Most of us think learning ends as soon as we graduate university, but pretty soon we realize this isn’t exactly the case. Not only are there are a ton of things university doesn’t necessarily prepare us for: cooking our first non-noodle based meal, understanding taxes, and consistent laundry schedules, to name a few, entering the workforce means having to accept you’ll be constantly learning how to improve.
The key quality that distinguishes ambitious individuals from ones who aren’t looking to grow is a willingness to learn. Whether it’s in preparation for a big promotion, or you’re simply looking to develop your own personal skills, here are some of our top tips when it comes to keeping your mind engaged:
1. Stay off your phone, and do something stimulating instead
This is probably the hardest thing to do on this list, but it’s also the most important. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the world of social media, but a lot of that time can actually be spent more efficiently picking up a new hobby, or engaging in something that requires more effort than simply clicking ‘like’.
If you’re finding it hard to put your phone away, try downloading apps that may encourage you to pick up a new habit – Audible is great for if you want to read but never have the time, while Duolingo helps people learn languages regardless of their skill level.
2. Surround yourself with people who are interested in learning
You’re only as good as the company you keep, and if you’re choosing to surround yourself with people who make an effort to stay in the know and invest in their personal growth, chances are some of that is going to rub off on you.
This also means taking the initiative to ask people you find interesting to spend time with you and asking them questions you may be worried about because you think they’re silly. We’ve got a pretty well-kept secret for you: everyone has silly questions, and everyone’s afraid to ask them. Talking openly about what you’re doubtful about to someone who knows will only prove your interest in growing, so don’t shy away from doing so.
3. Consume media (the right kind)
We’re inundated with information coming at us from all angles, and it can be a little overwhelming to try and figure out who or what we need to be listening to. Reflecting on your interests and how you want to grow individually can really help you figure out what sources of information are helpful and how you learn best.
Some people gain the most out of reading, in which case try and find books that cater to both your interests and fields you may know nothing about. If you have a long commute, picking up the habit of listening to podcasts on your way to work can be the perfect way to start or end your day learning something you never knew. If you’re always checking your inbox, subscribe to newsletters that cover subjects that may interest you- we love Brain Pickings.