I’m an avid believer that you should never stop learning. As a matter of fact, I think that it is absolutely necessary to experience a fulfilled life. To me, the learning process ends when we die. Until then, it is our duty to find out as much as we can about this wonderful & wacky world we live in. Here are some of the methods I use to keep the learning process going:
I usually read one book per week. Sometimes I read a couple of books concurrently. What I usually do is go down to the local library and pick out various books about many different topics. Having a library in your neighborhood is one of the most rewarding things you can have, and it’s completely free. I can read fiction, just like I can read about health, politics, and of course personal development. If I end up really liking a book, I will buy it at a bookstore or online because I really enjoy going back and browsing through a book I have already read, it helps refreshen its content. I read maybe for one hour before I go to bed. I feel it is a very soothing way to end the day, and it helps me sleep better. Also, sometimes I take a ride on my bike, stop at a park and just read while enjoying nature and fresh air. You can have a look at these books that I highly recommend, and I update this list all the time.
Take classes in school
Yes, I voluntarily go to school! I never thought I would be doing that when I was a teenager and all I was looking forward to was getting out of school. But the perspective is totally different when you want to learn, and you go to school because you want to. Although I do have a very busy schedule, I often try to find the time to squeeze in a course per semester. It’s usually in the evening, so it doesn’t really interfere with running my business. Over the years, I have studied topics such as applied mathematics, biochemistry, computer science, business management, and marketing. I have learned so much from taking these courses, some I can apply in business, and some I can apply in everyday life. Also, you get to meet lots of very nice people, and I have formed lasting friendships with some of these colleagues.
One insightful conversation per week
Speaking of people & friends, I always go out of my way to learn about people that I cross path with. They could be from any walks of life or any age, but everyone has a story to tell. I love to pick people’s brains apart and learn about what made them do a certain thing or what made them choose a particular path. It could be with friends, family, clients, or random people you meet in your daily life. I love to hear about stories and get a different point of view than my own. I find that this is one of the best ways to learn in life…to see things through someone else’s eyes. I will usually have at least one such lengthy conversation per week, and most of the time, it is completely random without planning for it. I am a person that just loves discussions.
I probably spend about one hour each morning reading various articles that I find on news sites and other blogs that I follow. I try to always read news from different perspectives, as reading everything from one source will only narrow your view of the World. For example, if you read coverage of the Iraq War from cnn.com and the news at tv5.org (or any news agency outside North America), you will get a vastly different take on what is happening. Mostly though, I try to stay away as much as possible from negative news. I try to read uplifting posts and focus on the good that is going on in our World. It’s hard to imagine that there is a lot of good in this society, especially when we see one tragedy after another. But there is tons of good and I find it refreshing to focus on that instead. I do not turn a blind eye to tragedies and negative news stories, but I make it a point not to let it ruin my day either. All in all, I really enjoy reading blogs and getting opinions from people spread out all across the Globe. It’s one of the best, easiest, and fastest ways to expand your horizons.
Browse the web
I still remember the first time I had the internet. It was 1996 and it was still very new. I was just amazed with everything I could find, and I remember not sleeping for 48 hrs, as I kept reading more and more. With time though, having the internet loses its luster, and I found myself not knowing what to search for and honestly being bored with it. Thankfully, I came across such sites like StumbleUpon and Digg. These sites have really made me enjoy the web the way I used to back in 1996. I have found tons of really incredible sites that I would have otherwise never known how to find them. It’s a breath of fresh air, in that you do not have to use a search engine, you are simply shown pages that you have an interest in. It’s very similar to channel surfing on your TV, although it is much more informative!
What are some of your methods to keep the learning process going?