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6 Reasons To Keep Your Passion For Learning Alive

May 31, 2018

It’s safe to say we encounter learning opportunities pretty much everyday. Some of them might be small and we might not even register them at the time, but they happen. However, when we get older, those learning experiences can sometimes lose their importance to us. They still happen, but our curiosity for exploring a subject or new idea deeper maybe isn’t as prominent as it used to be. We’ve learned a lot throughout our lives and we just don’t seek out those opportunities as often anymore.

As many boomers come to the end of their career or begin their retirement, that loss of a passion for learning can be even greater. Without the engagement of work, some no longer have as many apparent reasons to push themselves to keep learning. But there are always reasons to keep learning, no matter how old you are. It enriches so many aspects of your life and is sorely missed when it’s gone.

Consider just a few reasons to keep your passion for learning alive.

Your career.

While many boomers look to retirement at this age, others feel like they’re just getting started. They want to remain engaged in the workforce and maybe even pursue new career paths. These are the small business owners and entrepreneurs who are thriving in their second act careers. But if that is the path for you, a willingness and desire to learn is essential. Going down a new career path means you’ll have a whole lot to learn. Even if you’re not looking for something new, keeping that curiosity to learn can expose you to new interests which can evolve into new opportunities. Starting in the professional world, all you were doing was trying to learn as much as you could. Later in your career, it can be just as valuable.

Your purpose.

If you’ve put your career behind you and started your retirement, the question then becomes “What do I do now?”. This is a struggle for a lot of retirees. When you remove the career most of them have held for their entire adult life, it creates a very substantial void which needs to be filled. Playing golf can only take you so far, so how do you find purpose without a career? There’s more than just one method, but learning is involved in all of them. Being willing to explore new possibilities and continue to try new things adds value to your life. Now, with work behind you, you can dedicate more time to scratching that itch and find new ways to be taught.

Your health.

One of the main health concerns people have as it relates to aging is their mind. They want to stay sharp so they can enjoy the best days of their lives, but mental health issues related to aging are scary. While not a cure-all, an active mind is a healthier mind, so say the health experts. Keeping your mind engaged helps you to retain memories and process information. A mind that continues to learn also inevitably learns how to keep the body healthy. You’re more aware of any health issues and how to maintain your overall health. For body and mind, an active learner is a healthier person.

Your happiness.

They say ignorance is bliss, but I could poke holes in that theory. There is a link between heart and mind, and when one is full the other is as well. It might sound easy or maybe overly romantic to say learning breeds happiness, but think of your great learning experiences. There is a feeling of euphoria when you’re able to put your mind to something and solve a problem. There is an excitement in exploring something new. Knowledge brings confidence to a person, imbues them with self-worth and a sense of accomplishment. People who engage with learning are more social and interact more effectively in social situations. That sounds more like bliss to me.

Your growth.

No matter how old you are, you are still able to grow as a person. But to grow, you need to be willing to learn. Knowledge is at the center of all your growth as a person over the years. Learning from mistakes is how most of us have mastered our most effective skills. We form relationships and become more compassionate because we’ll willing to learn about others. Learning can open your eyes to things in this world you never knew. Learning from new experiences can teach you profound things about yourself. Everything you learn helps to shape the person you are, and you never have to say when that shaping is done.

What you can pass on.

One of the great privileges and responsibilities the older generation has is to help to teach the younger generations. Now, there are plenty of critics who would argue that the boomer generation has nothing good to teach anyone, but any of you who have kids would certainly disagree. You don’t need to have kids of your own to be able to take on this responsibility, you just have to have a passion for learning – for them and for yourself. The more knowledge you have, the more areas you explore, the more you can pass on. Pass it on to family, to friends, to coworkers. Mentor people, have discussions and engage. Everything you’ve learned over your lifetime has value and the more you have the more value you can share.

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