Why do I keep learning?

I’ve been reflecting a lot on learning recently. Both about the role it play in my life and the role it plays in society. My last post about this was considering why people stop learning.

I know I’m not alone in wanting to learn new things. The delight of discovering a new connection or cresting a new peak of understanding is a common human experience. My suspicion is that our educational institutions have a side-effect of damping enthusiasm, wonder and joy. Maybe our whole ‘civilised’ structure is part of dampening this joy?

I often think about the curiosity of kids. When I was preparing for my appearance on the Make Life Work podcast, one of the questions Si asked me to think about was, how was I using my educational background to support my kids’ self-development?

Thinking about this made me realise I was more concerned if one our boys suggested they weren’t having fun and enjoying learning than if they weren’t making adequate progress. I think love of learning trumps current attainment and prepares humans for the long haul in a knowledge driven society. I understand that those aren’t the same forces that drive schools and recognise my role in protecting and defending that fragile plant.

What role does learning play in my life?

What about me? And what about you?

Learning new things helps me feel more in control as I understand myself and the world around me more. This helps me be less anxious, have more things to discuss with others (so less socially anxious) and feel more connected with the world around me.

Continuing to learn also means I can take on new challenges. If I wasn’t an avid learner, I wouldn’t have been able to make the career change I made from education to tech. The tech industry itself is so fast moving that not learning constantly means being left behind. The half-life of programming knowledge isn’t much more than a few years, so I’ve picked the right career to love learning.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping others love learning too. I’m not sure if this is because I like helping others for their benefit or for the buzz it gives me. But, maybe I don’t need to dig too deep in that if it is mutually beneficial?

How about you? What role does learning play in your life?

So what?

Our pastor reckons there are two main questions in life and one of them is “So what?”. I think it’s good to think about that in respect to everything we are learning.

For me, I’ll continue thinking about learning on this more meta-level and occasionally post here to continue this thread.

I’ve connected with egghead.io as a Learning Advocate. I’ve been really impressed with everyone I’ve interacted with there. This informal role means I’ll be continuing to learn but blogging more and contributing back around what I’m learning. I’m excited by that and where it might go.

My day-to-day work is a constant source of learning. Working alongside the excellent Martin Edwards with our various clients has helped me learn and grow and push myself in new and challenging ways.

Parenting alongside my awesome wife is also a constant source of learning.

I guess I’ll keep learning and keep finding joy in that love of learning. Be prepared for an increase in technical posts around here, but hopefully they won’t put you off and if you’ve liked these kind of posts there will be more of them as well 😃.

Published 24 Jan 2020

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Freelance web-developer, building interesting things on the web. Based in Brighton.
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