Education, regardless of where it takes place, is the process of learning how to create value.
“Value Creation” equals more than making money, marketing products, and manufacturing physical goods. It also includes learning to use concepts in a way that creates intangible goods like joy, creativity, humor, playfulness, curiosity, self-esteem, integrity, and clarity of thought.
It simply makes no sense to say things like “learning is valuable” without presupposing that this value is based on our ability to process information in a way that aides our survival, alleviates our suffering, or enhances our quality of life.
The value of knowledge cannot be divorced from its applicability to the real world.
Knowledge matters, but only because of the pleasure, the peace, or the power it provides to the person who pursues it.
Education is definitely about more than making money, but it’s certainly not about more than making meaning. And meaning has to be made through a dedicated effort to transform data into wisdom. This cannot magically happen for you simply by sitting at the feet of gurus, scanning textbooks, or studying at respected institutions.
In order for education to truly begin, your learning has to be mingled with the opportunity to experiment with ideas in a way that’s aimed at actually altering something about the world.
Value creation, not school, is what leads to success.
Don’t miss the point of education by equating it with formal institutions and standardized practices.
If your studies aren’t helping you understand what you want and how to create it, it’s a timesuck. No matter how special society makes you feel for doing it that way, it’s a timesuck.
Education isn’t about getting a pat on the head from authority figures nor is it about finishing assignments determined for you by bureaucrats. It’s about discerning your own priorities, discovering your own passions, directing your own path, and taking ownership of your own power.
Education isn’t about making your family and friends proud for a single fleeting moment called “graduation day.” It’s about achieving a level of self-knowledge and practical mastery that leads to a lifelong sense of purpose and pride.
Education isn’t about saying “I went to the college of X” or “I attended the University of Y.” It’s about waking up every morning with a conviction that says “I know where I’m going and I understand my why.”
Education isn’t about getting a certificate of completion. It’s about learning to design a life that’s worth living.
In the end, good grades and flashy credentials will heartlessly betray you if you separate the process of learning from the practice of creating.
It’s neither what you know nor how good you feel about yourself for knowing it. It’s about how well you can use conceptual tools to build experiences that matter.
If you’re not learning how to do that, your time is being wasted whether you’re in a classroom or anyplace else.
Value creation isn’t just for money-grubbing materialists. It’s for everyone who’s interested in human life.
Value creation isn’t just for trade schools and apprenticeships. It’s for everyone who believes that knowledge has any value at all.