Lifelong Learning and Self-Actualization
Life is a process for self-actualization of an individual. We know that self-actualization never ends in the phases of life process. An individual may not satisfy his/her continuous needs of self-actualization. The self-actualization process is related to human activities that include human experience such as feeling, thinking, sensing, knowing and acting. It is based on learning which develops personal intuitions, perceptions, intentions, knowledge and skills. It is also said that lifelong learning process constructs and changes personality continuously. Learning is the main instrument which carries out and delivers all the changes in the life process. It can be described as the process to construct meanings depending on a personal perspective and self experiences. Most of the human experience is related to ability of learning. Learning is the combination of old and new experience. Thus, learning is the accumulative process for an individual and supports creation of new directions for his/her life. The individual simultaneously searches the perfect environment to live. Lifelong learning is the way to make the perfect environment possible. It is one of the most powerful tools for the individual to create new life conditions for him/her. If the individual is aware of this powerful tool, he/she will improve his/her life conditions by means of the lifelong learning.
Learning ability is influenced by many factors such as biological, sociological, cultural, emotional, spiritual, and moral developments. These factors have positive or negative effects on our learning abilities. Learning ability is the will to search for the meaning of life and a dynamic force that prompts development of an individual’s capability. Searching for the meaning of life is an unconscious behavior, that is, a kind of intuitive will for self-actualization. Phenomenology of self-perception leads to learning and self-actualization of an individual.
Lifelong learning and self-actualization are the life projects for an individual. At the same time, they are plans for the future generations. In this paper, the relationship between self-actualization of and ability of lifelong learning is discussed.
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