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Lifelong Learning: The Evergreen Skill

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14 min read

Whether through formal education, online courses, or self-directed learning, the pursuit of knowledge is a powerful tool that enhances our personal and professional growth. In this article, we will explore different learning models, the wide-ranging benefits of lifelong learning, and available resources for those committed to enriching their knowledge and skills.

Learning Models

When it comes to maximizing learning potential, there are various models that individuals can adopt. One such model is the 70-20-10 Rule. This rule suggests that, on average, 70% of learning occurs through practical experience, 20% through social interactions, and 10% through formal education or training, with a significant emphasis on the importance of lifelong learning.

Let's delve deeper into this fascinating learning model and explore how it can revolutionize the way we approach learning and development, particularly in terms of cognitive flexibility.

The 70%: Practical Experience

The foundation of the 70-20-10 Rule lies in the belief that hands-on experience is the most effective way to learn, a key principle in developing a growth mindset. This means actively seeking opportunities to apply knowledge in real-world settings. Whether it's through internships, apprenticeships, or simply taking on challenging projects, engaging in practical experience allows individuals to gain valuable insights, develop critical thinking skills, and build confidence in their abilities, all essential components of a growth mindset. In this context, failure plays a crucial role as a learning tool. Each mistake or setback encountered in these practical experiences is an opportunity for deeper understanding and improvement, helping individuals refine their skills and adapt their approaches more effectively. During these experiences, practicing delayed gratification is essential, as it teaches patience and discipline, key traits for absorbing and applying new knowledge effectively.

Imagine a budding chef who wants to master the art of cooking. While formal culinary education provides a solid foundation, it is the hours spent in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients, and learning from mistakes that truly hones their skills. Practical experience allows individuals to go beyond theory and truly understand the intricacies of their chosen field. he process of trial and error, including facing and overcoming failures, is what ultimately leads to mastery and skill refinement.

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The 20%: Social Interactions

Learning doesn't happen in isolation. The 70-20-10 Rule emphasizes the importance of social interactions in the learning process. Engaging in meaningful discussions with peers, mentors, and industry professionals allows individuals to gain new perspectives, exchange ideas, and challenge their own thinking. This part of the learning process is also where the feedback loop plays a crucial role, as individuals can receive and incorporate insights from others to refine and enhance their learning experience. Learning is also enhanced through positive self-talk, which fosters confidence and resilience, encouraging individuals to engage more deeply in social learning opportunities.

Imagine a group of aspiring entrepreneurs attending a networking event. By actively engaging in conversations, sharing experiences, and seeking advice from successful business owners, they not only expand their knowledge but also build a network of valuable connections. Social interactions provide opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and the exchange of best practices, all of which contribute to personal and professional growth.

The 10%: Formal Education

While practical experience and social interactions form the bulk of the learning process, formal education or training still plays a crucial role. The 70-20-10 Rule acknowledges that there are certain foundational concepts and specialized knowledge that can be effectively acquired through formal education.

Imagine a software developer who wants to master a new programming language. While hands-on coding and collaborating with fellow developers are essential, formal education in the form of online courses or workshops can provide a structured learning path, introduce advanced concepts, and offer expert guidance. Formal education complements experiential learning by filling in knowledge gaps and providing a solid theoretical foundation.

By embracing the 70-20-10 Rule, individuals can enhance their learning effectiveness. Actively seeking opportunities to apply knowledge, engaging in meaningful discussions, and complementing experiential learning with targeted formal education are key strategies to maximize learning potential.

So, whether you're a student, a professional, or someone passionate about continuous learning, consider adopting the 70-20-10 Rule as a framework to guide your learning journey. Embrace practical experience, foster social interactions, and never stop seeking knowledge. The possibilities for growth and development are endless!

Benefits Across Lifespan

Lifelong learning offers a myriad of advantages that extend far beyond our professional lives. It has a profound impact on both our personal and professional growth, enabling us to adapt to new challenges and seize opportunities in an ever-evolving world.

When it comes to professional development, lifelong learning plays a crucial role in keeping us competitive in the job market. In today's fast-paced and rapidly changing industries, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements is essential. By continually acquiring new skills and knowledge, we increase our value to employers and position ourselves as valuable assets within our respective fields.

