While different people will have different opinions about “education” and its value, I don
t know anyone who wouldnt agree that “learning more” is better than “knowing less”.
Education, as I define it for this article, includes school, seminars, workshops and all manner of formal approaches; as well as coaching, mentoring, apprenticeships, focused reading, online learning, planned experiences and more. As you read this article I urge you to think broadly and expansively about your definition of education.
Regardless of how you feel about “formal” education, and regardless of many examples we could cite of people with PhD`s who have underachieved or sixth grade dropouts who achieved at the highest levels, it is hard to argue with the premise in the title that education is a wise investment.
So, you could ask, why write this article if I feel like everyone agrees with the basic premise?
Two reasons: I want to expand your thinking about what education and learning means, and I want to convince/remind you that this isn`t an argument about “others,” the young or out of work for instance, but that it is about every one of us.
So please read the rest of this article, and the questions at the end, with one eye on the words and one eye looking in the mirror.
In other words, I`m writing to you.
As you look at any investment in any situation, you must examine what you will gain compared to what it will cost.
When you compare those things you can determine the return on your investment. Your costs in this calculation are time, energy, focus and, yes, money. Consider those and compare them to the returns described below.
The Seven Reasons
Increase your self confidence. When you are learning new things, new horizons are opening up in your mind. You feel better about yourself and your ability to achieve. After all, if you can learn one thing, you can learn more! True genuine self confidence is something that we all can use more of; investing in your education and learning will add to your storehouse of self confidence.
Reach your goals. There is a learning component within every goal, large or small. As you learn more in the focused areas related to our goals and aspirations, you are able to move towards achieving them more rapidly. Investing in education in support of your goals is one of the best things you can do to increase the likelihood that you will reach – and even exceed – them.
Have more fun. When you are reaching your goals and feeling more confident don`t you think you are going to have more fun? You can invest in learning anything! Want to learn how to knit or ballroom dance or judge wines? Whatever your passion, learning opens up new opportunities to enjoy them even more.
Improve your attitude. Human beings are – by design – learning beings. When we are doing the things that make us most human (including learning) we naturally are more upbeat and positive. When you are learning things that help move you towards your goals, will you likely be more positive and optimistic? You bet!
Increase your momentum. Momentum is a powerful thing. As the rock rolls down the hill and picks up speed, it becomes more powerful and able to overcome the obstacles in its way much easier. So it is for people too. Learn something, improve your confidence; learn something more and have a more positive attitude; learn something new and you thirst for more. As you continue to learn your learning momentum grows, as does the momentum of your success. A perfect reason to never stop learning!
Increase your earning power. One of the most reliable related factors to financial success is a person
s willingness to learn, and willingness to invest in learning. Notice I didnt say the correlation is to formal education or degrees, but rather the desire, motivation and practice of continual learning. There is a reason the people with bigger net worths have bigger libraries. . .
Reach your potential. Deep inside all of us (especially as our self confidence becomes healthier) is a desire to move closer and closer to our potential – to becoming the person we were meant to be. No other single action will tip the scales towards you reaching your potential more than continuing to invest in yourself as a learner.
To be sure, these seven reasons are inter-related; as you realize one, you are likely recognizing others – maybe all of them – simultaneously.
s like putting hot fudge on top of homemade ice cream - its hard to get too much of the good stuff of learning (and life)!
And now, the closing questions I promised.
Ask them carefully and take the appropriate action.
If you believe that learning is a good investment, how much are you investing in yourself?
And . . .
Is it enough?
Its simple, Remarkable Leaders are continual learners. One of the best ways for leaders to maintain a consistent learning habit is as a member of The Remarkable Leadership Learning System a one skill at a time, one month at a time approach to becoming a more confident and successful leader.