Beyond graduation: On becoming a lifelong learner

A degree or diploma can open doors to new vistas and opportunities, and this month of graduation ceremonies serves as a meaningful reminder of that. In addition, it’s vitally important to remember that learning can and should be a lifelong process. Fostering and nurturing a love of lifelong learning can pay dividends for the rest of one’s days.

That’s why a neat little piece by career management consultant Bruce Harpham, “10 Things Only People Who Can’t Stop Learning Would Understand,” is a timely read. Here are some of the highlights:

  • “They expand their library of books regularly.”
  • “They enjoy deeply exploring their interests and hobbies.”
  • “They use what they learn to improve their lives.”
  • “They know how to pursue lifelong learning on a budget.”
  • “They know how to use journals and reflection to learn from their mistakes and errors.”

It’s an excellent article, well worth your quick read.


In addition, two guides to lifelong learning by one of my favorite authors, Ronald Gross, are also worth picking up: The first is Peak Learning (1999), which incorporates advice and insights in Ron’s friendly, encouraging writing voice. The second is Socrates’ Way: Seven Keys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost (2002), which draws on the life and lessons of the Greek philosopher to teach us how to enrich our lives and enhance our thinking.

In terms of references to computer technology, both books are slightly dated, but the content remains extremely useful and inspiring. Ron is a leading adult educator who popularized the term lifelong learning in the 1970s. For anyone looking to create a program of self-generated learning for personal enrichment and career growth, these books are great resources.

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