How Lifelong Learning Can Make You Healthier and Happier

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

Today we are here to celebrate something extra special.

Keep Educating Yourself - Lifelong LearningThat is because it is World Students’ Day.

World Students’ Day was created by the United Nations in 2010 to honor the Indian scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who was born on October 15th.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the 11th president of India who held office from 2002 to 2007. He was highly involved in India’s civilian space program but best known for his love of teaching.

So today let’s tip our hat to students everywhere—and to the importance of lifelong learning.

What Is Lifelong Learning?

A lot of people confuse learning with formal schooling or earning a degree.

But being a student continues even after you earn a diploma.

Keep Educating Yourself - Lifelong Learning

Learning is a lifelong habit born from a deep-seated curiosity to know more about ourselves and the world around us.

The act of learning greatly enriches our lives (and our communities) at any age because it gives us the chance to become productive, confident individuals.

And today—thanks to the Internet—we have more opportunities to learn than ever before.

The advent of search engines like Google means we have the world’s biggest library at our fingertips.  The options are endless; we have instant access to books, online courses, podcasts, articles and video libraries.

When it comes to learning new things, the sky is the limit.

Why Learning Is so Important

Keep Educating Yourself - Lifelong LearningAs Henry Ford said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

Learning makes us healthy and young in mind, body, and spirit. It also:

  • Keeps Our Brains Healthy: Different forms of learning and, more specifically, unsupervised learning activates brain cells, stimulates the growth and communication among neurons and maintains brain health.
  • May Slow Cognitive Decline: A study of more than 1400 elders revealed that cognitively active seniors seem to be 2.6 times less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Improves Memory: Learning challenging new skills at an older age is associated with memory improvement.
  • Fuels Self-Confidence and Accomplishment: Being open and intellectually curious has great emotional benefits because our capacity to learn is the cornerstone of leading a happy, motivated and fulfilled life. The mind is a bit like a plant that needs regular nurturing. When we ‘tend’ to our mental garden, it pays off in how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.

Dr. Rosane Oliveira and Black Rice, Mango and Avocado SaladHow Can You Celebrate World Students’ Day?

So how should you honor World Students’ Day?

One idea is to invite friends and family over to discuss what it means to be a student at any age and how you might start learning new things right now.

And what better way to do that than around the table, enjoying our delicious Black Rice, Mango and Avocado Salad!

Here’s to the student in each and every one of us!