Living in A Perpetual State of Learning
Learning: the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.
A good portion of our early life is dedicated to learning. We are taught the basics from the beginning and then gradually learn more complicated and in-depth things as we grow up and gain the ability to comprehend more complex things. Once we reach a certain age, our requirement to continue learning these things is over, and it’s all over to us. Whether we choose to continue on to more schooling or not, our education is never truly over, or at least it shouldn’t be.
“Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching”
While we might not technically be studying, it’s important to always keep learning. It might at times feel like once we finish school, we know all there is to know, but we don’t. There are always more things to learn, things we’ll get wrong, topics we don’t understand, life lessons to learn and new ideas and topics to grasp. It’s also a good reminder for our egos to acknowledge that we don’t actually know everything and we will always continue to learn and grow.
“It’s what we think we know that keeps us from learning” - Claude Bernard
As a human, I’m constantly trying to be better. I want to be more compassionate, more outgoing, less stressed, and better in so many other ways. Every time I get better at one of these things, there’s something else I can improve, and I can always improve further on the same things. In order to increase and improve, I need to be in a perpetual state of learning. Every encounter, every conversation, every mistake, every decision, is an opportunity to learn. If something goes great, I think about what it was that made it work so well so that I can do those things more. If something doesn’t go so well, I figure out what I could change or improve to make it better next time. This means that no matter what happens, although it might feel awful at the time, I know that something great has come out of it - I’ve learnt something and become better because of it.
“If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you”
I’m also always, always trying to learn more as a designer and an artist. I’m working on my craft every day because I want to improve my technical skills, get better at ideation and learn more about how I work and who I am as an artist. I also try and learn more about design and art in general. I read a lot and try and soak in information from all the creativity around me. I chat to other artists and designers, listen to podcasts, watch videos, read books and magazines, try and keep up to date with creative news and take classes to improve my understanding, ideas, skills and techniques. I do all of these things even around topics that might not seem related - like psychology, or marketing or social sciences because they input into my creativity in less-direct ways. I even try and take in the useless facts about design and my industry that I find along the way. I might not ever need them again, but the learning keeps my brain active and ready for when I need it for something a little bit more important than trivia questions!
“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice” - Brian Herbert
If you want to do well at your job or the things that you’re passionate about, or even to just be a great person, you need to always be open to learning. We can’t get stuck believing that we know it all - that will leave us stale, stubborn and bored. Keep your mind open, entertained and educated and you’ll learn more than you could ever imagine.
If you let it, the saying really is true: you do learn something new every day, and that is a wonderful thing.
I love to learn and I love to get things wrong too! Teach me something in the comments below, or let me know how you like to keep learning. In the meantime, enjoy my latest video in which I attempt some design trivia questions from the wonderful Natasha Nuttall and (spoiler) get almost half of them wrong!