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Lifelong Learning: Training a Thriving Future

As a sports scientist, with your own fitness programme – would you take, say, (unforced) six months off? Would you opt one year to just do a few press ups on one evening? Or maybe would you choose to invest all your fitness work into one week in the year? No, I don’t expect you would. I expect you invest in doing your fitness work in a balanced way each week. Why? Because you know what you are doing, you know that if you’re not training your body, your body will detrain and I expect because you are thoughtful, you are training because it is a challenge and you are enriched by that challenge. Do you do the same for learning, making it a weekly pursuit with reps, sets, frequency all thought out?

How we View Success: The case from “The Long Win”

In Cath Bishop in “The Long Win” suggests she makes the case for looking at success differently. It’s not just about grabbing that gold medal or clinching that deal. It’s about the journey, the learning, the growing. Could we shift our thinking in the same way for our own growth, creating a path lined with lessons and experiences rather than a finish line. Lifelong learning is a way to enjoy the scenic route.

Your Amazing Brain: A Lesson from “The Science of Fate”

Hannah Critchlow, in her fascinating book “The Science of Fate,” throws light on how adaptable our brains are. This feature called neuroplasticity means that our brains keep evolving. She shares how exercise and a healthy diet actually creates the conditions for learning by augmenting brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). But in turn lifelong learning builds momentum, by increasing BDNF nerve cell creation and keeping them healthier. So each time you learn a new skill or dive into a new subject, you’re actually giving your brain a decent workout.

Why Keep Learning?

Apart from making you a superstar in brain gymnastics, lifelong learning has some awesome practical perks:

1. Stay Ahead of the Game: In a fast-paced world, keeping your skills up-to-date is crucial for staying relevant in your field.

2. Personal Joy: Learning new stuff is incredibly fulfilling. It’s a happiness booster and a fantastic way to keep life exciting.

3. Be the Change: The more you learn, the better equipped you are to adapt to changes around you. It’s like having a superpower!

Cultivating a Learning Lifestyle

So, how do we weave lifelong learning into our everyday lives?

– Stay Curious: Embrace new ideas and experiences. Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat; it made the cat more knowledgeable!
– Set Goals That Excite You: Align your learning with things that spark your interest. It’s like choosing your own adventure!
– Resources on Tap: We have enough resources available to us, so follow your nose, see where it takes you.

Lifelong learning is not just a fancy concept; it’s a way of life that keeps you growing, thriving, and ahead of the game. By embracing this approach, we’re training our minds to be more open, knowledgeable, creative, healthier and probably more fantastical. Let’s keep learning, exploring, and enjoying the journey – because that’s where the real magic happens! 🌟📚🚀

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