The 5 ways to well-being (as identified by the New Economics Foundation) are:
- Be active
- Take notice
- Keep learning
In this third part of the series I’ll be looking at ‘Keep Learning’.
This is a topic close to my heart. Since leaving formal education at the age of 21 I have returned to study on numerous occasions – sometimes in a formal capacity but often in an informal way. Many people associate learning with being in school or college but actually the opportunity to learn is always present as the term ‘school of life’ suggests.
I love learning – I’m curious about the world around me, I want to understand myself and others better and I enjoy the mental stimulation. For me learning is an opportunity for growth and it’s something I find pleasurable, though not necessarily always easy!
No such thing as failure
Unfortunately some people have poor experiences at school or in formal education and that can put them off. There can be a fear of failing, looking silly or feeling embarrassed. This is more often than not, down to the teacher / educator not having the right skill set or attitude to help those who struggle with learning. What I have learned, particularly over the last few years, is that if you’re not failing you’re not pushing yourself and anyway, I’m an advocate of the phrase ‘no such thing as failure only feedback’. When something doesn’t work out as we expected then it’s a fantastic opportunity to reflect and learn from the experience. Questions we could ask ourselves:
- What did I learn?
- What can I do differently next time?
Benefits of learning
There are many good reasons to keep learning too:
*learn a new skill or develop an existing one
*better understanding of the topic
*keeps your brain active
*increased engagement with the world around you
*way of meeting new people
How can we keep learning?
Like I mentioned above, learning doesn’t have to be formal. Obviously you could take a course at college or night school but there are many other ways to keep learning too.
- There are loads of workshops and short courses in all sorts of topics – a good place to find these are to look on Eventbrite and type in something you are interested in.
- Read a book or listen to an audio book on a subject that you would like to know more about.
- Attend a talk / presentation / lecture at your local library, community centre or educational establishment
- Learn a new skill such as playing an instrument, painting / drawing, cooking, knitting or dancing
- Join a group and meet new people. These could be like-minded people or perhaps if you want to challenge yourself a little meet people with different views to you – it’s a good way to see the world from a new perspective.
- Online learning – You can learn all sorts from You Tube or there are lots of online learning platforms where you can dip in and out of study at your own pace
- Take on a new role at work or in a group / club that you are involved with
The key is to find something that you enjoy. We are more likely to stick at something if we find it pleasurable and rewarding.
I often run workshops on a variety of topics as not only do I love learning, I love teaching and sharing my skills with others too. You can find out more here
Read the other blogs about the 5 Ways to Well-being here: