"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
-- Mahatma Gandhi
As a motivational speaker, one of the biggest questions I get is "how can I live a better life, more amazing life, a more motivated life?" Everyone is looking for the magic pill of happiness. I want to share with you what I believe to be one of the keys of living an amazing life- and it all boils down to one word- learning. Making a commitment to learn, making it an obsession to learn, making it a life journey to learn, and it will change everything and help you live an amazing life. So the second question is if the key of living an amazing life is learning, how do I learn?
1.Decide which you want to learn about- I often find that one of the reasons why people aren't learning as obvious as it sounds said they have not decided what it is they want to learn about. I think what you want to learn about can divide into two categories: 1) what do you want to learn about to improve or grow in your profession? 2) What do you want to learn about that would help your personal life, and particularly something that you are passionate about.
2.Seek out the wise advisor- There's no question that a great way to learn is to find a great mentor who will teach you what they have learned and share their wisdom with you. You can learn a lot from them and they will often see what you can't see and teach you lessons you cannot have imagined. The sad fact is there are many older people in our country that no one ever pays attention to, yet they are full of great wisdom and life experience that they could share with us. Try to find a mentor who will help you learn what it is you're currently working on learning. You will find a mentor to be a delight.
3.Look it up- With the way that the Internet works these days you can look up any topic and find literally sometimes millions of references that you can look at which could include white papers, articles (like those featured on this very site) videos, conferences, associations and almost every one of the resources on the Internet are just about free. So when people ask me about a topic that they're curious about and they tell me they don't know where to find the information, I just simply tell them to go on the Internet and search.
4.Be curious- As you are going through your regularly scheduled life, and you see something that you find mildly interesting- be curious about it. Ask questions of other people. Find out how what it is you're curious about works. Ask how it all got started. Find out more information. When you are a curious soul, it stimulates your thinking, it fires your synapses in your brain and makes you excited and passionate about life, because after all there's so much to be excited and passionate about if you are just mildly curious.
5.Associate with other learners- What do I mean by associate with learners? I'm married to an amazing woman who loves to learn. One of the thousands of reasons that I married her is the fact that she loves to learn and her love of learning is contagious. When you are around other people who love to learn, you can learn with them and you can encourage each other to learn more. There's another reason for associating with learners they will not discourage you from learning they will encourage you to learn more, to broaden your horizons because that's what living an amazing life is about.
6.Take a crazy class- Let's say you are thumbing through your local community college catalog of offerings and you notice a course called "Circus skills for the non-circus performer". You are fascinated but convince yourself that it's a crazy idea to take that crazy class because anyway you're just so busy. But what if you took a risk and signed up for the crazy class and fell in love with juggling or tight rope walking or swallowing swords? ( okay maybe not swallowing swords) well you get the idea, when you take a class that so far outside of your normal life you will definitely stimulate your curiosity and light up your soul. So decide to take a crazy class that is really outside of your normal way of living. Taking an improvisational acting course (even though you are afraid to) , take a baking class, take a hot air ballooning class, or a class on how to restore 58 Chevy's. It doesn't matter what the class is, just the fact you'll be learning something new and different and exciting.
So I left out books and there are of course many millions of those- but you already knew about them.
So change your life and get excited by deciding to just learn.