Lifelong learning? About 365 days a year!

2023 is quickly reaching upon us, so once again it is that time of the year when we usually stop a bit to think over the happenings of the last days, weeks and months: summarizing what happened to us and passing a sentence upon whether we did respond to those challenges well, or not (see also here). Even if a single day is just 24 hours, a year can be quite a long period which usually offers close to unlimited opportunities day to day to all of us – we actually realize it or not. Great (successful) people tend to become the ones who walk the Earth with open eyes, recognizing and grabbing each and every little chance for growth the world is offering for them.

lifelong learning

Image from Unsplash.com

“One moment can change a day, One day can change a life and One life can change the world”

Gautama Buddha

 

As among others highlighted by Griszbacher et al. (2022); all twists and turns – both positive and negative – in life provide us with a possibility to learn, to grow, to become better versions of ourselves (if processed and handled correctly). It is important to mention at the very beginning that as we can see ‘schooling’ is just one, usually temporary stage of the ‘learning and growing years’, ideally many other opportunities are given to improve one’s knowledge and develop various skills essential in life (skillsyouneed.com, n.d.). By our creed, at GILE we are working closely with these kinds of situations and activities which are directly or indirectly connected to skilling and reskilling opportunities at very different, sometimes even surprising areas of life. 

Dear Reader, are you interested in these unique opportunities for personal development and growth – all while having the time of your life?  

Lifelong learning - the out-of-school factor

It would be hard to question that information and knowledge can be acquired and skill-sets enhanced anywhere anytime as “learning is unavoidable and happens all the time” (360Learning.com). Lifelong learning has been a ‘hot topic’ for years now, with many theorists pointing out the relevance of the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated hunt for knowledge” with the purpose of achieving personal fulfillment – inspired by personal or professional reasons (Department of Education and Science, 2000). However, school and (compulsory) education have a vital part in our learning progress, life constantly offers various ‘extracurricular activities’ which will have equal or sometimes even greater significance throughout our development. Beyond doubt, luckily or not, most of our actions provide a lesson and space for growth as many situations come with a great variety of unique experiences that are able to enhance one’s character. Although, with every minute and each decision the combination of different follow-up acts and outcomes will be nearly countless, the right attitude is inevitable for the desired results: being impartial, and open – thirsty for knowledge and growth are key parts of the process. 

 

Live your days with eyes open to the world and whole worlds open up to you…

 

These days we often experience the drawbacks of living in a globalized, fast-paced, and knowledge-driven economy. As the world is changing at an increased tempo, rapidly around us we have to be able respond as quickly to these challenges as possible (see also here and here). Having a right – strong character set may help in surviving or even flourish these troubling times (González-Pérez & Ramírez-Montoya, 2022) since when the outside world is “too scary to step out” we have to be able to build and live from the inner resources that we have inside

 

This is how the phrase ‘lifelong learning’ comes to the picture: it is important to be able to realize these changes, reevaluate the situation, and also address and implement any modifications needed. To be ‘up-to-date citizens’ with a great potential, we have to grab all possibilities and keep ‘upgrading’ ourselves from time to time, reaching the 2.0 (and so on) version of ourselves mentally (and physically). In other words, lifelong learning is a quite long (neverending?) and complex process with many sub-processes – including school, work and free-time related activities. Complicated or not, it has many benefits, among others, improved competitiveness and employability, enhanced social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development (Commission of the European Communities, 2006).

IKIGAI - combining passion and duty?!

Lifelong learning - ikigai

The figure is the Author’s own compilation based on García & Miralles (2017)

It is never easy to find a balance between passion (usually hobbies and friends/family) and duty (work/studies). However, to fulfill our goals and to reach the maximum possible level of personal satisfaction the right combination is inevitable. According to the Japanese concept of Ikigai; being able to reach this healthy and actually effective ‘ultimate balance’ in life means you actually find your “reason for being”. As it is shown on the figure the base idea of Ikigai is to find a ‘golden mean’, a healthy balance of:

Passion

Mission

Profession

Vocation

Okay, but the world is huge and ever-changing, how can I spot my unique chance(s) for ‘Ikigai’ so as not to miss and fall behind?

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Author:

Griszbacher Norbert

Article Writer & Content Contributor

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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.

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