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Are you a lifelong learner? - Of course you are!

A little under a month ago I had the privilege of participating in the 2018 LeaderEx event as a speaker on the subject of lifelong learning.

At the end of this post is the GO Live Facebook video of the event.

The challenge put forward to me, was to provide a unique perspective and to leave people with something to think about.

To be honest, I really struggled to figure out what to focus on. There is just so much out there and the problem for me is that the more you discover, the less original thought comes out of it. I just end up confused with everyone else's voices, opinions and perspectives that I loose sight of my own. I decided that perhaps a better approach for me, would be to ask people what they most wanted to know on the topic and formulate a presentation based on the response I would give to their questions.

You can check out that Facebook Post here:

I had a 30 minute time slot, in an open venue in the middle of stalls of vendors. It was little distracting at the beginning, but about 3 minutes in I got into my groove.

On the back of the facebook questions, I decided to cover the following topics:

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?

  • I decided to cover the concept and the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai

  • ​I absolutely love Emily Wapnick and her Multipotentialite movement. I recently bought her book "How to be Everything" one which inspired this section

  • Knowledge acquisition versions learning

  • The history of learning, through the lens of the role that technology has had on our learning journeys. What I mean is, before the invention of google, please had to memorize information, or spend a lot of time in libraries and buy volumes of encyclopedias as reference material to fact and figure and to provide historical context. In this day and age, it is less about memorization, because everyone just wops out their phone and googles something and immediately has access to a plethora of information, and more about curating information and applying critical thought to the content that are exposed to.

  • Learning Diversity

  • In a podcast called "Why is Marriage so hard", during the last 11 minutes Eli Finkel speaks about social diversity and the idea of asking less from our partners. He uses the analogy of investment and putting all your eggs in one basket, banking on one portfolio to provide everything to you. Not only is it risky, its also unlikely to meet performance expectations.

  • The concept got me thinking. Can we apply the same idea to learning. If the world could agree that learning diversification - from all sources - is worth as much as formal learning would it increase our feeling of fulfillment, would it open up our concept of the perfect candidate for jobs, would it allow us to build skills quicker and become more agile? It isn't just about how we learn...whether I prefer auditory or visual learning material, but rather the idea that formal education is the only recognised "learning" that we do. A shift in perspective is needed. Self-directed informal learning should have as much weight has formal education.

  • The carpenter vs gardener approach

  • ​This topic was inspired by a recent podcast that I subscribe to called NPR - Hidden Brain

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  • How we raise our children can be likened to how organisations cultivate learning environments for their staff. If we are wanting to face the changing world of work both as an employer and as an employee, retain our employ-ability, then its time to become more gardener than carpenter.

  • Cultivating a habit of learning

  • ​I shared my personal learning journey and how I embed learning into my everyday routines. But the most important thought that I left the crowd with way the idea that you probably are learning every day, but you either don't recognise it, don't refer to it or don't record it.

So...are you a life long learning? Of course you are!

Check out my GO LIVE facebook post of the event below, and feel free to share your thoughts.

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