How Lifelong Learning can be Made a Reality

What are the challenges of lifelong learning?  Finances and time, to name two.  But with lifelong learning, we can overcome the most significant barriers.  We can achieve the stars.  And nothing can stop us.  And success from lifelong learning doesn’t require money.  Not at first.  That’ll come.  But success from lifelong learning does need a strategy.

With that said, here is how I made lifelong learning my reality, because I was so anxiety-riddled that I was knocked out of the workforce and fell drastically behind in work-related skills.  Some of us may have similar experiences, perhaps due to anxiety or another disability or circumstance.  Imagine starting a marketing job by reading Facebook for Seniors and then asking a new marketing colleague where to find the “button” for posting on Facebook.  After nearly a decade of anxiety, that was my first return to the workforce.  And the job didn’t last long.  But since then, everything changed drastically—for the better.

As a backstory, when I was so anxiety-riddled that I couldn’t work a full-time job, I spent my days in bookstores.  I’d buy books occasionally.  But mostly, I’d read whatever was on the shelf.  I typically spent from two in the afternoon until six at night reading in the bookstores.  And thanks to Starbucks, I got free refill teas to last me the entire time.  I would then go home and read until I went to bed.  I’d also read the following day until I went to the bookstore.  In other words, nearly all I did was read.

I read many spiritual books, religious texts, self-help books, business books, fine arts books, psychology books, health and fitness books, non-fiction writing books, and computer science books.  I also purchased Kindle Unlimited at around $10 a month to read unlimited free books.  And I had a library app and would get library books, too.  This schedule lasted almost a decade.  Despite a lack of resources, my room was overrun with piles of books, which I regularly gave away to the Diabetes Association.

These books were highly beneficial, but after I got well enough to return to the workforce, I found that I was behind in work-related skills.  So, I stopped reading books and started taking courses.  I watched Udemy courses, which are similar to LinkedIn Learning.  I watched courses on marketing and sales.  However, I needed skills so severely for my career role that I would ask the Udemy course creators questions in the Q&A section to the point where they’d suggest I start paying consulting fees.  And other Udemy instructors said they wanted me to submit a video review of their course in exchange for free advice.

One particular Udemy instructor taught me a social media platform from scratch.  Whenever he answered one of my questions, I’d buy another one of his courses.  Thanks to him, I’m now thriving on the platform.  And I went from having no skills on that platform to receiving two career pay raises quickly.

I then hired coaches from India who work on  One coach taught me graphic design during two or three lunch hours a week.  Another coach taught me to import, paint, and animate 3-D objects.  Another coach taught me how to do Salesforce administration.  Another coach taught me how to do Facebook ads.  And because our company has a big Google Ads account, I got a free Google Ads rep who would spend at least one to three hours a week teaching me the platform.  And she ended up receiving a promotion.  She said my positive reviews of her work were a big reason why.

I started reading books again while taking courses.  However, I still lacked the sales and social media skills to be a leader in the field.  But I now had a lot of financial resources, so I started investing in courses that cost upward of $300.  I took two critical thinking and problem-solving courses, a course on behavior modification, and social skills courses.  Also, my employer paid for a sales course that cost over $1500 for me, which was a highlight.  And now, I’m paying for a digital marketing certificate through my savings and the Canada Alberta Job Grant.

Despite all this, I needed to catch up in the emerging Web 3.0.  Every marketer should know Web 3.0.  So, I started watching videos on Unreal Engine, which is software for making virtual reality and augmented reality video games or cinematography.  I watch it between 11 PM and midnight.  And then, I go to sleep and wake up the following day around 7 AM to watch spiritual videos, study, and then begin work.

But the best path for engaging in consistent, non-stop lifelong learning for career purposes is to map out a one-year strategy of back-to-back courses, complete with a budget.  Then, have a good sense of what programs to take over the next five to ten years.  And document the courses in a spreadsheet or phone app.  Shopping for courses and certificate programs is fun, especially when we have an end goal in mind.  My end goal is to earn a quarter million a year.  I don’t know how to get there yet, but education is critical.

So, consider our end goals and what education we need to achieve them.  And once we reach our goals, lifelong learning must continue until the day we die.  All the above strategies can skyrocket our success to unimaginable planes.  Nothing we can imagine is as magnificent as what we can truly achieve.  After all, we deserve the ultimate life!  And lifelong learning is the roadmap to our hearts’ desires.