Be a continuous learner part 1 - How the world and learning has changed
The amount of knowledge that is instantaneously available to us is mind-blowing. Wikipedia and Google have been around for about 20 years, in that time the world has changed drastically. Where people in the past used to spend hours rooting through libraries and books to find answers, now we merely have to speak our ponderings to the air, for Siri, or Alexa to immediately gratify us with an answer. Of course there is still much that we don't know and there is so much yet to be recorded onto the internet, but even still the amount of information available is staggering.
The fact that we have these resources changes the rules of the game when it comes to learning and getting ahead. Where it used to be enough for people to learn in school, then perhaps go to university, or get an apprenticeship it is now merely a slight advantage. Nowadays with so many robots and gadgets containing so much knowledge it is unsurprising that the people at the top of their fields do not stop learning once they finish school.
In fact, even in the past some of the greatest people knew that to truly reach great heights we must learn continuously. For example, the English Romantic Painter Turner kept going away and learning new skills throughout his whole artistic career. He started out by sketching, then learnt how to use watercolours, oils and do prints. His hard work, ambition and his knowledge are part of why his paintings still stand the test of time today. Another example is the great English writer, poet, philologist, and academic J.R.R. Tolkien. He was the author of the high fantasy works, 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings'. He was a lover of languages and learnt them throughout his life which enabled him to create his own languages. These examples clearly demonstrate why viewing learning as an ongoing pursuit is worthwhile.
If even in the past a few people knew that greatness required continual learning how much more so should we realise that today we need to adapt and learn more to stay ahead. The world is changing at a faster rate than we can possibly imagine. If we want to ensure that we remain relevant to our sector, we need to keep up to date with trends and learn more skills.
On a further positive note, learning continuously is also a great lesson in humility, as the more we learn the more we realise there is to learn. In fact whatever knowledge we have will always remain so tiny compared to the vast amount of knowledge that there is in the universe. It is always beneficial to have this view in mind, as it will help us realise that there is always ways for us to improve and grow.
I wish you luck in your journey of learning. I hope that you follow the continuous stream of knowledge to noble pursuits.
Naomi Leila Xx
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p.p.s. Come back next week for part 2, for tips and tricks to help you integrate learning into your daily life