“Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.” – Alan Moore
Learning never ends. We grow older, the world around us moves on, and our industries change. It is vital to be open to new ideas and fresh insights and to be conscious that we, ourselves, are never finished. To be resilient to change, and to continue to be the best that we can be, we must move with the current, listen to the communities around us, and crave knowledge.
If you are not in the habit of learning new things, then know this, there are many advantages beyond becoming perceived as out of date or old fashioned. Read on to learn about five such advantages!
1. Creativity Unlocked
It is easy to arrive at adulthood and convince yourself that your brain works in a certain way and that there are no other angles from which you can look at things or solve problems. In fact, what many people find, is that when they learn something new, even if it is something they are learning for pleasure or to invest in their personal wellbeing, is that teaches their brain to come at problems from different directions, enabling them to think both more broadly and more creatively. This happens most dramatically when the person in question takes on a new skill that is completely out of their normal spheres of interest.
Of course, when it comes to the workplace, financial gain is always a good incentive to learn and diversify your skills. However, even if getting promoted or financially rewarded is not your goal when perusing new avenues, you would be surprised how often these innocently obtained skills make you a more desirable employee.
3. Surprising Opportunities
As alluded to in the previous paragraph, new skills often open unexpected doors. I am a freelancer, and have often been taken on for a job that required a specific set of skills. During the said job, it would be discovered that I can also provide another set of skills, which has led to me being employed by the same people again, but in a different role, making use of different skills. Learning always pays off.
4. Fresh Connections
We don’t meet as many new people when we grow up. If you work in a single workplace, you will probably not be used to encountering fresh faces and new opinions on a regular basis. Learning environments put us among new people on a regular basis, making our exposure to different backgrounds and ideas broader. This is an important and underrated consequence of going after new knowledge; broadening of horizons, and the unexpected new connections that we make. Meeting, and connecting with, new people and skills.
5. Your Own Opinion of Yourself
We’ve all been stuck in a rut. We can convince ourselves we are fine where we aren’t, really. We sometimes do so for so long that when the question of taking a risk, learning something new, or leaping a hurdle to move up in the workplace comes along, our low self-esteem tells us that it’s too scary, or that we do not have the capacity to do it. This is where one really needs to take a deep breath, ignore the voices, and leap into something new. The sense of worth and achievement we get from gaining new skills is enormous. When we are children, we feel this all the time, and it feels amazing. But it doesn’t happen so often as adults, and we forget this feeling. The feeling of achievement. The feeling of worth. Regular learning opportunities will ensure that you feel this sense of achievement much more often.
By Chris Thomson
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