Recently, I realized that I learn a lot of new things for my vocation and general life experience, but I don't recognize and appreciate those learning moments. I noticed that days would pass and I couldn't remember what I learned. I am sure we all learn things every day, but much of those experiences are passive learning. While passive learning is a natural part of living, I want to have some planned and active learning in my life. Also, I want my study and learning to be multi-discipled.
There is always something more to learn in any area of study where we feel accomplished, but challenge yourself to learn something new and different. This article, "Challenge Yourself to Always Be a Rookie at Something" explains the advantages well. Doing this will give you a sense of accomplishment because it may be hard and that is okay. Learning to play a musical instrument, fixing something around the house, and cooking are all examples of things that may be uncomfortable because they are new. Don't let the challenge stop you!
I want to discuss some methods that I am using to keep continuous learning as a priority in my life. I was introduced to the Five Minute Journal by the Tim Ferriss Show and a related blog post. Instead of a paper journal, I decided to use Day One so I can easily journal on any device, at any time. I have found this practice to benefit me with greater focus and reflection.
I have made one addition to my Five Minute Journal template questions; "List one thing I learned today". I use this to capture active and passive learning moments each day. Some days I journal something that I learned through a mistake or failure. Other days I may journal something more planned and part of ongoing study. The point here is to create traction and show that you are making forward progress, even if in small increments. Learning isn't always easy, but have peace in the fact that you can look back in your journal and see how far you have come.
In addition to journaling my learning experience outcomes, I log things I want to learn in OmniFocus, using a Learning project. I also have often related Study and Reading contexts. OmniFocus works great for me, but feel free to use pen and paper if that is more natural.
There are so many ways to learn with online resources such as YouTube and blog articles, but don't forget that reading is a fantastic way to learn. Mix up your reading with fiction and non-fiction. Yes, you can learn a great deal from reading fiction.
Lifelong learning is something that I have always seen for myself. While the studies about the benefits are not conclusive, it is obvious to me that I am feel good about myself for learning new things and making sure to recognize those moments, no matter how small.