After more than a dozen years in school, it can be tempting to take a break from learning. Of course, you can’t completely avoid picking up new skills or tidbits of knowledge as time progresses. But you should actually make a point to do so for several reasons — here are 11 of them.
- Fight Boredom
For starters, stagnation is pretty boring. You might find that your day-to-day tasks no longer challenge you — learning can help push you forward. Even if you’re not studying a new subject or hopping into a new career, watching TED talks online or taking a free internet seminar can give you a fresh perspective. Or you might learn new skills to switch up your routine.
- Feel Happier
Not all tasks are breezy. In other words, learning can be a frustrating process, but the result is so rewarding. When you reach your accomplishment — say mastery of a tough new skill — you’ll undoubtedly feel happy looking back on the road you’ve traversed to get where you are. The more ambitious you are, the more content you’re sure to be.
- Be a Great Example
Imagine your kids don’t feel like doing their homework, or they’re feeling defeated by a tough school project. Knowing their parent is also in the midst of learning — and they’re not giving up — is so inspiring for children. Plus, if you laud the merits of ongoing education, your brood will look at school the same way, learning longer and reaching for better, higher-paying jobs when they’re adults.
- Keep up With Technology
Technology is always evolving, and continuing education provides us with the tools to keep up. If you’re feeling behind the times at work, enrolling in a course can help you in the long term.
After you’ve mastered today’s technology, look toward tomorrow and pick those skills up too. It will help you feel more confident in the workplace and in your day-to-day life, where it seems as though everyone’s a tech pro.
- Become Indispensable at Work
Because you’re always learning, you’re more able to roll with the punches. Your adaptability will only increase your value to those on your team. Your bosses will take note of your ability to pick up new skills and put them to work too, and that could put you in good stead for promotions and other opportunities.
- Get Better at Problem Solving
Constantly learning puts more tools in your arsenal. When you face a problem in the future, then, you don’t have to approach it in the same old way you always have. Instead, you can try a new solution based on all that you’ve learned. Your ingenuity could help you move on from an issue with a new way to fix a similar conundrum down the line.
- Pick up New Hobbies
There are so many benefits to having a solid work-life balance. You’ll be more productive, and you’ll be more engaged on the job too. While it’s partly your employer’s responsibility to give you reasonable working hours, vacation time and similar benefits, you can cultivate your own personal life by picking up hobbies. The ones you take time to learn — think cooking, sailing, martial arts, knitting — will challenge you and help you feel fulfilled in your home life.
- Help Others More Effectively
Even if you’re not a teacher, learning sets you up to be one. In fact, when you’re able to teach skills to others, you’ll know you’re a master in whatever area you’ve been studying. And your good deed is sure to beget other do-gooding — your students will eventually become teachers too.
- Feel More Modern
We’ve already touched on the prevalence of technology and the value of learning those ropes. In addition, keeping tabs on everything from the news to pop culture to comedy and art will help you feel in touch with the times. Learning doesn’t have to involve a skill — reading, observing and experiencing culture counts too. So take note of trends or areas you don’t quite understand, and make it your mission to brush up.
- Keep Your Brain Active
It’s not technically a muscle, but you should train your brain like one. Opening your mind to new ideas and honing your arsenal of skills will keep your mind fresh. In fact, a study by the University of California at Irvine found that learning can fend off memory loss and other age-related decline.
- Exude Confidence
It’s one thing to feel temporarily shy, but a day-to-day lack of confidence is an issue that should be remedied ASAP. Continuing to learn and hone your skills is a surefire way to boost your self-esteem. Even when you put yourself out there, try something new and fail at it, you’ll improve your confidence because you’ll realize how easy it is to bounce back in another, better way.
Keep It Going
These are just 11 of the many reasons that continuing your education is worth it, no matter how you do it. So get to class, crack a book or get your hands dirty — it’s time to learn.