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Lifelong Learning – A Personal Quest

Iulia Racovita is an ICF certified coach (ACC) and a dedicated advocate for lifelong learning. With over 15 years of experience in the financial sector, she leverages her expertise to empower mid-career professionals to navigate challenges with clarity and ease.

 
Executive Contributor Iulia Racovita

On a yellowed sheet of paper, handwritten, stood timelessly the Fibonacci sequence. My mother had a special attachment to one of her high school papers, one that intrigued me deeply as a child and set the ground for my irreversible love of math.


Photo of a open notebook

Thirty years later, the paper is still carefully stored. It bears a golden touch of time and a fading smell of ink. Although academically, math and I parted ways years ago, I still get goosebumps whenever I see a page filled with equations or an interesting algorithm.


Many lifelong learners are self-proclaimed, including myself. Lifelong learning has become somewhat of a cliché. Of course, as long as we live, we learn. We take courses, complete certifications, attend workshops, and so on. But in my view, it is more than that. Learning has saved me many times over the years, giving me balance, confidence, and purpose when things seemed to fall apart.


Where to start as an adult

Many adults associate learning with unpleasant school memories, stressful exams, and boring materials. Some find it embarrassing to take swimming classes. Others think it’s too late to start from scratch, and some don’t know where to start or if it’s even worthwhile.


Your relationship with learning is deeply personal, shaped by your life experiences. Once you sort out your limiting beliefs about learning, you can break free from them and pursue what truly matters to you.


Ask yourself what future knowledge or skills you’d like to possess. Connect these aspirations to your values and purpose. Explore what inspires you and how you wish to inspire others, perhaps your children. Pay attention to goosebumps—they can guide you to what you are truly passionate about.


Acquiring new knowledge or skills

Studying is one of the safest ways to learn as an adult. You might decide to learn a new language, pursue a professional certification, or take an online course in data science. Today, these opportunities are more accessible than ever. Unlike in childhood or school years, as an adult, you can set yourself up for success by finding learning strategies that work for you and motivation techniques to keep you moving forward.


One tip I initially underestimated is to join programs that offer the support of a community; it is invaluable. As adults, we lead busy lives and juggle many responsibilities. We often get caught in routines, and our circles of interaction can be limited. Connecting with others in a learning context helps us stay accountable and motivated while expanding our social networks in an authentic and organic way.


Challenging long-held beliefs

I wrote a whole article on unlearning through drawing. Unlearning is one of my favorite topics. It is about challenging long-held beliefs. What do you think you can’t do? What if you challenged that belief?


I was in my thirties when I went for my first run ever. I asked myself: is it true that running isn’t for me? Is it true that it’s not learnable? I wanted to find out. I started, and it was hard. Running felt almost surreal at first. After completing my first 8-kilometer run without stopping, I wondered, “Is this me?” It felt empowering, like I was a new person. Two half-marathons later, and a few years of a new-mom break in between, I still run a few times a week. It’s not for weight loss or fitness but for mind clarity, creativity, and mental resilience. Running shifted my identity and became part of my invaluable support system.


You might think running was my thing all along, but it wasn’t. I also learned to ride a bike and swim as an adult. What else is possible?


The best frame for this type of learning is the “beginner’s mind.” There’s safety and freedom in that. The critical voice goes silent, expectations are canceled, and anything becomes possible.


Learning experiments

This is how I’ve been framing most of my latest learning endeavours. As previously mentioned, learning is safe. However, acquiring new knowledge or skills is one thing, and implementing what you’ve learned is another. The latter involves stepping way out of your comfort zone and taking more risks, all while dealing with the fear of judgment, the risk of failure, and uncertainty. You will not know how things will turn out.


After working in corporate all my life, transitioning to solopreneurship as a side hustle has been a significant learning experiment for me. It’s challenging because it requires a completely different mindset and skill set, pushing me far beyond my comfort zone. Additionally, sharing this article is part of my writing experiment, and each step has been an amazing learning journey.


I keep noticing how little I know and yet how far I’ve come compared to what I thought was possible for decades.


It’s not too late

Embracing lifelong learning has been a journey of growth, freedom, and self-discovery. It has taught me to challenge my limits, pursue my passions, and find joy in the process of continuous learning. Whether through structured study, unlearning ingrained beliefs, or experimenting with new experiences, learning as an adult offers a profound sense of empowerment and possibility.


Remember, it’s never too late to start.


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Article notes: Read here my article on Unlearning.


Visit my website for more info!

 

Iulia Racovita, Certified Life Coach

An advocate for lifelong learning, Iulia Racovita chose to harness her strategies as a highly effective academic learner and apply them to other areas of life. What began as a learning experiment in her mid-thirties has evolved into an inspiring journey. Today, as a passionate certified life coach, she empowers mid-career professionals to navigate challenges with clarity and ease. In serving her clients, Iulia leverages her professional background as an internal audit manager and an internationally certified chartered accountant with over 15 years of local and international experience in the financial sector. Discover how she can help you achieve your goals!

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