Loving the Journey of Life-Long Learning

Opportunity after opportunity presents itself to each of us to expand our knowledge, deepen our expertise, and enrich our lives. Make sure you’re paying attention when opportunity knocks.

Integrative NutritionWhen I was in my mid-40s I went back to school, earning a master’s degree in public policy and management. That degree was instrumental in advancing my career, allowing me to score a job as development director for a local United Way. Two years later, I was promoted to director of communications and development. While enrolling in this degree program had a direct and immediate impact on my career, it also fed my need to learn and to be engaged in my community.

It’s now ten years later and I enrolled in a program to become an integrative nutrition health coach. What, you ask? “You’re 55 and you’re going back to school AGAIN?” My answer: “You betcha!” The last four years have taken me on a journey I never envisioned: discovering the many paths to health following a cancer diagnosis. I’ve written a bit about how I, with no cancer diagnosis, started down this path and how I value curiosity.

Sometimes it’s not easy to question those in author by asking “Why?” or to say, “Hell yes” when presented with an opportunity that takes us out of our comfort zone. And, no, you don’t have to enroll in a degree program to experience life-long learning to enhance your knowledge and feed your sense of curiosity. Learning takes many formats. You can:

Attend a Conference or WorkshopIntegrative Nutrition Question
Take an Art Class or Voice Lesson
Go for a Run or Bike Ride
Teach a Class
Take a Yoga or Tai Chi Class
Speak at a Conference or TED Talk
Learn to Speak a Language
Join a Mastermind Group
Network Network Network

Each of these activities will put you in a new environment and force your mind to work in a different way. Stretch yourself and enjoy the rewards!

About Deb

Deb Nelson, principal of deb nelson consulting, is a creative storyteller. She designs and implements communication plans that leverage strategic partnerships and provide innovative solutions for her clients. You can find her on twitter at @nelliedeb.


  1. I hear you loud and clear Deb and I second life long learning. Having qualified and holding one of the toughest qualifications in the world of accounting, I decided to reskill after 25 years to balance another side of me and got my Coaching credentials in my late 40s. It didn’t stop there when I decided to study and gain knowledge on psychotherapy and counselling, although in this case, getting a certificate was a side benefit and I wanted the knowledge.

    When people ask me my ‘why’, I just say because I wanted to. I still do courses, some paid and some free and the subject matter is not so ‘business oriented’ as meeting my interests because it helps me to broaden my vision.
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  2. As a life-long student and one who continues to expand myself through my love of learning, I totally resonate with your desires and actions to keep adding more to expand your life’s tool box. Many of those I am now associated with on Team Northrup are also integrative nutrition coaches as well as other practices and modalities they have taken on in life. When I did the Arscura “art for life” and “biography: life as art” programs, it was at a time in my own life when I was ready for healing of both myself and ultimately others. Congrats on taking this step, as from what I know of you, you have a deep passion and commitment to helping others very specifically in the arena of health and wellbeing. Enjoy this next step!! Look forward to hearing more about how it all unfolds for you.
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  3. Thanks, Beverley, for your support and encouragement! I love your approach to living life to its fullest and life-long learning. It seems you’ve found the perfect fit with Team Northrup – everyone I had the opportunity to talk with was simply amazing. Congrats to you:)
    Deb Nelson recently posted..Loving the Journey of Life-Long LearningMy Profile

  4. Where to begin to congratulate you on a natural desire for lifelong learning. Actually no need for the kudos because the personal satisfaction is more than reward. I have found thus far, that the people who are the happiest, most humanly connected, contribute to others, just by their way of being are those who live life to the fullest and bring out the best in others. You are one. An exciting step.

  5. Way to go Deb for continuing on with your education! You always need to be learning daily……Really enjoyed reading about your experience in how to love the journey of learning 🙂 Great post!
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