Long Life Learning.
Back in October, I wrote this blog post on why lifelong learning was an abstract concept that needed a physical home. This kind of adult learning seemed to be a DIY thing: it’s your responsibility to figure out how to adopt a beginner’s mind to allow curiosity to become your elixir for life. But, it didn’t feel like it was taking hold as a foundational way of being in adulthood.
The concept of lifelong learning is barely a quarter-century old and sprouted from a small school district in the LA area which advocated “learning is not confined to childhood or the classroom but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations.” Given we have so many people out of work today, there’s a growing chorus suggesting that free adult education is necessary as outlined in this New York Times Op-Ed.
But, ever since one of my MEA co-founders, Jeff Hamaoui, coined the term “long life learning” this spring, I’ve come to realize that our increased longevity deserves an alternative form of adult learning. It’s one thing to learn software development in your thirties. It’s a very different thing to hone your soft skills development in your fifties. And, developing the skill set to master life’s transitions is an essential talent in this topsy-turvy world.
Long life learning isn’t about certificates and tool kits. It’s about shifting one’s mindset about aging so that you can live a life as deep as it is long. This means understanding the social science landscape on aging whether it’s the U-curve of happiness, why the maturing brain becomes better at connecting the dots, or how emotional intelligence grows with each passing decade. At MEA, we’ve found that long life learning helps people shift their mindset on aging which Yale professor Becca Levy has proven can add seven and a half years to life—happy and productive years enjoying the unexpected pleasures of aging. Stay tuned for a white paper MEA alum and academic Ingo Rauth and I are finishing entitled, “The Emergence of Long Life Learning.”
Lifelong learning teaches you the ingredients of a recipe which you could pick up on your own from a YouTube video. Long life learning is a collective cooking class full of joy and discovery.
P.S. Episode #6 of the Happy Hour Show is here! We're very excited to be welcoming Leslie Blodgett as this week's special guest.
Join co-hosts Chip Conley and David Stewart, as they unlock wisdom with special guest Leslie Blodgett, creator of bareMinerals and former CEO and Executive Chairman of Bare Escentuals, Author of “Pretty Good Advice: For People Who DREAM BIG and WORK HARDER” and Angel Investor. We’ll go from discovering how she created and launched one of the beauty industry’s most iconic brands, that earned her the title Queen of Beauty by the New York Times, to authoring her first book and supporting conscious brands, Stella & Dot, Every Mother Counts and ADAY clothing (to name a few) at the Board/Advisory level. We’ll take a deep breath and then move into a lightning speed round where Chip + David will go behind the scenes of Leslie’s 97 candid and entertaining chunks of insights on business, life, and beauty from her book. The evening will be filled with frank, actionable advice to help light a fire under you!
Tune in on Thursday, June 18 at 5:00pm PT / 8:00pm ET. Tickets are free, but limited, so be sure to reserve today clicking here.