Recently I had the opportunity to attend a webinar – ‘Learning At Work – How Being A Lifelong Learner Can Make You Happy.’ The event was hosted by Laughology an ethical, training and consulting organisation built around the psychology of humour, laughter and happiness and was one of many events held to mark Learning at Work Week, an annual event which aims to put a spotlight on the importance and benefits of continual learning and development.
The aim of the webinar was to:
- recognise different learning styles
- notice when you slip into a fixed mindset – that is listening to the voice that tells you can’t do something and learning to talk back to it
- show how to choose a growth mindset – that is a belief that an individual can grow and develop through dedication, hard work and purposeful practice and not just rely on natural talent
- understand why lifelong learning can impact positively on wellbeing.
As a Virtual Assistant I do not attend a workplace every day and so do not have access to training and development through an employer but I have been trying to make time to continue learning, by undertaking training courses and attending webinars.
In 2020/2021, at the same time as I set up as a VA, I began studying towards the Honours year of my degree after a twelve year break. Long story short, after six years of part time study I had well and truly had enough of studying and although I promised myself I would return, the years slipped by. However, it felt like unfinished business and when Covid struck, picking up where I had left off seemed like a good distraction technique. It was difficult getting back into studying after such a long time but I gave it my all and when I passed with first class honours, it was such a buzz and I was on cloud nine for days.
In 2021/2022 I undertook a twelve week digital marketing course to improve my digital skills and earlier this year, I began learning Spanish, downloading an app onto my phone and studying 15 minutes a day. … ‘Hola, yo soy Toni, yo soy una mujer, yo bebe leche’ … okay, so it’s early days but it is a fun low level commitment that enables me to learn each day and keeps me out of mischief.
There have been times when I have questioned why I am doing this learning. Surely I should be building my business and working on that at all times but I have found it a really valuable way to connect with others while working alone. Together, me and my fellow students have a shared purpose and studying gives me an individual sense of purpose too, making sure I don’t stagnate, become isolated and get left behind. Studying boosts my confidence, keeps me connected with others, keeps my brain in shape and interested in the world around me.
And although there are times when I am not in the mood to study, I believe that if you are open to learning new things, you can learn anywhere – from books of course but television, radio, podcasts, video tutorials, blog posts and even from an app on your phone.
Think you might like to learn something new too? Take a look at the information below for some ideas where to start.
Further information and sources
© Toni Louise Abram at Izzy Wizzy. All Rights Reserved.