Lifelong Learning has Lifelong Benefits
By Josh Gold, CAE, CMP
FAA Executive Vice President
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
― Henry Ford
As summer winds down and the days become shorter, I can’t help but remember back-to-school seasons of my childhood.
Now that I’m a parent, my daughter and I take an annual end-of-summer trip to the store to shop for school supplies, carefully checking off each item on the lengthy list provided by her school. As we peruse the stocked shelves, supply list in hand, my daughter’s excitement for the new school year and opportunities that lie ahead is almost tangible.
As adults, we might only experience that feeling of anticipation vicariously, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can still hold onto our excitement to continue learning. Working in a competitive and fast-paced industry underscores the importance of being a lifelong learner and not becoming complacent in our careers or personal lives.
Lifelong learning is a voluntary and ongoing pursuit of knowledge. It includes seizing formal and informal educational opportunities, relearning basic knowledge to remain sharp, and challenging yourself to learn new skills. Decades of research and studies all draw the same conclusion — continued learning, in any form, is good for brain health and overall wellness.
The National Apartment Association Education Institute provides members of our industry formal education opportunities through certifications and continuing education credits. Whether you’re a senior level executive, property manager, or maintenance professional, there are courses and classes available to give you useable skills, enhance your credibility, and validate your continued knowledge.
There are also informal opportunities to educate yourself in your personal life — many of which can be fun. Reading a nonfiction book, watching documentaries, and discussing current events with friends or colleagues are great starting points for adding new knowledge into your life. However, the possibilities are endless.
Here are some simple ways to actively engage in lifelong learning:
- Read daily — whether the newspaper or your favorite novel.
- Take a class at a local community college.
- Play brain games like puzzles and trivia to help boost your brain power.
- Listen to informational podcasts on an unfamiliar topic.
- Participate in an NAAEI certification program.
- Take up a new hobby such as painting or playing an instrument.
- Watch TED Talks.
Adopting continued learning habits like these throughout your life can help you feel fulfilled and connected to the world around you. Incorporating just one learning behavior into your daily routine can open your mind to other points of view, as well as increase confidence and self-fulfillment.
While we're discussing lifelong learning and the importance of brushing up one's skill set, I'd be remiss if I didn't put in one last plug for the 2019 FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show, October 2-4 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. I can’t wait to see you all there as we explore infinite possibilities for education and success.