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Learning Should Be A Lifelong Endeavor

Learning should be a lifelong activity -- and adventure. When we were small children, learning was an adventure of new things, smells, activities and sounds. As children, we were inquisitive, fearless, aggressive learners. This enthusiasm and aggressiveness followed us into the early years of our formal education.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, we began to lose the enthusiasm and became passive, reactive learners. We waited to learn until the teacher told us what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Instead of taking the lead and initiative for learning, we became followers of the system, which too frequently told us what to think but not necessarily how to think. Learning became meaningless and boring much of the time.

Things didn't get much better when we entered college. We became student numbers and were frequently forced to attend overcrowded lectures that were not very motivating and seldom permitted any questioning, but were great for catching up on sleep. Learning may have become a negative experience. Finally, we entered the working world by means of graduation and thought that the worst was over.

Now, you've been on the job for several years. Things are moving along, when new words suddenly become part of your everyday vocabulary. These new words are reengineering, downsizing, reorganization and merger. Out with the old employment contract and in with the new.

The new employment contract identifies you as an asset of the company. Maintain your profitability and you may escape downsizing. If you become less profitable, you may be cut. Now the name of the game is how to hang onto your fragile job security.

One way is to continue your education. As a corporate asset, you enhance your worth to the company by attaining new knowledge, new skills and possibly higher formal education. Your lifelong learning adventure continues, but you need certain tools to compete and continue.

Basically, you need to rekindle the enthusiasm and positive attitude of your youth, and then sharpen your learning skills. If you've not used those skills for many years, you will be forced to undertake a skill-rebuilding project and continue your learning if for no other reason than pure economic survival.