In its simplest form, personal and professional development is the concept of taking a conscious step to evolve as a person – improving your life mentally, physically and spiritually.

Investing time in personal and professional development is an extremely important aspect of life, providing opportunities to grow, learn and become more empowered – not to mention creating more opportunities for your career and working life. The skills that you learn and hone by educating your mind can provide skills you need to set life long goals that enhance your employability, and this has a positive flow on effect to your mental health and wellbeing.

The word ‘learn’ is defined in the dictionary as “to gain or acquire knowledge of a skill in (something) by study, experience or being taught.”

Lifelong learning is described as… “learning in which a person of any age keeps the mind and body engaged by actively pursuing knowledge and experience.”

But learning and active engagement do more than just make you smarter – it’s good for your health!

As your brain ages there are many negative effects, including:

  • Parts of the brain shrink and your memory, learning capacity and problem-solving skills diminish
  • Neurons and neurotransmitters may be reduced which affect memory, concentration, mood and physical movement
  • Brain blood flow can reduce, inflammation can occur and plaque may build up

Learning is as vital to brain health as exercise is to body health. No matter your age, learning something new will help to shape your brain throughout your life. It challenges you to move out of the comfortable and expand your knowledge, teaching you to think strategically and critically.

 “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” –Henry Ford

Even just reading a little everyday has the positive effect of reducing stress levels, and can also delay the onset of Alzheimers, improving quality of life.

The flow on effect to your career or working life is also something that can’t be ignored. According to, of those who continued to learn and study:

  • 62.4% got smarter at goal setting – professionally and personally
  • 52.4% of people became more self confident
  • 57.1% of people experienced the lowest levels of stress
  • 25.7% left their vices and bad habits behind

Personal and professional development not only improves your work life and opportunities, it also has a positive effect on:

  • Mental health and self esteem by helping you improve relationships, achieving work-life balance, controlling your actions and emotions, and empowering you through knowledge. These all result in an increase in self-confidence
  • Productivity and motivation can increase due to a new level of knowledge and self-awareness
  • Improved skills through greater self-awareness and new knowledge, making you more employable

The Australian Institute of Flexible Learning offers a number of courses to help you grow, learn and become more empowered in 2019! For more information visit our courses pages on our website.