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Director’s Desk

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What’s Good for your Wallet, Health and Social Life?

We are all born curious.  We want to explore and learn new things.  Observing the behaviour of infants reminds us of this.  So, why do we see this declining as we grow older?  If is often the demands of work and personal life that reduces our time and will to engage that natural curiosity.  In the journey towards making learning a lifelong habit, developing specific learning habits need conscious effort and conscientious cultivation.

As we age, learning isn’t simply about earning degrees or attending formal institutions. There are books, online courses, professional development programmes, podcasts, and other resources readily accessible and more abundant than ever, making it even inexcusable not to cultivate the habit of lifelong learning.  These multiple media mean that we are offered the opportunity to pursue intellectual development in ways that are tailored to our learning style.

So why don’t more of us seize that opportunity? We know it’s worth the time, and yet we find it so hard to make the time. The next time you’re tempted to put learning on the back burner, think of these:

  1. It’s good for your wallet

In the normal order of things, the higher your qualification, the greater your earning power.  These days, this reasoning may not always be true. Nevertheless, ongoing learning and skill development is essential to surviving economic and technological disruption.  In 2014, experts predicted that 50% of jobs would be redundant by 2025 due to technological innovation. Even if that figure proves to be exaggerated, we can see that the economic landscape is evolving more rapidly than in the past. Trends including AI, robotics, and offshoring mean constant shifts in the nature of work. And navigating this ever-changing landscape requires continual learning and personal growth to remain relevant.

  1. It’s good for your health

While cognitive activity can’t change the biology of Alzheimer’s, studies have shown that learning activities can help delay symptoms, preserving people’s quality of life. Other research indicates that learning to play a new instrument can offset cognitive decline, while learning difficult new skills in older age is associated with improved memory.  Keep learning, keep healthy.

  1. It’s good for your social life

We often find that we enjoy good conversations.  People who are positive, curious, knowledgeable and analytical, and who are good storytellers with the ability to engage on almost any subject, will find themselves welcome in any social setting.  Seek out powerful conversationalists that others respect and admire. Observe and learn to be one as you enrich your knowledge and expand your social circle.

 

 

Evelyn Chong
Director, Office of Student and Alumni Relations

Editor’s Note