Finding your Ikigai in Lifelong Learning

In Ikigai with Jennifer Shinkai Episode 5, Dr. Justin Sanders and I talk about the connection of lifelong learning to Ikigai, the 60 year curriculum how it helps the brain, how to approach study when there are almost too many options available.

We also touch on how credentials can be away to increase your impact in the world – not just about the skills you learn but the different doors that will be opened for you.

 If you are wondering if you are too old to go back to school be inspired by the 92 year old at TUJ!

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Show Notes

2:57​ Becoming a global citizen 3:52​ Education as the central solution for any global issue – pandemics, conflicts, crises 6:17​ Education is not just about classrooms 7:23​ Community Colleges and their key role in US society and only 16% of the students are the traditional full time young adult undergraduate 8:44​ Realising something was missing personally – returning to international work 9:40​ Awareness of the differences of public, domestic and private, international educations 10:56​ Starting a PhD in Osaka, Japan in depth study for 3 years 12:01​ Merging all the experiences in he continuing education role at Temple University Japan 12:39​ The mysterious path of the red thread – can only be seen in hindsight! 13:40​ What does a continuing education student look like 14:08​ The 92 year old role mode; of continuing education and lifelong learning and keeping the brain elastic as a super highway 15:42​ Lifelong learning as your ikigai: motivation, community and a thirst for knowledge 17:12​ The 60 year curriculum 19:06​ Will a robot take my job? 19:58​ Humans relationship with technology needs to evolve as does our relationship with learning 21:10​ Constantly reviewing “what skills do I need now and in the future?” Personal and professional 22:27​ How life stages impact our ikigai23:25 How do I decide the next step on my lifelong learning journey – soooooo many courses! 24:25​ Study with passion and interest – find your why or you will burnout 26:20​ Building a personal connection to the learning output 27:16​ I don’t need to be an expert I just need to be able to function 28:19​ Expanding your business savvy as a Specialist or generalist 30:11​ Map backwards 32:09​ How Justin Approached his PhD – and why the credential was an import checkpoint to allow him to make more impac 33:43​ When certification and credentialing becomes a procrastination tool Vs when the credential is a “hygiene factor” that allows you to do more 35:25​ Applications in the business space as a manager 36:48​ What type of programme should I pursue and why? 38:54​ How educational courses are going to save you time by curating the volume of information and help it to make sense for you 40:02​ Asynchronous online courses can be really helpful when you need to learn a short term skill fast 40:58​ Shared learning experiences bring accountability and critical discussion, diverse perspectives and application opportunities 43:07​ Why we need to learn how to apply skills in new contexts 44:44​ When to choose a degree course – not just taking in knowledge but creating something new 46:25​ How to get started on bringing education into your ikigai Take the first step, start small – there will always be an excuse not to start! 48:39​ Forming study habits that support you and your ikigai 50:10​ Make learning habitual in your free time 50:54​ Yayoi Kusama’s move to America – just taking the action even when it seems impossible. No excuses! 51:45​ Make March Matter – Habitual learning in our week in review – the habit of reflection 53:14​ Find your local institution to support you wherever you are in the world 54:01​ Lets all be like the 92 year old guy with a lifelong love of learning!

Guest Bio: Dr. Justin Sanders

Dr. Justin Sanders is the Director of Temple University Japan’s Continuing Education Program, one of the oldest and largest providers of personal and professional development to Tokyo’s international community. With over 15 years in the international and higher education sectors, before coming to Japan, he served as a Research Specialist and then Global Recognition Manager for the International Baccalaureate (IB), a leading global international education organization. Prior, he spent several years supporting good governance in community colleges around the United States with the Association of Community College Trustees, and served a two-year tour as an education volunteer with the US Peace Corps, working in rural Azerbaijan. Justin received an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Arizona, an MA in Education and Human Development from the George Washington University, and a PhD in Education from the Graduate School of Human Sciences at Osaka University. His research focuses on international education and national development, institutional international strategy development, and adult learning.


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