Not too long ago in public education, being a lifelong learner was touted as nothing more than continuing to read once you were done with traditional schooling. Maybe you’d pick up a new sport, or if you were bold, learn how to play an instrument. All to often, learning stopped once class was dismissed.
Things have changed. With the internet, ubiquitous technology, and the proliferation of information, lifelong learning has a much broader definition:
Learn photoshop, learn a foreign language, learn a programming language, learn how to create a website, start an online business, start a new career, learn about another part of the world (from a person who actually lives there), learn how to blog, learn how to communicate better, learn how to make movies, learn how to record music, create an album, create a non-profit, help others, learn how to cook healthy food, write a book, redefine what a book is, create a tribe, gain knowledge, dispense knowledge…
and yes, read–reading will always be important. The truth, however, is that we all need to constantly be learning everyday, and we need to learn in ways that might not always be comfortable. I love this recent tweet by Nassim Nicholas Taleb:
We need to feel lost somewhere, physically or intellectually, at least once a day.
— Nassim N. Taleb (@nntaleb) June 2, 2014
This is truth. Learning can be fun, but sometimes learning new things is uncomfortable–especially when what is being taught cannot be found in a book.
It’s good to sometimes be uncomfortable.