Saturday, August 6, 2011

Winners, Lifelong Learners, Seekers...

I was checking Twitter today and I saw this tweet from my long-time friend and colleague, Meredith Bell:
If you're a lifelong learner, you'll love this free guide from @DennyCoates: #success

You can click on the link if you want to, but you can enter to download the free guide right here on this page, in the right sidebar.

Meredith uses the phrase "lifelong learner." I like that, but I've wondered if there's an even better term for people who care enough about succeeding in life and work that they're constantly trying to improve themselves.

On my team, I'm known as the wordsmith, but the wordsmith has discovered surprisingly few descriptive terms for such a person.

It seems that cultures come up with many alternate words for the things they care about the most. Supposedly the Eskimos have dozens of words for snow. In our sex-hyped culture there are an astounding number of cute words for the male and female sex organs, as well as for act of sexual intercourse itself.

Meredith once cautioned me to never use the word bullshit on my blog or in other writings. I agreed and have diligently restrained myself. It caused me to search for alternative words. I came up with over 65 well-known synonyms. I guess it's a sign that our culture surely does care a lot for its B.S., nonsense, baloney, balderdash, horse-hockey, claptrap, malarkey...etc.

But I digress.

One of my favorite marketing experts, Joe Polish, offered a synonym for "lifelong learners": Seeker.

Not bad. Here are some others I've collected and used from time to time...
  • Achievers
  • High-performers
  • Winners
  • Success-oriented individuals
  • Self-actualizers
  • Stars
  • Personal leaders
  • Top-five-percenters
Still, this isn't very many. As important as the concept is, there should be more. So I'm asking for your input. What are some words that describe people who care enough about succeeding in life and work that they're constantly trying to improve themselves?

Ideas submitted by readers who commented:
  • Explorers
  • Inquirers
  • Self-starters
If you have any more ideas, please leave them in a comment. And check out the free ebook!

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use image purchased from


Ron said...


I leave it to you and your considerable word-smithing abilities to come up with a way to use this descriptive adjective as a noun.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking. . . seeker is nice, but sounds to my ear too passive and New Age-y for the word or phrase you "seek." I like life-long learner and re-inventors of self, but still, that doesn't get to the self-starting, successful component.

I'm still thinking. . .

Christine said...

What a thought-provoking question! I don’t always associate life-long learner/learning with success and high achievement, so I’ll add “explorer” and “inquirer” as possibilities. Maybe we keep it simple on our website with the phrase “you never stop learning” because it is tough to find the exact word.

Gibson Goff said...

A self-made man; first-class, top notch, top contender, have it all together, self sufficient, self motivated, endowed with the properties that makes one great, of great stock, following noble causes . . .

A few describe generally more than specifically. But I've used them all.

Steven Billen said...

I like the saying... He or she is a "Visionary Accomplisher", which describes forward thinking (Visionary) and a winner (Accomplisher)... together these words (Visionary Accomplisher) describes a person that is destined to be a successful leader of our time.