Whether your read this to help your children or yourself, the following traits of a successful lifelong learner are good to study.
The successful lifelong learner is someone who:
1. Takes initiative
This first one is core to the entire concept of “self-directed.” The successful self-directed learner does not wait for someone else to say “you must learn this.”
2. Is comfortable with independence
Self-directed learners do not always act autonomously or independently. Indeed, increasingly they must cultivate their networks to learn effectively. Nonetheless, successful self-directed learners know how to be self-reliant.
3. Is persistent
Learning takes time, it takes repetition, it takes practice. Successful self-directed learners stick to it.
4. Accepts responsibility
The successful self-directed learner embraces responsibility for doing the work of learning and doing it well
5. Views problems as challenges, not obstacles
The successful self-directed learner embraces a growth mindset and is not easily thwarted when the going gets tough.
6. Is capable of self-discipline
Even when learning is enjoyable (which, for the successful self-directed learner, it usually is), it often requires discipline. The self-directed learner knows (or learns!) how to develop and maintain discipline.
7. Has a high degree of curiosity
Successful self-directed learners have a high propensity for asking why – and lots of other questions.
8. Has a strong desire to learn or change
The successful self-directed learner is intrinsically motivated. She has a will to learnand sees learning as a positive path forward.
9. Is self-confident
Successful self-directed learners have a solid sense of “self-efficacy” – the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals
10. Is able to use basic study skills
As I have said here before, skills like taking notes effectively are useful for a lifetime. The successful lifelong learner knows this.