I am a student, a teacher, and a mother (in order of the role’s appearance in my life). Being a teacher and a mother means I am continually learning something new. I learn so I can keep up with my students and son. I learn from my students and my son. And, I learn so I can do my best as a teacher and a mother.

However, even if the role of a student wasn’t forced on me in my life, I think I would be a lifelong learner. I love to learn. The universe is such a large and diverse place, and even our small corner of it is so complex and varied that you can find a new challenge in any direction you look. I love learning big things and small things, and even trivial things.

I love the investigation and the discovery involved in the process of learning. Sometimes only the process interests me, and I don’t worry about the result. I’ve always suspected that being a lifelong learner was a good thing, and I recently came up with three good reasons for embracing lifelong learning.

However, researchers at the University of Toronto have found learning can not only be good for your life but also your brain. Learning may protect the brain from the negative impacts of aging, such as memory loss, by building alternate neural networks absent in less-educated people. The more years you spend learning, the more prevention against memory loss you have.

Dr. Paul Nussbaum has also done extensive research in this area, and he reports that new and complex stimulation promotes a healthy brain. He says: “New learning translates to neurophysiological growth and mental stimulation in the same way that aerobics translates to cardiovascular health.” Nussbaum encourages people of all ages to continually promote their brain’s health by challenging their brain by learning new information and new skills as well as pursuing activities that may be challenging to master at first.

Lifelong learning also offers additional ways to keep your brain healthy. Studies show that it is important for human beings to have a role and a sense of purpose. Actively pursuing knowledge and skills can help you achieve both as well as the stimulation your brain needs to be healthy.

Finally, there is the financial incentive for learning. Studies show a strong correlation between health and finances. Other research shows that the more education and skills (learning) a person acquires, the higher their income. People who know more not only earn more money but know how to use it as a tool to further build their financial resources. No matter what your income or your age, it is never too late to begin learning how to manage your money better.

Three very good reasons for becoming a lifelong learner include promoting your brain’s health, giving your life a sense of purpose, and promoting your financial security. Any one of these reasons should be enough, but all three combine to a powerful motivation to learn.