he paints in his autobiographical book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life,” perhaps the defining feature of Adams’ entrepreneurial life was trying different things, failing, and then trying something else.
The key thing that Adams credits his success to, ultimately, is what he calls “skill stacks.” These “skill stacks” are essentially layer upon layer of little bits of experience and insight, that can complement one another, and that lead to a greater chance of a positive overall outcome.
As Adams tells it, his career as a successful cartoonist is largely down to just such a skill stack: a decent but not great sense of humour, a decent but not great ability to draw, and a good degree of experience in corporate management positions.
The more you learn, about the more topics, the greater your “skill stacks” will become, thus enhancing the odds of entrepreneurial success.
By opening your eyes to new doors that you hadn’t previously noticed
In life, we all need opportunities for reinvention, and the ability to move past the particular hangups, preoccupations, and negative patterns that may have caused problems for us in the past.
By staying committed to constant learning, you are ensuring that you remain capable of opening your eyes to new doors that you hadn’t previously noticed.
The more things you become aware of in general, the more opportunities you will begin to spot that you had previously never even considered.