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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Why Education is Better Than School

Why Education is Better Than School
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Many people describe school as the best days of their lives. They remember the fun and the friendships – but how much do they remember about what they were taught?

At its core, school is intended to transfer knowledge and prepare young people to participate in society. Now, while there’s no doubt that schooling intends well, I’m not convinced it delivers on its promise.

Let me explain.

Since we were small, we were told that going to school is important and essential. You probably heard similar lines to me: “don’t miss school”, “attend your classes”, “do your homework”, “listen to your teacher”…

With this endless pressure from parents and teachers, it’s no wonder that dropping out from school has always been seen as a bad thing. Failing to graduate from school is classed by almost everyone as a disaster and often leads to difficulties in finding work.

However, as you’ll see in a moment, some of the most creative and successful people in the world dropped out of school.

The Better Alternative

While school appears to be important, it should never be confused with education.

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    Education is more than school.

    If you put aside your preconceived notions of education, you’ll see that education is simply the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits.

    Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but – and this is key – learners may also educate themselves.

    School is a specific place, but education can take place anywhere, at any time and with anyone – including yourself.

    Education can occur in any setting. And any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.

    In short, education is a limitless form of learning.

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    As I mentioned in the introduction, some highly successful people were school drop-outs. However, they certainly weren’t dumb or uneducated. Instead of school, they learned on their own through self-study and life experiences.

      For example, Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, failed to finished high school. (He dropped out at age 16.) You may already know that story, but did you know that Branson also suffered from dyslexia and had poor academic performance? No doubt his teachers wrote him of as failure. Today, however, Branson is worth an estimated $4 billion![1]

      Clearly, education can be above and beyond school.

      At school, you learn theories, but you often lack opportunities to apply the knowledge. And without the latter, have you really learned something?

      To succeed at school, you need to be obedient, and whether you’re good or not very much depends on your teachers’ expectations. It ends up becoming an aim of fulfilling other people’s expectations instead of really learning what’s useful for living a happy, healthy and productive life.

      School and reality are often at odds with each other. To succeed in life, you need to think out of the box instead of simply doing what everyone else’s doing.

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        There are many aspects to take care of aside from the school subjects, for example, how to form and maintain positive relationships, how to work smart, and how to lead a meaningful life etc. These are things that you’re unlikely to learn at school. But if you keep educating yourself in different ways (from experience and from non-school subjects/books), you’ll keep learning and applying your new knowledge.

        How to Utilize the Better Alternative

        Hopefully, I’ve given you an insight into why education can be better than school. Now, it’s time to give you some tips on how take advantage of this.

        Firstly, don’t limit learning to school

        If you want to progress in life, don’t rely on learning from a standard institute/place/educator. Instead, explore ways to learn and apply knowledge that is actually useful in your life. This can actively contribute to what you want to have and achieve the most. This ‘extracurricular’ learning could be through books, videos, courses, conferences or life experiences.

        Read outside your interests

        If you stick to what you already know and have an interest in, you’re unlikely to experience significant personal growth. Instead, look for ways of learning outside of your normal circle. For example, if you currently work as a writer – start learning a musical instrument. You’ll be amazed at just how much this helps your writing, and you’ll have a brand-new hobby to enjoy!

        Talk to smart people

        Have you noticed how successful people tend to hang around with other successful people? It’s no coincidence. High achievers are always networking with others and learning from them too. You can do the same. Lift your self-confidence a little higher, and start spending time with creative, positive and successful people. Once you do this, in a short time you’ll start to pick up on their ideas, their mindset and their action-orientated way of living. Let their success rub off on you.

        Question things and think beyond the obvious

        Break though your mental conditioning and start to think for yourself. Do this, and you’ll immediately begin questioning things you’ve been taught when you were younger. A new, super-sharp perspective on life will open you up to ideas and goals that could be the trigger-point for success and fortune.

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        If you take a look back at recent history, the great achievers all did something differently. Counted among those individuals would be: Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.

        Education is not only about learning and consuming

        Learning should not be a one-way street. In fact, experience shows, that you’ll learn much more through teaching, tutoring and mentoring others. Even if you don’t think you have a high level of skill – there’ll always be someone less skilled than you who would love to learn from you. My suggestion is to actively seek out opportunities to share your skills and knowledge. These are likely to be win-win situations.[2][3][4][5][6]

        Keep learning. Keep experiencing. Keep applying yourself.

        When you put yourself onto a never-ending road of learning, you’ll discover so many things about life and yourself that you’d never have thought possible. You’ll also easily out perform your peers – even if they previously achieved much more than you in the way of school grades.

        Education is bigger than school. It’s a way to keep learning, growing and enjoying.

        So, what will it be? Are you going to rely on your past academic achievements, or will you take control of your life right now by learning and developing through everything you encounter?

        I recommend the latter.

        Featured photo credit: Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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        Reference

        More by this author

        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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        Last Updated on July 21, 2021

        17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

        17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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        If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

        Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

        You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

        “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

        Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

        Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

        You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

        1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

        Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

        When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

        • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
        • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
        • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

        2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

        A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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        Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

        3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

        As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

        Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

        4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

        Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

        Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

        If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

        5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

        If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

        Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

        6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

        Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

        Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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        7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

        The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

        Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

        8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

        Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

        Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

        9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

        The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

        Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

        Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

        10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

        Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

        And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

        You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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        How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

        11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

        A short and sweet lesson for you:

        You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

        Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

        12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

        A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

        Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

        13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

        Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

        Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

        • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
        • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
        • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

        14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

        Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

        The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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        Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

        15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

        There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

        Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

        16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

        In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

        Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

        17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

        The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

        Keep your mission in mind.

        Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

        Final thoughts

        Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

        What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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