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

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. To master it, all you have to do is become more conscious of it.

It is the learning 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. 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. Learning is lifelong inspiration.

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, which can prove to be an asset in your social and personal life in the long run.
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.

Blended learning

Whether you are thirsty for more knowledge, you want to satisfy your curiosity or to acquire necessary professional skills you now have more ways than one. With so many learning resources available today, it would be hard for learning to escape you. Teachers, classroom settings, distance learning, training sessions, the internet, tutorials, audiovisual means and more are at your feet. You can use one or a combination of them. You are well aware how this blended learning happens and that it is the way we acquire knowledge today.

Nevertheless, learning could be taking care of itself wherever you are. You unknowingly pick up useful bits information and skills, which you can use to gain the confidence you need and the independence you seek wherever you are, anywhere at any time. Just think of the satisfaction you get when you are conscious of it happening.

While in the company of friends, over a cup of coffee with a colleague, at a reunion or a family get- together, a chance meeting with an old acquaintance, quite a lot of information is exchanged. Special events, seminars, conferences, lectures are immediate and secure sources of information. Museums, galleries, libraries,

Got an idea? Does it work?

You won’t know if it works until you try it. However daunting a task is, knowing that once you complete it, you will have gained useful experience is plenty of reason to do it. Sitting on an idea for too long won’t get you places. Having taught students for so long, I wanted to try something slightly different but only when I decided to take the plunge and create workshops for teachers, did I learn the ins and outs of the new role I was assuming. The valuable insight I gained was to be used in this new endeavor.

Learning is in the air and everywhere

What about all the people you meet? Family, friends, teachers, employers and coworkers, neighbors and team players, store vendors to name a few are all a great source of learning. Their little or vast knowledge or skill could be of real use to you, if not today, perhaps in the future. Why not learn from them. Why not take an interest in them? I make a habit of it to always ask the people I meet about what aspect of their work is most important, what challenges they meet and how they overcome them and whether they have any advice for me. They are all only too happy to share all of what they know with me. The people all around us are such a valuable source of information and learning from them comes effortlessly.

Learn from interesting characters

Learning by observing people is most intriguing. Often times those you learn from is never aware and this clandestine manner of picking up knowledge can be quite appealing. Watch those interesting characters at their best. Study their style and their techniques. Their ways will certainly speak for themselves.

If you listen closely, you will discover they let on more than you can ever imagine. You can pick up really good habits from them or see where they may be mistaken and take a lesson from that. Just the other day, I attended a talk and as the very gifted speaker was selling her ideas, I was also picking up a lot of helpful tips on what I should do or not do given the same circumstances.

Go places and learn

Imagine you could take that trip around the world? Would you come home and have only the photographs of you proudly posing from yet another famous monument? Is that all you will have brought along as a souvenir? Or will you pack along the richness of what you saw, what you heard, what you tasted and what you felt? The easiest, fastest way to learn is to visit places and see things for yourself.
Every experience has a lesson
Our daily life is riddled with experiences. Don’t walk away empty-handed. Make it a habit to always ask yourself what you could learn from the many situations you are involved in or you witness. Listen to the stories people tell you about something that happened to them. The outcome of any experience-whether good or bad-is a valuable lesson for life.

There’s a whole world out there you can re-discover
You can learn virtually everything on line today! But on your way to life each morning, you come across countless instances and opportunities from which you can learn just as well.

The accessibility to different means of learning that the Internet offers is a certainly a blessing, yet we often lose sight of a great source for learning and inspiration, and that is real life itself. It’s easy to lose sight of this age old, tried and tested method of learning.
Can you remember what it sounded like when you walked down the street without your mp.3 player or your blue tooth and the constant phone conversations? If only we didn’t have to take care of most of our professional or social business on line and instead we could sometimes meet the very same people in person. How different would things seem if you could turn off your computer or cell phone screens for a minute and looked around you!

Give your modern day conveniences a break and get into the habit of learning from everyday life.

Study your environment. See what is happening around you and what everyone is doing.

Identify new developments. All sorts of new ideas may have taken off while you were too busy to notice.
Make mental notes. Why not write them down too? It’s not easy to keep track of all the ideas and learning opportunities you find.

You can‘t do everything at once. Decide what you want to do, who you want to learn from, how you will pursue this and find time within your busy schedule.

Let someone else in on what you are doing. Share this new prospect with people who can appreciate its value.

Emphasize. You want the world to hear. You want them to know that beyond the confines of your room, the classroom or the office cubicle, further than the seemingly one- way street to learning, communicating, and virtual living on line, there is a life out there waiting to be re-discovered.

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 self- learning and the benefits of joint activities.