The “why” of self-directed learning is survival—your own survival as an individual, and also the survival of the human race.  Clearly, we are not talking here about something that would be nice or desirable….We are talking about a basic human competence—the ability to learn on one’s own—that has suddenly become a prerequisite for living in this new world. – Malcom Knowles, 1975

While lifelong learning and self-directed learning are not equivalent, they overlap substantially. I think the following points apply equally to both. The successful lifelong learner is someone who:


Sleep Learning Memory

It’s been a while since my last post on sleep and learning. During that time, evidence suggesting the critical connection between sleep, learning, and memory has continued to accumulate. For a poor sleeper like me, it has also become more disturbing in some ways. Here’s a quick run down on some of the recent research.


10 Ways to Be a Better Learner Cover ImageJanuary 1, 2015: Hoping to up your learning game in the new year? Through this Friday, January 15 you can download 10 Ways to Be a Better Learner to your Kindle or Kindle app (on other devices) for free. Note: Obviously this offer has expired – Amazon only provides for brief windows for free Kindle downloads. But let’s face it, the Kindle version of the book is only $2.99. If you are serious about being a better learner, it’s an awfully small investment to make.

10 Ways covers areas like:

  • Adopting the Right Mind Set
  • Cultivating Your Learning Network
  • Asking Questions Effectively
  • Being an Active Notetaker
  • Setting and Managing Goals
  • Practicing, Deliberately
  • Using Technology Better

And more! It’s brief and to the point – the kind of read you can get through in one sitting and then refer back to easily later. To get your free Kindle copy, just go to:

Happy New Year,


A 3-Step Review and Reflection Process

In addition to the brief periods of reflection I engage in on a daily and weekly basis,  I try my best to take some significant time at least a couple times of year to look back over the previous months – sometimes beyond –  and reflect more deeply on what I have learned. I think this sort […]

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The Learning Walk, Continued

A while back I wrote a post called The Learning Walk: A Primer which proved to be quite a bit more popular than I expected. A recommend reading it – everything I say in it still holds true – but the main idea is that walking is a simple habit that can contribute significantly to […]

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The Future and Learning – Connecting the Dots

The learning landscape continues to evolve in very interesting ways. I’ve noticed lately, for example, that artificial intelligence (AI) seems to finally be getting significant traction. Enough so that numerous notable figures like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk have expressed concern concerns about how it might run amok.

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