Be a Lifelong Learner.

Via on Jul 25, 2012
Wikicommons: Public Domain

Einstein said having knowledge wasn’t as important as knowing where to find it.

The rate of change makes what you know today less important than how quickly you learn. Challenge yourself to learn one new thing each day.

Many years ago I read A Course in Miracles and was struck by the words that at any point in life, “You can choose love or the lesson.” So much understanding in my life has resulted from choosing the lesson, painful though it often is, instead of the love. Struggling to change another person or fighting to promote my agenda instead of accepting and understanding another view always resulted in frustration and increased resistance no matter how good my ideas or how persistent my effort.

Learning from repeatedly banging your head on the wall of other opinions, values and biases is painful, but it’s one way we learn the lesson of acceptance. Accepting the world and other people as they are and seeking to understand them before we seek to be understood is choosing the love rather than the lesson, but many of us struggle every day to get there. In fact, many people believe we only learn from our failures, not from our successes, and that each time we try and fail there is a learning opportunity present if we choose it.

A commitment to lifelong learning is fundamental to becoming the person we are meant to be and to living our own best lives.

Learning applies to every area of our daily lives: new information, technology, skills, comprehension. Long before the internet permeated my daily life, books were my source of continuing learning and inspiration. Before that, other people were my teachers. And even before that my parents were my source of learning. All of these—technology, books, people—continue to be sources of daily learning for me.

My options for learning have expanded, and I now think of my brain as needing daily exercise just as the rest of my body does. Even something like a “word a day” calendar represents an opportunity for that daily “flexing” of the mind muscle that keeps us growing and moving forward .

So, if you’re a person who thinks, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” ask yourself when you became old? Was it when you stopped growing? Or when you stopped learning? Or when you stopped expecting more from yourself?

Growing older is unavoidable, but letting your mind grow old and inactive is a choice. Challenge yourself to learn something new every day, by reading, listening, or daring to do something you haven’t done before. Keep your mind young and vital and watch how your life is enriched by the learning you invite into your days.

Read the other articles in this series:

Using Respect to Create a Mindful Business.

The Importance of Empathy in Business.

The Importance of Listening.

The Importance of Persistence & Patience.

Why We Need to Avoid Rationalization.

The Importance of Embracing Change.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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About Sharon Parker

Sharon Parker successfully sold high-tech products and services for 25 years. Her book, Selling with Soul: Achieving Career Success without Sacrificing Personal and Spiritual Growth, was re-released as a second edition with new content and updated material in January 2012. The book counters the negative notions of selling and explains how selling is an honorable profession that creates value for us all when it is done with empathy for the customer and a firm commitment to integrity. She donates all the profits from the book to educational scholarships for women and minority students. / As Founder and Principle Consultant of Sparker, The Coaching Company, she provides training for sales people and sales managers using the CustomerCentric Selling® methodology. As a licensed facilitator with Corporate Coach U, she teaches coaching clinics to front-line managers and team leaders and offers individual and small group coaching to help people achieve their personal best. For more information, contact or visit the website:


6 Responses to “Be a Lifelong Learner.”

  1. […] did not know what the future would hold for themselves, nor do they know what it holds for us. People load others with their own experiences. But their experience does not match the unpredictable future.Our parents were loaded with their […]

  2. […] will, or desire to change, the wisdom or knowledge as to what to do, and the action of doing it. We are capable of learning and capable of doing. What cannot be taught however, is passion. This rests with the individual. What can be taught is […]

  3. […] three of us tossed out the standard-issue teacher training curriculum. We studied the fastest and longest lasting learning methods through all disciplines. And we studied spirituality and yoga to find clues on how to reliably attain that deeply-relaxed […]

  4. […] three of us tossed out the standard-issue teacher training curriculum. We studied the fastest and longest lasting learning methods through all disciplines. And we studied spirituality and yoga to find clues on how to reliably attain that deeply-relaxed […]

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