September 6, 2012, 6:00 am

Why You Need More Than an Education

by: MD    Category: Miscellaneous
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I used to believe that an education was the solution to everything. All of our problems could be solved by going to college. I thought the process was simple: if you want to learn something or make money, you just need to go to college. I thought that college was some “job-making” factory of sorts.

Growing up my parents always told me that I needed an education. The solution for everything always was an education.

Then I went to college and learned that there was more to life than just an education. I also learned that you need more than an education to make an impact in this world, make money, and more importantly — save some money.

What trumps education?

If education isn’t the only solution, what is? Taking action is.

Okay since that’s too vague, let’s get specific about what taking action is really all about:

  • Applying what you learn.
  • Achieving real results (for example, working to pay off college instead of just borrowing money for the whole ride).
  • Understanding what you learn. Too often do we pass exams by cramming at the last minute. We end up forgetting everything a week after the course ends.
  • Actually working. Nothing beats getting your hands dirty and learning the job. I wish I learned this earlier. I had to beg a friend to come install a light in my rental property because I didn’t even know where to start.

That’s what trumps an education in my eyes. What do you think?

What do you need that’s more than education?

Before I say anything more, I want to borrow a paragraph from Seth Godin:

“College wasn’t originally designed to merely be a continuation of high school (but with more binge drinking). In many places, though, that’s what it has become. The data I’m seeing shows that a degree (from one of those famous schools, with or without a football team) doesn’t translate into significantly better career opportunities, a better job or more happiness than a degree from a cheaper institution.”

That makes sense. When I finished with college I started to read more unconventional literature on achieving success in life. This opened my eyes to a whole new world that I never knew had existed before.

There are a few goals that I want to hit before I worry about more education.

What are these non-educational goals for now?

  1. Learn a third language. I’m slowly but surely going to pick up Spanish. I speak English (could be argued) and understand/speak Polish with an accent.
  2. Travel more. There are so many places on this planet that I haven’t visited. I finally did a Euro-trip and got to attend a Wrestlemania. Next I have a few more ideas. We’ll see.
  3. Grow my online business. I want to help more folks. I want to reach more readers. This is going to be my main focus now.

There’s this myth where we assume that learning something is the same as applying it. This is not true at all. This is why I’ve set out to learn as much as I can on my own without more formal education for now. Who knows what the future holds? I’m ready for the challenge!

I’m curious to hear from you guys — what has helped you reach your own level of success, aside from a formal education? 

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Hard smart work. The piece of paper from college is required.for my accounting jobs though. Having a CPA license doesn’t hurt either.