“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.” – Roy H. Williams
Daily Nugget of Gold 1221
The Value of an Education
To be sure, the business world often rewards people for taking the time, trouble, and expense of obtaining a formal education of one kind or another. We remember seeing a chart which showed the average rates of pay for someone with various levels of academic achievement under their belt and it rightly pointed out that the more education one received, the more likely that person would earn more. Averages don’t always represent everyone in every circumstance, naturally, but that’s a fair representation to what a formal eduction can do for someone. Of course, you may have guessed, we didn’t come here today to talk about that. (The sound of palms hitting foreheads takes place now, ha ha!)
We were discussing the relationship between price and value as illustrated by the Warren Buffet quote- “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” For many people, the price of a good education is enormous. If all we get for all that time and money is a piece of paper saying we’ve been there and subjected ourselves to a bunch of memorization, then arguably we haven’t received nearly as much value as we could have for what we paid, have we?
Whether the education is formal or informal, a better goal might be to have a far deeper understanding of the subject matter at hand so that we are able to not only have more in life, but to be more and do more. Reading a book, for example, is one way to learn, attending or watching a seminar might be another. Listening to an audiobook or even querying someone who is fluent in the subject matter we want to know more about are also important ways one can learn. No matter what method we choose to avail ourselves to information, we have a choice to make concerning how much value we wish to abstract from it, don’t we?
We can attend class and daydream, put on an audiobook as we text our friends, go to a seminar and put most of our attention on looking for a date, and for the time we’ve spent, we’ll likely come away with very little indeed. Formal education provides tests to see if we’ve at least memorized the material, but many of us can memorize something on demand for short periods of time only to forget it in short order.
For us, it seems like the best way to get the most value out of the time and expense we put into learning is to have a deep down love of learning and an intense curiosity about whatever the subject matter is at hand. If we are going to pay the price, as it were, why not come away with a great deal of value instead of just a piece of paper proclaiming we were there?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What do I find to be so interesting that I don’t ever wish to stop learning everything about it?”
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.