Be A Lifelong Learner: 60 Mindful Minutes Finale

Today I published a very special edition of 60 Mindful Minutes—the grand finale. As you may know, this is going to be my last episode of the podcast. I shared my decision to end things in the last episode, but if you missed it, here it is in a nutshell: this feels complete for me.

Reflecting on a Journey of Curiosity and Growth

Today marks our 300th episode, and what a milestone to end on! I’ve cherished every moment, every interview, and every page read in preparation. I’m tremendously proud of what my team and I have created and I am so honored that you’ve listened, some of you since the very beginning. Honestly, it’s been an exhilarating journey since we started back in November 2017.

This endeavor started as a way to quench my thirst for knowledge and evolved into a platform where I could share that passion with you all.

Learning has been our shared journey. Whether through books, conversations, or unique experiences, we’ve grown together. And while this chapter may be closing, the process of learning never truly ends. So today, let’s dive deep into how we can keep the spirit of curiosity alive as lifelong learners.

I think it was about a decade ago that I realized I wanted to find a way to learn for a living. While podcasting hasn’t replaced my income, it has given me the opportunity to learn all the time. And learning, as it turns out, is one of my favorite things to do.

Not all of us liked learning in school, but I believe, given the right circumstances, conditions, and content, we all love to learn.

Learning is exciting. It provokes curiosity and creates enthusiasm. Learning connects us. We can learn alongside others and also feel the gratification of sharing what we’re learning. Learning opens our minds and our hearts. It helps us to see the world from a new perspective, to understand each other more, and to make sense of the human experience.

Just this past week, I learned a few phrases in Italian, how to play a new card game, and how to plant my vegetable garden in a way that deters insects. I listened to a podcast about AI and learned about how it’s impacting internet search engines and SEO. I learned the lyrics to a new song. Learning is, or can be, a natural part of our daily lives when we orient our minds with a learning mindset.

Becoming a Lifelong Learner: Exploring Personal Growth

Now, I may be a super learner because so much of my life revolves around actively seeking out opportunities to learn. But I wasn’t born this way. Learning is a skill and a way of life that I have developed over time. I’m what you’d call a lifelong learner, and because I truly believe that this quality is one of the greatest contributors to my overall sense of life satisfaction, I want to finish this podcast with one final episode about how to be a lifelong learner.

Your Learning Path: Finding What Fits You Best

For starters, think about how you like to learn. Do you prefer formal settings, like a class or a degree program, or do you thrive in more informal, self-guided environments? Are you an audio learner, or do visuals help you better? Are you a reader? Maybe you learn best through stories, documentaries, or simply by talking to other people.

The point is, most everyone can learn, but you have to find your best learning pathways. Our traditional schools are set up for only one type of learning, and not everyone is going to fit into that box. If you didn’t learn well in school, that’s probably because they weren’t teaching you the way you need to learn. So, there’s an opportunity here for exploration on your part to discover how you learn best. It might take a little trial and error but you’ll find it.

Follow the Bread Crumbs: Find What Intrigues and Excites You

Of course, what you’re learning makes a huge difference. What topics excite you? If you walked into a bookstore, what section would you gravitate to first? What historical or notable figures interest you and why? What’s a subject you can talk about for hours? Is there a hobby you’ve gotten lost in? Are there types of movies that you rave about? Podcasts? News stories you gravitate to? Headlines that grab your attention? Maybe you read magazines, blogs or Instagram feeds that focus in on specific things like home decor, or travel or kayaking. Take a look at what you most commonly pin in Pinterest. Ask yourself, what would I really love to learn more about? Make a list and just keep writing until it feels exhausted.

Harness Your Curiosity: Learn When You Learn Best

I find my mind is most open and receptive first thing in the morning and least so after 2pm. I love to learn when I am on vacation. I can get lost in a book or go on a cool adventure and learn about a new culture or cuisine.

Maybe you like to learn when you’re walking, jogging or driving. Maybe it’s a Saturday afternoon thing or a Sunday morning deep dive when it’s quiet. Think about it and I’m sure you’ll find that there are certain conditions that help you get into your best learning mindset. Use what you see to be more intentional and proactive in your learning endeavors.

Make it Stick: Find Ways to Retain More

How do we make what we learn stick? For me, it really helps to take notes. When I’m reading, I’m always underlining and afterwards I’ll make notes from what I read. You could keep a notebook filled with notes from your learning adventures.

How could you integrate what you’re learning into your life? How might you share it or teach it? Sharing what you’re learning with others is one of the best ways to retain it. Could you share a few thoughts over dinner or create a little presentation. Sometimes when I’ve read a particularly good book, I’ll share the main points with my husband or I’ll talk about it with my kids while we’re driving to school. Maybe once you’ve learned something that really lights you up, you can pursue it further. Read another book, go find a documentary, take a course, join a club. Taking a next step can help it all stick too.

Track It: Plot Your Learning Journey 

Do you want to set goals, such as reading a certain number of books each year, or listening to a certain number of podcasts each week? Perhaps you simply want to set intentions for learning. Maybe you want to pursue a degree or certification. Consider if following a structured curriculum or path might be right for you.

Another thing to consider is how you can make learning a regular habit. Incorporating learning into your daily routine can be as simple as listening to a podcast on your morning walk or using an app to learn a new language during your commute. Small, consistent acts of learning can lead to significant growth over time

Stay Open and Curious: Embrace the Beginner’s Mind

Learning is done best with an open, curious mind. Be open to having your mind changed and your perspective shifted. In fact, you can actively seek out opposing points of view. The point is, I think learning can become counterproductive if all we do is simply validate what we already know or think to be true. We start to learn in an echo chamber. But with a beginner’s mind, each moment is new and fresh.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself in the position of being a newbie. Get comfortable with not knowing, not being competent, or even looking foolish. Learning can be uncomfortable. Get comfortable with that. Trade in your knowing for curiosity and watch your world expand.

Farewell for Now: Continuing the Journey Beyond the Podcast

As we wrap up this podcast, remember that every day brings new opportunities to learn. I’m excited for what the future holds, both for me and for all of you. Though this is a goodbye to the podcast, it’s not a farewell to our learning journey. I’ll be exploring new projects soon, and I hope you’ll join me when the time comes. For updates on these adventures, make sure to sign up for our newsletter at KristenManieri.com, linked in the show notes.

Thank you for tuning in, for learning, and for growing with me. Here’s to staying curious and embracing the joy of learning, every single day.

This is goodbye, but only for now. I hope our paths cross again soon.

Subscribe to the newsletter