For many of you, your college studies provide critical learning that you need to pursue a career so you can earn a good living. College doesn’t merely build on the foundation you established up until your high school years; but, it helps to introduce you to “soft skills” and allows you to establish a path to apply your education in service to a company’s mission or your own career goals.
At graduation, you achieve a milestone, maybe you’ve found your purpose, and often you feel as though you’ve released a weight. Sometimes, you lose interest and motivation to continue learning. But, you know that just because you graduated from college doesn’t mean you know everything you will ever need to know.
So, it is essential to continue finding the learning motivation to expand your knowledge base. Here are a few suggestions to encourage you to stay informed and enlightened.
1.) Travel/Change Your Scenery or Location
You typically associate travel with vacation, fun, and enjoyment, not with learning. But, adventures to new cities, sites, landmarks, or countries can drive curiosity and stimulate your interest to learn more about a place, historical event, or people.
For example, I took a trip to Australia several years ago and experiencing the diversity of cultures, seeing the growth in the cities and still seeing the outback and some of the areas that were still parsley populated, piqued my interest to learn more about the country’s history and current economic climate.
I’ve had similar experiences from merely taking a Saturday afternoon to go with friends to a museum exhibit – not only was it enjoyable but again, it stirred questions and interest in learning more about the presentations and artists.
2.) Proactively assess, set targets, and remind yourself of your goals
When you left college, you likely did so with goals – targeted achievements and successes you planned on attaining. Once you’re out of college, you need to continue checking on where you are in your ‘life plan.’ You need to determine if you are on track to meet the goals you’ve set.
You should evaluate those goals against your personal growth, and revise them as necessary. As you appraise your status or note changes, you should naturally find motivation for pursuing learning activities that can help you to stay on track or get caught up, so you meet your objectives.
3.) Join groups or organizations associated with your career field
Through your membership in organizations related to your interests or career, you can gain inspiration to continue pursuing learning opportunities. Professional organizations offer classes to keep members abreast of advances in the field.
They also allow networking with others who share the same interest or profession. As a result of your involvement in these groups, you can surround yourself with people and information that will motivate you to increase your knowledge as it relates to your job responsibilities.
4.) Align with a ’Learning Partner’
Identify a friend who shares your interests or who also expresses an interest in achieving goals (even if they are different from yours) and partner with that friend to set and meet some learning objectives. You can take classes together or check on each other’s progress in carrying out your learning plan.
You can help each other stay on track, encourage each other when things get tough, or even guide each other when challenges arise. Having a ‘learning partner’ who you can also socialize with will help to maintain your learning motivation because you are not in it alone – you have someone to share the highs and the lows.
Also check out our list of learning quotes for more inspiration.
5.) Create a Personal Reward Learning Incentive
You understand the importance of learning and staying abreast of new development and advances, especially in the age of technology. But, you sometimes find that you can’t get inspired to learn. Well, you may have to force yourself to learn through incentives.
Set up a learning plan with a reward system and post it in a location where you have to look at it every day. As you review it and remind yourself of the reward that will come or that you will receive at each milestone, you may find that your desire to learn increases.
6.) Watch “Success” Focused Inspirational Videos/Podcasts
As you venture through life, there are many occasions and situations where you will feel unmotivated and require a lift to move forward. Learning has the power to help you improve your economic status and invigorate your self-esteem.
Just as you use inspirational broadcasts and messages to lift your mood, you can use them to inspire you to learn, grow, and achieve. These recordings can serve as a reminder of what’s at stake and what you may gain through continuous learning. Besides, videos and podcasts may also be your learning vehicles.
7.) Stay Energized, Keep Active
When it comes to learning, you may be like me and often say, “I don’t feel like it.” So what does feeling like it have to do with learning? Well, if you are sluggish and unhappy, you are not likely to have a desire to do anything, let alone embark on a learning endeavor.
When your spirit is elevated, and your body feels exhilarated, you will more likely be open to seeking challenges – both physically and mentally. As a result, learning motivation and experiences will come naturally.
8.) Seek Personal Control and Choice
Focus on your need to direct your life as you see fit. You want to live where you want to and how you want to, vacation where you want to, and at some point, retire when you choose to.
As you remind yourself that controlling and guiding your life is dependent on your economic situation, your knowledge of society, it’s rules and laws, and your personal choices; you will find that education (formal or informal) is a critical element in gaining and maintaining power over your circumstances.
The realization of the potential that learning can provide should encourage and motivate you to seek more such opportunities.
9.) Vary Learning Tools and Vehicles
To maintain your learning motivation and increase your knowledge in multiple areas and subject matter, you have to recognize that school is not the only arena or vehicle for acquiring education. Look for other learning methods; read, attend seminars, participate in online discussions, meet with networking teams.
Sometimes you may lose the motivation to learn because you associate it with a building or a classroom or the formality of tests and exams. So, open your mind and attitude to seeking information through non-traditional methods. The key is to increase knowledge; how you do, it is up to you.
10.) Watch or read current events
Staying abreast of developments or activities occurring in society can work to motivate you to remain vigilant about learning.
As you hear about technological advances, environmental changes, new products, and services, you may want to engage and learn more about what going on or how these can be useful in your life.
So, merely keeping up with current events can be a learning motivation.
Don’t stop learning
After all the effort you put into completing your studies and earning your degree, you breathe a sigh of relief as though it is the end of the road.
But, really after college, life is just beginning so your learning must not end. Dig deep and find the tool or method that will keep you enthusiastic about learning something new.