Lifelong learning opens doors to new career possibilities. As we expand our knowledge and expertise, we become more versatile and adaptable to different roles and industries. This not only broadens our career options but also increases our chances of finding fulfilling and rewarding work.

Professional to Personal

While the professional benefits of lifelong learning are undeniable, its impact extends far beyond the workplace. Engaging in continuous learning enriches our personal lives in numerous ways.

Lifelong learning fosters curiosity. It ignites a sense of wonder and a thirst for knowledge that propels us to explore new subjects and ideas. Whether it's delving into the depths of history, unraveling the mysteries of science, or immersing ourselves in the world of art, lifelong learning allows us to satisfy our intellectual curiosity and expand our horizons.

Learning new subjects or pursuing hobbies not only expands our knowledge but also enhances our overall well-being and satisfaction. Engaging in activities that challenge us intellectually and emotionally has been shown to improve cognitive function, boost self-confidence, and reduce stress levels. By dedicating time to lifelong learning, we invest in our personal development and nurture a lifelong love of learning.

Through exposure to different subjects and experiences, we may stumble upon a hidden talent or a previously unknown interest. This can lead to a newfound sense of purpose and fulfillment as we pursue these passions and incorporate them into our lives.

It pushes us to step outside of our comfort zones and embrace new ideas and perspectives. By engaging in critical thinking and problem-solving, we develop valuable skills that can be applied to various aspects of our lives, from personal relationships to decision-making processes.

Lifelong learning is not just a means to professional growth but a pathway to personal fulfillment and enrichment. By embracing the opportunities for continuous learning, we can lead more fulfilling lives, expand our horizons, and adapt to the ever-changing world around us.

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Resources for Commitment

Committing to lifelong learning is an admirable endeavor, and fortunately, with the rapid advancement of technology, a wealth of resources is available to support these efforts. Whether you're looking to expand your knowledge in a specific field or explore new areas of interest, the options are virtually limitless. This journey towards knowledge expansion greatly benefits from the practice of self-reflection, where learners can continually assess their progress, adapt their learning strategies, and integrate their new knowledge into their lives more effectively.

MOOCs and Mentorship

One of the most significant developments in recent years is the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These online platforms have revolutionized access to education, making it possible for anyone with an internet connection to learn from experts at prestigious universities and institutions around the world.

MOOCs offer a wide range of courses, covering everything from computer science and business to art history and philosophy. The flexibility of these courses is one of their most significant advantages. Learners can acquire knowledge at their own pace and on their own schedule, fitting their studies into their busy lives. Whether you prefer to dive deep into a subject or take a more leisurely approach, MOOCs allow you to tailor your learning experience to your needs.

But it's not just the flexibility that makes MOOCs so valuable. Many of these platforms also provide interactive forums where learners can engage with instructors and fellow learners. These forums foster a sense of community and collaborative learning, allowing individuals to share ideas, ask questions, and receive feedback. The connections made through these online communities can be invaluable, providing opportunities for networking and further exploration of shared interests.

In addition to online courses, mentorship programs are another valuable resource for lifelong learners. Mentors offer guidance, advice, and the benefit of their experience in a particular field. They provide personalized support and help learners navigate the challenges and opportunities that arise on their learning journey. Self-awareness is crucial in these mentorship relationships, as it helps learners understand their strengths, weaknesses, and areas where they need guidance.

Imagine having someone who has already walked the path you're on, someone who can offer insights and help you avoid common pitfalls. A mentor can provide a fresh perspective, challenge your assumptions, and inspire you to push beyond your comfort zone. They can also introduce you to new opportunities and help you build a network of like-minded individuals who share your passion for learning.

By leveraging MOOCs and mentorship programs, individuals can enhance their lifelong learning experience and tap into vast networks of knowledge and expertise. These resources empower learners to take control of their education, enabling them to pursue their interests and passions with confidence and enthusiasm.


Lifelong learning is an essential skill that should be cultivated throughout our lives. By adopting learning models such as the 70-20-10 Rule, embracing the benefits of continuous learning, and utilizing available resources like MOOCs and mentorship, individuals can unlock their full potential and thrive in both personal and professional spheres.

Committing to lifelong learning is a commitment to growth, adaptability, and a passion for knowledge. So, let us embark on this evergreen journey of lifelong learning and discover the endless possibilities that await us.

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