• The only resolution you need, to love learning

  • 23 Jan 2014
  • Comments 3 comments

Peter Honey says learning is a skill that, like any other, needs to worked at

It’s that time of year when people make New Year resolutions – and have often broken them by the end of January. I decided some time ago to have one resolution for the rest of my life, to love learning.

This has the advantage of being a permanent fixture and it is so delightfully all-embracing that it covers all eventualities.

This, of course, opens me up to criticism because the advice is always to have specific resolutions; chunks not elephants. But I don’t care, I’m content with my particular elephant.

Human beings are built to learn. The biggest single difference between us and all other animals is that we are born with fewer ready-made reflexes and are therefore more dependent on learning.

However, it is easy to be lulled into taking learning for granted and into assuming that it is a totally ‘natural’ process that doesn’t require attention or maintenance. Much safer to assume that learning is a skill that, like any other, needs to be worked at and constantly practised to keep it in trim. 

Here are twelve reasons (but not an exhaustive list) why it is worth making learning your permanent resolution:

Learning is the only skill that can never ever become obsolete

All your other skills are in danger of being overtaken by events and passing their sell-by date, but learning? Never. Human beings will always need to learn.

Your learning provides the gateway to everything else you want to do

Everything you want to know, you have to learn. Everything you want to do, you have to learn to do. Learning is the way to achieve your dreams and your potential.

Learning makes life much more interesting

It keeps you on your toes, fuels your curiosity and helps you to be more enthusiastic. Learning is the key to leading a more fulfilled and purposeful life.

Learning makes you more employable

It isn’t realistic to count on one career anymore. The way to make yourself attractive to employers is to demonstrate that you are constantly updating your skill base, being adaptable and staying ‘with it’.

The more you learn the better placed you are to help other people learn

You can do this by being a role model for learning and by openly sharing what you’ve learned with others. Sometimes people worry that this would be too helpful to potential rivals (knowledge is power). But if you are learning all the time, you’ll keep ahead of any competition.

Learning helps you meet the demands of change

There is nothing permanent except change and the only way to ride the waves is to make sure that your rate of learning exceeds the rate of change.

Learning equips you to make informed decisions

In our democratic society we are faced with lots of choices. We are likely to make more responsible choices if we keep learning how to weigh up the pros and cons of different courses of action.

Learning increases your self-awareness

It helps you to sort out who you are and why you are here. It helps you to take stock of your talents and capabilities and to come to terms with your limitations.                                                                                

Learning is a way of converting mistakes into something worthwhile

Inside every mistake there are lessons waiting to get out. Learning digs out those lessons and ensures that there is gain from the pain. It also prevents you making the same mistake over and over again.

Learning helps you become more independent, more self-sufficient

It helps you take responsibility for yourself and for your own learning and development. Taking charge of yourself is a far better option than waiting for other people to provide you with opportunities. You might wait forever.

Learning boosts your self-confidence

Low self-esteem is a horrible, energy sapping feeling. Learning is one way to avoid it.

Learning to learn – the ultimate life-skill

You can turn learning in on itself and use your learning skills to help you learn how to become an increasingly effective learner. Learning to learn is the key to enhancing all the above.

You know it makes sense.  Happy New Year!


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Comments (3)
  • I often describe myself as an eternal student. I love to learn and embark on a course every September. An avid reader, I would rather spend my time reading than watching the television. I don't just study academic subjects though, I like to learn homecrafts such as knitting,sewing and cooking. Life is full of gifts, learning and sharing that learning is truly a gift indeed!

  • I am totally on board with the whole learning experience.They say you learn something new everyday- I say the more the better!.

  • an avid reader of all Peter Honeys writings