Be a Lifelong Learner

School’s out!

I’m not sure who loves to hear those words more—kids or teachers! I guess all those seniors out there finally found the cure for their senioritis. 

But, just because school’s out doesn’t mean learning has to go out the window, as well. Education isn’t just for classrooms! Lifelong learning is a pursuit that will serve kids well for the rest of their lives.

I grew up living the simple life in small-town Wisconsin. It was a childhood I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I spent most of my free time either playing sports or hanging out in the woods with my friends. But, while that got me through high school and college just fine, I began to notice something early in my career…most of my peers were more intellectually well-rounded than me. I especially noticed it at gatherings when politics and world affairs were discussed.

I knew I had some serious catching up to do, especially considering the growing number of client meetings I attended. Thankfully, once I committed to stepping up my intellectual game, my confidence grew. It made a huge difference in my investment management career where I evaluated successful leaders.

In this global, knowledge-based economy, students need an insatiable appetite for learning. This means not only expanding their career/major subject knowledge, but also having diverse interests. Encourage them to explore other subject areas  that challenge their minds or satisfy their curiosity.

Summer vacation is a great time to expand your horizons and try something new. Here are some ideas for the young people in your life (or for yourself!):

·      Check out the free summer concerts happening in cities all over; discover some new music

·      Learn a new sport or revisit one you haven’t played in awhile

·      Catch up on current events by reading newspapers or magazines (print or online)

·      Volunteer for a charity

·      Read a book that wasn’t assigned to you

·      Write a book (why not?)

·      Go places: the beach, the park, a museum, the library, the zoo

·      Enjoy the outdoors: try rock climbing, go biking, go kayaking or paddleboarding, go for a hike

·      Job shadow someone who is employed in a career field you’re considering

Encourage the young people you know to stretch their wings a little, to be lifelong learners. It’ll help them advance in their career and make them more well-rounded and dynamic people.

                                                                                 

What are ways you’ve encouraged learning in your children or student outside the classroom? How about for yourself?  How do YOU keep sharp and keep building your repertoire of skills and information? Please comment below and let us know your thoughts and suggestions.

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