Motivation and Personal Growth: Embracing Lifelong Learning


  Motivation and Personal Growth: Embracing Lifelong Learning

Learning is a skill that can be improved, perfected, and honed for the rest of your life. While in school, one might study subjects such as history or mathematics in preparation for their job. In adulthood, they may want to invest more time in a hobby such as playing the guitar or studying law. Eventually they may find themselves interested in pursuing further education at a university level or just learning something new on their own time. This article will cover how motivational factors such as personal development and personal interest can drive lifelong learners to continue with education despite potential obstacles.

For example...

A student who finds that they enjoy studying history will be more likely to continue their education even if it is not required or if their career path does not require it. They will instead find personal meaning in their study, and this is something that could potentially motivate them. If there is a specific job or career they wish to pursue, then the knowledge of history may be an important step in developing this skill required for the position. Therefore, the student will find interest in learning more and continuing further education to fulfill their goal of pursuing a position within the field of history.

Undergraduate students who are interested in continuing on to earn a Master's degree may also find motivation to do so through personal interest and development as well. Many people who are accepted to graduate school, especially at a university, have a certain interest or passion in their discipline. This will drive them to continue on when other reasons such as financial need may have driven them to stop.

This concept of learning through personal interest is very present in American society and culture, and many non-native English speakers have found this concept difficult when they first arrived in the United States. However, they gradually adjusted over time because of their passion for learning. With an understanding that you can't master something if you do not truly want to learn about it or if it has no meaning or personal relevance to you—anything can become a form of motivation in life.

The publication of Dr. Stuart Fischoff's Motivation to Learn in 1982 was the first time a psychologist viewed the behavior of lifelong learners as an individual choice based on personal meaning for its own sake. Since then, he has continued to study and work with lifelong learners and describes their motivation to learn as having three main principles: curiosity, challenge, and competence.

Curiosity is a natural human desire where we want to know more about things we are interested in, simply because we are interested in them. Challenge is a feeling that derives from the pursuit of overcoming obstacles or reaching long-term goals. Competence is the process of absorbing and mastering knowledge and skills-- also known as learning. Fischoff's three principles are closely connected to each other; knowledge and skills are acquired through learning only after curiosity, challenge, and competence have been met. His research has demonstrated that motivation to learn can be increased by increasing these three principles.

When learning requires real challenges, it is possible to learn all types of content without formal education. For example, answering a question in a quiz requires the ability to logically think and apply information from previous classes or experiences. When someone learns on their own they become more motivated because they understand how much there is to learn and what it will take for them to master various topics or parts of their job tasks. A person who wants to improve their English or basic skills can become very motivated to learn because they are interested in the subject and it is a challenge. For this reason, many people continue learning on their own because it is fulfilling and satisfying.

In order for students to become motivated to continue learning, instructors need to make the material they are teaching meaningful and relevant. This will increase exam scores which leads to better grades. Students should also be given opportunities that allow them to learn at their own pace, such as being able to go back over lessons multiple times from poor exams results or from individual needs such as missed school days due to illness or having another child in the family coming down with a fever. Ultimately instructors should keep the goals of their education process in mind, especially when dealing with students. The goal is not necessarily to make all students become committed lifelong learners, but rather to increase motivation of those who are.

According to Dr. Stuart Fischoff,[1] "illiteracy is mere stupidity and …means that the subject matter is devoid of personal meaning for the person who is illiterate." The most effective way to create motivation through personal meaning, which can be achieved through education or learning on one's own time, is by applying it to a specific skill or topic one wants to learn about such as history or philosophy or math. This will encourage lifelong learners to continue their education and effectively convince them that they can master a subject through their own means.

Because motivation has grown so much in recent years, it has also led to the appearance of many motivational instructors. This industry is unique because it is available to everyone who wants it. There are many types of motivational instructors, such as speakers, publishers, curriculum developers, consultants and educators who can all provide helpful information about the topic of learning on their own time. One way this could be used is by financial aid counselors at colleges and universities where students have been struggling with the idea of continuing on to different degree programs after graduation or when applying for graduate studies.

Motivation can also be an important issue in education for students whose hard work and effort to keep up with the class may only manifest itself during exam periods. In many cases motivation is the difference between a student who is able to pass or not. This can make it difficult for teachers to help students who are motivated by the topic of learning as well as their grades, while also trying to motivate those who may need some extra help.

Learning should not be limited to the classroom since it is an activity that can take place anywhere at any time where one desires knowledge and skills in specific areas. Education does not have to stop once the teacher has covered their subject area or knowledge for that day. There are many learning opportunities that one can take advantage of. Examples of this include classes in the library or online courses. While these may not be as as effective as classroom-based learning, they can provide a great benefit to the motivation of lifelong learners.

There are many different types of motivational speakers or programs such as seminars that provide advice about how to learn on one's own time. Motivational instructors can also be found in almost every form of media from movies to books and CD's.


Motivation is a critical concept which all individuals should understand if they want to be successful. In order to be motivated in their education or their learning on their own time, they must understand the basics of how motivation works and how they can use this knowledge as a tool. This will help them make better decisions about what type of educational program they can take advantage of in order to either increase their motivation or find educational programs that are not very motivating but will help them meet their goals. Motivation is also an important concept for instructors because the success or failure of the education process depends on it.

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