Lifelong Learning

“Learn about others and the world around you but, most of all, be a lifelong learner of who you are and how you are changing.”

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about what it means to be a lifelong learner. Traditionally, we consider this in the context of learning new skills or the increased proficiency of our current skill set. This is beneficial for the objectives of improving productivity and efficiency.

But, more importantly – and often neglected – is the commitment to the evolution of learning about who we are and how we are changing. Study after study shows that people generally underestimate the extent of future personality growth. Researchers call this phenomenon “the end of history illusion” in that we tend to assume that our growth ends as we get older. (You can find a nice summary of recent studies here.)

“More importantly – and often neglected – is the commitment to the evolution of learning about who we are and how we are changing.”

This “end of history” illusion creates a possible hurdle in that we stop learning of who we are and how we are changing. This occurs because we think we have stopped changing, not realizing that, like the empty pages of a book yet to be written, our personalities have ongoing potential for growth. This potential for growth is often materialized with or without our knowledge or consent.

“The ‘end of history’ illusion occurs when people underestimate the extent of future personality growth.”

In this sentiment, today’s Sunday Surgical Scrub has a simple call to action: be a lifelong learner of you! Dedicate time and resources to the reflection of who are now and who you are becoming tomorrow. This will strengthen you, support your future strategies and goals, and be a boon to the ones around you.


MEDICINE & MACULA: A very sincere thanks for making The Ophthalmologist 2017 Power List! I am humbled to be considered one of the top 50 rising stars in ophthalmology. Moreover, I am grateful to be in the company of such wonderful and gifted colleagues!

You can find the list here.


My profile is here.


GRATIS: “ ‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot.” -Alice Walker


My best to you,

David Almeida

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