Even though I got my undergraduate and graduate education in healthcare, I have always been interested in learning about subjects besides healthcare. For instance, I have wanted to learn about real estate, computer science, psychology, fitness, acting, business, and the list on. While at times I have felt that having so many interests might not be a good thing, I have come to learn that having diverse interests is actually quite a wonderful thing. The funny thing is that, many times, I find that I develop new interests simply because of what life unexpectedly brings my way life. Thus, because I learn things both intentionally and unintentionally, I consider myself a student of and for life.
The Student Of and For Life Does Not Allow Their Career to Limit Their Potential
I know many people who have a difficult time deciding what they want to be when they grow up. In fact, I know many grown-ups who continue to wonder what they want to be when they grow up.
Even though, for practical purposes, it is reasonable to commit primarily to a specific field in order to make a living, I believe there is too much emphasis placed on pursing one specific field.
After all, it is only natural to have multiple interests. Also, since a healthy life necessitates tending to various aspects of life, an interest in only one thing would translate into a very unhealthy lifestyle.
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It is only fair that we do our own curiosity some justice by allowing ourselves to dab into these interests that might fall outside of our primary field of work. Doing so will enrich your life and may, in fact, benefit even your primary field of work.
While sometimes we hear the recommendation to pursue your passion, this is often not a realistic recommendation. Your passion might be a hobby that may not be able to earn you a living. It is therefore reasonable to work in a field that can earn you a stable living and that will allow you to keep doing what you enjoy on the side, as a hobby.
Perhaps one day you can turn your hobby into your main work. But even if that never happens, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it is best to keep your true interests as hobbies. After all, once your livelihood depends on what was previously only a past time, the activity may no longer be as enjoyable as it once was when you did it “just for fun.”
The Student Of and For Life is Adaptable and Resilient
Oftentimes, exploring things outside your primary field of work broadens your perspective. The knowledge learned in our explorations might actually bring new ideas that you can incorporate into your primary field of work. It can make your primary field of work more fun.
Furthermore, investing in your interests outside of work give you a sense that you are satisfying your own cravings. You are indulging in something that you truly desire and is hopefully wholesome.
This is sometimes in contrast to the work you do at your place of employment, which you may sometimes not be as enthusiastic about because the work, you might feel, is routine or constrains your creativity.
So long as you are somehow satisfying your desire to learn, whether at our outside of work, you will not feel as constrained. You will know that, by learning what you want to learn, you are investing in yourself. This will make you feel energized. You will be “paying yourself first” in the sense that you are ensuring that you learn what you want to learn before you do or learn what you “have to.”
You will decrease your chances of feeling resentful towards work because you know you are tending to your own needs—not just those of your organization. Furthermore, acquiring knowledge and experiences is something no one can take away from you. In fact, even your workplace benefit from your edification, as having an employee who is happy and well-rounded are important to he success of most companies.
Even while you are at work, make it your priority to learn new things each day. Not only will it help you satisfy your thirst to learn new skills, but also it will in the short and/or long run benefit your job performance. It will help you become more adaptable to work, and make work feel more bearable even in hard times.
The Student Of and For Life Realizes That There is Always More to Learn
One of the things I have learned in life is that people who are most smart are actually those who realize how little they know. They will tell you that the more they learn about something, the more they realize that there is to learn.
With infinite things to learn, it is easy to get overwhelmed by what you have yet to learn. However, becoming overwhelmed by the vastness of information is something you avoid. Instead, you should try to develop a feeling of awe towards what you do not yet know and learn to enjoy the process of learning something new each day.
You don’t need to know everything. Of course, you can develop expert knowledge in a specific area. However, it is quite unlikely that anyone can know ever know everything on any specific thing.
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Again, it does not matter if you know everything or not. More important is that you develop a love for learning. If learning stops exciting you, reexamine your approach towards learning. This way, you can ensure that you will succeed at being a student for life.
Fortunately, we are in an era where knowledge is at our fingertips. Explore things that interest you. In fact, from time to time, try dabbing into subjects that do not interest you. You’ll be surprised to find out that, with new information, your views and interests can evolve greatly with time.
The Study Of and For Life Goes with the Flow of Life
I have realized that, while formal and informal education is great, in the end, life is our greatest teacher. How many times have you thought something, and then, because of unexpected life events, something completely different happened? I know it has happened to me, and many people I know, more than a few times.
Life teaches us that we are mortal, and that there are limits to what we can do. It also teaches, regardless what we plan or know, life may have different things planned for us.
Ironically, one of the things life teaches us is that, even though we are students for life, it is not possible to learn everything there is to learn in all fields. This is especially true because we have a limited lifespan. Because of this, sometimes we have to decide between doing or learning one thing or another.
At the same time, life it is full of wonderful surprises, dreams, and emotions. We might have moments when we completely change our outlook on life on something. Therefore, we can say life teaches us to be humble.
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How we interpret life is something that we might also need to spend some of our time learning because life can be complicated. If we do not learn from what life teaches us, we can miss out on living life fully.
We have two options when life hits us with something that we did not expect. We can become mad that things did not turn out the ways we planned them to turn out. Or we can adapt as best as we can to what life gives us.
In most cases, the obstacles life places in our way will teach us new things. We can control only so much, but we can always choose to do the best with what we know and have. For this reason it is not enough to be a student for life. One should be a student of and for life.
While it is good to have specialized knowledge in a particular area, we should also strive to have general understanding on many aspects of live. After all, to be well, we have to tend to the many aspects of our life that impact our well-being. I encourage you to pursue your interests regardless of whether they related to your primary field of work.
If you approach learning in the right way, continuous learning could add excitement to your life. This is not unlike when you were a child and you discovered new things with fascination every day. Choose to be a student for life by deciding to continually learn new things about the world around you.
As life will teach you, it will be hard to do everything that you want to do, so you will need to prioritize. Sometimes life will have you focus more on certain things, and that is okay. While being a student for life, also choose to be a student of life. By seeking to always make the best out of what life throws at you, you will learn even more than you would if you had things your way.
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