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What is Lifelong Learning? 10 Ways to be an Eternal Learner

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

This great phrase from Abraham Lincoln is more important today than ever and perfectly represents the concept of lifelong learning.

Formal education has a beginning and an end but personal learning is a never-ending journey. Lifelong learning is the only way to succeed in the dynamic environment which we live today. However, lifelong learning not only provides benefits for your career, it can also help you to reach your full potential. This can help you achieve self-actualisation, the top level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


When we talk about learning in this context, we’re not referring to continuing education in the same field you have already studied. This is just one option open to you. Lifelong learning can mean following your passion for languages, developing your first mobile app or even improving your musical or artistic skills. The only requirement is to learn something new every day throughout your life.

10 Ways to Engage in Lifelong Learning

There is an infinite number of ways you can engage in lifelong learning to achieve your goal. Watch the video below for a quick overview for free (or low cost) ways to implement this method:

Here’s a summary of the video:

  1. Read widely and often
  2. Keep smart company
  3. Teach others
  4. Keep a list of things you want to explore
  5. Start your own project
  6. Use a personal learning environment
  7. Experiment with new ways to learn
  8. Join a study group
  9. Find a job that encourages learning and collaboration
  10. Make it a priority!

These ideas are not mutually exclusive so try everything and see what works best for you by reinforcing your learning.

Characteristics of Lifelong Learners

Although lifelong learning is something which in theory everyone should practice, some personality types will find the process easier to commit to. Common characteristics of lifelong learners include:

  • Curiosity
  • Skepticism
  • Creativity
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Perfectionism

Want to know if you have these characteristics? Take this simple test to check:

Did you get more than 60%? Then don’t wait! Start engaging in lifelong learning by following some of the recommendations from the video. Why not join GoConqr? It’s free!

If you still feel as though you don’t identify with some of the characteristics outlined above, begin to experiment with different activities that you enjoy and research how you can learn more in that area.