Why I love learning

"Daddy! I Did it!"

“Daddy! I Did it!”

There’s no greater joy in my life than watching and hearing one of my young daughters leap up and run towards me, a thrilled blur of excitement, shouting “DADDY! I DID IT!”

I’ve never felt more alive than at moments such as these. The thrill, the unbounded joy of a new achievement. It’s intoxicating.

To a lesser degree I experienced that buzz recently as I passed several professional exams so confirming my understanding of what I’d studied. And I witness many ‘light bulb’ moments as I work with learners. It’s a massive pay-off for me: it’s life affirming.

I believe that acquiring knowledge, gaining understanding and learning new skills are joyous, empowering events. They and are linked to youthful vitality; they declare ‘I’ve got a future’, that I’m not ready to stagnate or grow old. Learning can also confer wisdom, respect, and authority.

Why do I love and value learning? These are a few of the reasons:

  • Knowledge for knowledge’s sake – it’s enjoyable to learn things; to form connections, to master new skills. It boosts self-esteem
  • Learning is not necessarily about knowledge per se but it is also about developing the ability to think critically, about using one’s imagination and many more things. All rewarding activities
  • Ghandi once declared that ‘the future depends on what we do in the present”. If we are to have a future we need to evolve. To cope with today’s accelerating pace of change we need to learn because past behaviours may cease to be appropriate and effective. This is illustrated by the increasing number of career phases many of will have in our working lives. Learning keeps us current and future proofs us. (Discover why this is important to your organisation.)
  • Taking personal responsibility for your own structured learning and professional development shows commitment, professionalism and focus
  • Shared challenges and achievements experienced on a learning journey can aid team bonding (as learning together can aid bonding with my children). Just look how children bond with their class /university mates for life. A similar – if less powerful tie – occurs in many classrooms and other learning environments.

Henry Ford clearly valued learning. He put it like this: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

So what are you going to learn next?