Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character, or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another.
At least that is what Wikipedia says. And everybody knows if it is on Wikipedia, then someone probably defaced the page … like me.
Fun, fun, fun, fun … wait. It’s not Friday. Nevermind.
For most part, the thought of education centers around the first 18 to 22 years of life, and maybe an additional decade if you are a doctor or if you like to take your time, a.k.a. you are a slacker. In reality, we never stop learning. Everyday we encounter information that educates us, and we choose who or what is teaching us. If our learnin’ comes from the E! Channel and Ryan Seacrest, the potential return is minimal. Although, we will know that Lindsay Lohan went to the grocery store which is vital information. On the other hand, we have so many options to properly educate ourselves so that we can be all that we can be … and not just in the Army.
I have many friends that are established in their careers and they are getting formal education to insure that they continue to move forward. But that is not the only way to go about education. There is so much free information on the Internet that you could nearly receive doctorate level schooling in just about anything. No one confirmed from a previous post, but I’m pretty sure there are still libraries that allow you to check out books for free. Amazing! Of course, there is a myriad of paid training available online and offline that does not require enrollment in a college.
Employers understand the value of education, as many of them will reimburse the cost of courses that pertain to their field. If you have that opportunity, take it! Usually companies only pay for one course a semester. So it make take a little while, but THEY ARE PAYING! Do it.
We should take advantage of on-the-job training, as well. I really like the education Wiki definition above, “…society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another.” Learn from those that have gone before. Experience is a powerful teacher. Be deliberate. Have a plan of how education is going to improve business and life. Arguably, the most important part is to pass on what we have learned. Share the knowledge. Don’t be a “Dead Sea of wisdom” — receiving everything, but never pouring out. Eventually, we will become bitter (I’ve tasted the Dead Sea. It’s gross.) and lifeless if we do not make an effort to improve others.
The opportunities are endless to better ourselves through education. Make it a life long goal to never stop learning and never stop teaching. Everyone is a student, and everyone is a teacher. As we realize this, we can make a concerted effort to train ourselves and others with the necessary tools to bring out the best in everyone.
To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks. ~A.A. Milne
About the Author
Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.