The Campaign for Learning in the U.K. recently compiled research on an age-old topic: learning. Basically, the article was focused on sharing some statistics in order to get people to see the UP-side of learning. Some of the information they shared was:
- 95% of people think that learning about new things boosts your confidence. (National Adult Learning Survey, DfEE, 1998) I am guessing that every one of us could use a little confidence. This confidence/learning thing is a tremendous, looping phenomenon. What I mean by that is that the more you learn, the more confident you become. As you become more confident, you want to learn even more and so on and so on, in a wonderful upward spiral to a better life.
- 92% of people think that learning about new things is enjoyable. (National Adult Learning Survey, DfEE, 1998) To me, the key to enjoyment in learning is twofold: interest and relevance. It is increasingly more effective and therefore more enjoyable to learn things that are of interest to us and relevant to some facet of our lives. Amazingly, science has shown us that we also learn more easily that which we find interesting and relevant. A double bonus. And what could be more interesting AND relevant than education centering on our chosen path.
- Seven in ten adults (71%) think that learning can lead to a better quality of life. (Attitudes to Learning, Campaign for Learning/MORI, 1996) Want job security? Want more income? Get smarter. Whether we like it or not, knowledge is a key, if not THE key to getting hired, advancing and excelling. Learning also broadens our horizons and allows a wider perspective and enjoyment of life.
- Learning brings more happiness than having sex, playing or watching sport or doing the National Lottery. (Finding Happiness, Gallup/North Yorkshire TEC, 1997) I’m not sure who answered this survey. That’s all I will say….
- 93% of us believe that it’s never too late to learn. One of the worst sayings EVER was “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Learning may not be as easy at 40 or 60 or 80 as it was at 20, it may not happen as quickly, but it happens. Your brain changes whenever learning (and doing) occurs. Brain researcher, Dr. John Medina says in his book Brain Rules, “what you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like – it literally rewires it.” There is no age limit on this.
- 72% of us think we should devote more time to personal development As we learn, we get better, we grow. Personal growth is the foundation of leading a better life. A Chinese proverb says, “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” Herbert Otto said, “Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.”
The moral? Take a class, read a book, share with others. Learn something today. And tomorrow and the next day and the next. Get better at two of the most important things we do: knowing and doing. And watch your life get better.