Have you ever thought of taking up learning as a hobby?

Living and learning

Learning is just as fun and as fulfilling as any other spare-time activity. Fortunately, it doesn’t require much more than your inquisitive nature and a desire to develop as a person. What’s more, learning need not be in a formal setting to take place but it can arise from where you least expect it and at any time. The process happens naturally.

Think of how many times it has actually happened to you. You learned the best lesson from the worst mistake, you realized how something happens from a failed experiment, you accidentally learned how to manage under the most impossible circumstances. Other times it happened almost effortlessly as when you discovered something of significance to you by listening to someone or by observing him. To enjoy the many benefits and the power learning gives you, all you have to do is become more conscious of it.

Know you are learning

It is informal learning, the kind that emerges beyond school that I am talking about. It is the things you do, the people you know, the distance you go that will provide the basis for this fun pursuit. Once you realize the essence of it and the ease with which it happens, it becomes an inseparable part of your life.

This meaningful and motivating activity makes you want to get further and to go higher. It adds excitement to dull moments and accompanies you everywhere. All you have to do is to be aware that you can learn something from just about anything. Take small steps at first. Start by learning about your own environment and then move on to topics of relevance and interest to you. Don’t forget that people around us are a great source of information and wisdom. Take an interest in them and in what they do. You’ll be amazed how much they can help you learn.

Learning provides a reason for doing things and going places, a strong foundation in your daily communication with others, a means to your development as a person and as a professional. It boosts your self-confidence and helps you reach your goals. Learning is lifelong inspiration.

Once you realize what a driving force it is, you’ll be more eager than ever before to go out and do things. Such opportunities abound and you can use all of them for this unique hobby. While at work or on assignment, as you participate in a project, on a journey, on your way to work, at a party, over a coffee with friends, even during a brief encounter with an acquaintance, you come across the most interesting snippets of news and if you are a good listener and observer you take what is of essence. Over time you acquire valuable life skills which may serve a purpose immediately or in the future.

Learning by doing

Learning can be about something as important as a technical, an organizational or a communicative skill, which can help you professionally or as fun and creative as writing painting, or playing a sport. All of these skills can prove to be an asset in your social and personal life in the long run.

Combine the process with play. Consider it a hobby. Collaborate, volunteer, observe, and learn the secrets of any trade. Informal learning is easy when you take an active role in a game or a project or when you ask someone of interest or with expertise all the right questions.
When you find yourself in a situation, an environment or in the presence of a person whom you can learn from, you can help yourself further by wondering, “What can I learn? Who is the best person to ask? How can this be of use to me or someone I know? What do I already know about this and how can I add to my knowledge? Are there any tricks? How does this compare with what I already know?”.

Ready, Set, Go!

You need to hone your skill. You eventually learn that to become good at this great and useful pursuit, you have to enlist all your senses. Look around for what seems interesting, frequent places you find inspiration in, listen attentively to the stories people wish to tell you, appreciate the moment and don’t hesitate to try new things. There are valuable lessons to be learned and when the occasion arises, get ready and outdo yourself.

Whatever it is you want to master, thinking of it as a pastime rather than a necessary evil is sure to change your attitude towards learning. Once you discover that it provides for a better understanding of yourself and the world around you, there is no stopping you. It may in fact motivate you to get out of the house, see things from a different perspective, and explore the world all over again.

Author's Bio: 

A life-long learner and teacher of foreign languages. I conduct creative language teaching workshops, travel for inspiration and write e-books and school plays. I blog about learning and teaching at www.dareteach.com