Shark mode: five reasons why you can’t afford to stop swimming

Monday, July 27, 2015 - 16:55

By Hamish Williams

Albert Einstein famously said “Once you stop learning, you start dying”. Einstein scarcely took time to comb his hair, such was his relentless pursuit of knowledge, so he can be forgiven for having such a black and white view of continuing education. But what about those of us who don’t aspire to single-handedly change the world? Whether you’re curing cancer or cooking burgers, there are still plenty of reasons to keep learning and here are five good ones to consider.

For your health - The truth is that all of us need to keep learning or not only will we stall our chances of greater happiness, it could have long term effects on our mental health. A sedentary mind is said to be just as unhealthy in the long term as a sedentary body. Neuropsychologists have shown that the neural pathways in our brain need to be cleared of weeds on a regular basis or they become overgrown and simply stop firing. This leads to a slowing in neural function, memory loss as well as a greater risk of the onset of dementia and other similar disorders. As scary as that all sounds, there are plenty more positive reasons to make ongoing learning a priority.

Boost your self-esteem - Investing in your professional development shouldn’t be viewed in isolation from the rest of your life. Developing new skills and knowledge and applying them effectively in a professional context is a surefire way to get yourself noticed at work and get the recognition you deserve. That recognition builds your sense of self-esteem that you carry into every interaction in your life. While it isn’t a good idea to measure your entire self-worth by your work output, anywhere you spend so much of your time is always going to affect your mood.

Hone your willpower - Building your confidence from professional development creates momentum that can be harnessed for achieving the other things that you have been putting off like finally painting your garage or taking up the trombone. Willpower or self-discipline is not a personality trait that some have and others don’t. If you find yourself frequently procrastinating on simple tasks, this is simply because you haven’t honed your self-discipline to act on your will and do what you know needs doing. Undergoing any kind of formal training and seeing it through to completion is a guaranteed method for turbo charging your willpower which you can then apply to all kinds of challenges.

Get out of a rut - Successful people aren’t more talented or intelligent than less successful people, they simply understand that they don’t have all the answers and they aren’t a finished product. “You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, no one ever stays the same,” is the advice that Jim Harbaugh famously imparts on all of his players at the San Francisco 49ers. Elite athletes can be prone for developing their physical ability to such a high level that they feel they have plateaued and subsequently stop seeking to improve. This is the same way a lot of people unfortunately view their careers.

Make a career change - Changing career doesn’t mean that you have to give up work and devote your life to study. The reality is, the vast majority of people need a regular income to pay the bills. When you’re juggling a job with other commitments, a quick course allows you to target specific skills and remain in employment, making it an effective use of your valuable time.

A great way to gain the theoretical knowledge, learn practical methods and understand best practice is to undertake a short course. You’ll gain renewed confidence and be able to apply what you’ve learned straight away in the workplace. Short term courses are also convenient, practical and relatively cheap.

The possibilities are endless as to what you can learn, as are the psychological benefits that come with it. Remember, it’s never too late to do what you’ve always wanted, to try something new and to learn more. We all deserve to be the best we can be and it’s our responsibility to achieve the best version of ourselves.

With more than 80 short courses and 24 qualifications available to study either on-campus or online, AIM has options for you to turbocharge your willpower and get ahead in life, no matter what stage of your career or which industry you work in.

Contact us now at 1300 658 337 or click here to find out how you can get a career edge from AIM today.