What Is Your Why for Learning?

What is Your Why for Learning?

Guest writer Kari Bogdan creates this week’s blog on lifelong learning with her article, “What is your why for learning?”

“You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.” Abraham Lincoln

The reason(s) why we choose to learn should be personal and unique as each of us.  Before you start on the path to learning something new, try setting an intention.  Setting an intention is different from setting a goal for learning, because it focuses on “the why” and your return on investment.  It is about the person, place, thing or maybe even the feelings that you are striving for.  It’s about finding purpose. 

The odds of accomplishing your goals will be more realistic and more satisfying if you define your intentions. Here are things to remember when you begin to determine your purpose for learning:

  1. Take time to reflect. When you consider your purpose, a good place to start is asking yourself some questions like, “What do I value?”  “What do I believe?” “Who and what are the things most important to me?” This video could be helpful as you start to explore your why: What is the purpose of learning? 1 https://youtu.be/8BILZNnz0uE
  2. Shift any limiting beliefs 2. If you have doubts about what you can achieve, you will not able to get very far. Get out of your own way. 
  3. Make sure it comes from a positive place 2Your intention should start with “I will”, rather than “I will not.” Research shows negative emotions can overpower their positive counterparts. 3
  4. State your intention 2. Write it down.  This will help you be accountable and take ownership. It can also serve as a reminder if you post it somewhere that you can read it each day.  You may even want to tell someone who cares about you about your intension.
  5. Be clear 2. The more specific you are, the more focused you will be. Remember, it’s about results.
  6. Keep it simple 2. It should be a sentence. Like learning, intentions can also be broken down to make them more manageable. You can start with your ultimate intention. Then, set a daily, weekly or monthly intention that will help you get there.

Once you declare your purpose, continue to reflect on it. You may even find that your purpose will change as you move forward. Remember, that through the process of learning you are growing. Do not be surprised if your “why” becomes something different along the way.


  1. Harvard University Online. (2017). What is the purpose of learning? Youtube.com. Apr 19, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2022: https://youtu.be/8BILZNnz0uE
  2. Houlis, A. (2021). The power of setting intentions — and how to do it correctly. Self Magazine. Accessed November 28, 2022: https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/mental-health/how-to-set-intentions

Vaish A, Grossmann T, Woodward A.  (2008). Not all emotions are created equal: The negativity bias in social-emotional development. Psychol Bull. 2008 May; 134(3): 383–403. Accessed November 28, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652533/

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Want to Become More Resilient? Learn Something New.

Want to Become More Resilient? Learn Something New.

In this week’s installment of Lifelong Learning, we are pleased to introduce our new guest writer, Kari Bogdan. Kari Bogdan has nearly 20 years of experience in the training and development industry.  Her expertise is design and development of engaging instructor-led training, online education, and curriculum development.  Currently, she is a Learning Specialist for Children’s Wisconsin.  In her first blog post for Learning Without Scars, she challenges readers with her title: Want to Become More Resilient? Learn Something New.

Kari serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (SEWI-ATD) as Vice President of Professional Development. She is also a member of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Women Leaders Association. 

Kari has worked in a variety of industries with a focus on health care over the past 10 years.  From 2003-2007, she was the Manager of Continuous Education for the Associated Equipment Distributors.  Previously, Kari was a video and multimedia producer for over 9 years working on training, sales, and corporate communication.

Kari holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Want to become more resilient? Learn something new.

Before 2019, I didn’t realize how much it meant to me to talk to my coworkers about projects or even their life experiences on a regular basis. It struck me the other day that, besides the companionship or the environment of a physical workspace, the thing that I was also missing was the opportunity to learn and grow. It wasn’t until I sought out new ways of learning that I began to feel a little better about what was going on around me.

Numerous studies have pointed to the benefits of life-long learning. One of them is a higher level of resiliency or the ability to cope with change. Resilience is defined as the ability to cope and thrive in the face of negative events, challenges or adversity. It can lead to improved self-esteem, a sense of control over life events, a sense of purpose in life, and improved interpersonal relationships1,2. The result is a more fulfilled individual. Organizations have also found that resiliency contributes to greater job satisfaction, work happiness, organizational commitment and employee engagement.

Think about the last time you met someone who had a really interesting hobby or a cool job. You found yourself asking, “How did they do that?” You decided to learn more.

You took on a challenge, you overcame an obstacle and you did it! The feeling you experienced was really good. That is a demonstration of resilience. 

Becoming more resilient is something that you can achieve. There are more opportunities to learn than ever before. It does take some effort. In the end, however, I have no doubt that you will find is worth it. If you want to learn more, this article can provide you with some good insights and advice. Click here

Here are some key things that I have learned about trying something new. You may have heard some of these before, but perhaps it has been a while. 

  1. Find your motivation: Ask questions like, “Why am I doing this?” “What is in it for me?” “How do I hope to feel once I have done it?” 
  2. Start by focusing on one achievable thing. If it is something long term, break it into manageable chunks.
  3. Take time out each week to focus on that one thing. Schedule it and don’t move it.
  4. Be curious. Look for resources of information that are reputable or people with experience who can offer advice or show you how to do it.
  5. Let someone else know what you are working on so that they can support you.
  6. Don’t give up if you make a mistake or fail. Think about what you learned in the process.
  7. Keep track of what you have accomplished and celebrate your wins.

If you have done this before, then you know that you are capable. Find your motivation and get to it.



  1. McAllister, Margaret, and Jessica McKinnon. “The importance of teaching and learning resilience in the health disciplines: a critical review of the literature.” Nurse Education Today 29.4 (2009): 371-379.
  2. Masten AS, Cutuli JJ, Herbers JE, Reed MG. 12 Resilience in Development. The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. 2009; 21:117.
  3. Goh J, Pfeffer J, Zenios SA. The relationship between workplace stressors and mortality and health costs in the United States. Management Science. 2015;62(2):608-28.
  4. American Psychological Association. “Building your resilience.” www.apa.org. February 1, 2020. Accessed October 14, 2022: https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience/building-your-resilience
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