All the world’s most famous autodidacts -- Elon Musk, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein, to name a few -- are frequently quoted talking about the importance of lifelong learning.
It’s one of their secrets to success.
The thing that made them special was not just raw talent, or even developed skill. History’s most famous autodidacts were all consistent and voracious learners, throughout their entire lives -- and that consistency in learning was an important key to all the insights, ideas, and innovations they put out.
No matter who you are, the importance of lifelong learning is undeniable. Learning is not an activity confined to a classroom or a certain stage of life. It’s a lifelong pursuit, and a way of living.
On a physiological level, learning is a great way to keep your brain active and sharp. Your brain is a muscle, and you need to train it to keep it in shape. People who continue to learn as adults retain better memory and cognitive function.
And if you’re concerned about not knowing how to learn, know that learning is a skill. The more of it you do, the better at it you get. When you exercise your learning muscles, learning in turn gets easier to do. Want to get better at asking questions? Simply ask questions!. Why do things exist? Why does something behave in a specific way? Want to get better at answering those questions? Be intentional about how you find answers. Learn how to go from a simple google search to well-informed and thoughtful perspectives. The more mindful you are of your learning process, the more you sharpen your learning skills.
On a practical level, learning is important for your continued success in life. With the world changing so quickly, you need to be able to quickly learn new information and skills. Many of us are working in jobs that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. To be successful in the coming years and decades, you must be able to learn and adapt effectively.
But beyond the practical, learning also has quality of life benefits. Discovering new things, exploring possibilities, and making sense of the world around you sparks new ideas and fuels your creativity, bringing you a sense of meaning and joy.
The following 30 quotes -- from writers, entrepreneurs, and famous autodidacts -- explore the importance of lifelong learning. Each quote is followed by a set of questions to help you apply the ideas to your own life.
A better learning practice is a key to a better life. It keeps your brain sharp, it keeps your skills strong, and it helps you explore and embrace the wonders of the world around you.
Make learning a lifestyle, and curiosity a habit -- and reap the rewards in every aspect of your life.