Lifelong learning matters whatever our age may be.

Learning something new takes courage and determination.

Here are 10 tips to help you on your way.

1. There are many ways to learn – not just one.

The best way to learn depends on what you are trying to learn.

If you’re trying to learn a new language, don’t just read the textbook. Watch TV shows, listen to music, and converse with a native speaker, maybe through the many options online.

The key is to interact with the information. Using multiple sources will help you with this. Along with books, gather relevant videos, podcasts, movies, and blogs as well.

2. Make It More Meaningful for Yourself

Finding meaning in learning is the key.

Make real life connections with the new information and see how it fits in with what else you know.

The next time you take a finance class for example, instead of memorizing any formula, try to understand what relevance it has in practice and how you can use it to your advantage. You’ll find you’re able to grasp the concepts much more quickly.

3. Learn by Doing

Find out for yourself what works best for you. Reading a computer manual has little meaning until you try for yourself writing an email or creating a new document.

4. Study others and then Practise

They say that the best way to learn to write well is to read a lot of books, especially the classics. Why? Because one learns more about writing styles of great writers than by taking a course on writing.

But of course, you need to apply that learning to your own work as well.

This form of learning can be applied to any skill, be it writing, speaking another language, or even sports. Compare your work with that of experts in your field until you notice areas that need improvement. Then keep practising your skills.

5. Teach What You Learn

One of the more surprising ways you can learn a new skill is to teach it to someone else because then we need to break the material down into simple, understandable chunks for ourselves. It also forces us to examine the topic more critically and thoroughly, helping us to understand it better.

6. Spend More Time Practising Things You Find Difficult

Practice in itself is great, but in order to excel at any skill, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and practice things you aren’t good at. This is known as deliberate practice.

Concentration is important while practicing. If your mind is wandering, not much learning will happen.

So the next time you sit to practice a new skill, step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Concentrate on whatever is most difficult for you, and with time you’ll find you achieve a higher level of overall efficiency.

7. Take Frequent Breaks

You have an amazing brain which will support your learning in ways of which you are not even aware. Learning new information requires you to connect it to what you already know with memory traces then consolidate it for storage. To protect brain procession from overload, take 15-minute breaks every hour or so. The brain responds to exercise. The resulting increase in oxygen and nutrients will assist the learning process.

8. Test Yourself

Testing is one of the most effective ways to boost memory, even if you are simply practising on your own. Recalling information is a key part of the memory process and the research of Ebbinghaus shows that reviewing information 5 times over 30 days

9. Find a Learning Mentor.

Mentorship is perhaps the quickest way to take your skills to the next level. A mentor can help you by offering invaluable perspective and experience.

Is there someone among your friends, family, and co-workers who is an expert in the skill you’re trying to learn?

Always offer your own skills in return. The key is starting—the worst a person can do is say no, so ask!

10. Always Be Curious

Nothing stimulates learning quite like curiosity! You take the lead. Seek answers from many sources. Don’t merely memorize theories and techniques—question them at every step. Think about why they matter, why they are relevant.

Want to read more? How your Brain Learns and  5 Top Memory Tips

Do you have a story about learning something new? Do tell us about it here.