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Why Education is Better Than School

Why Education is Better Than School

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

        Reference

        More by this author

        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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        Published on November 20, 2019

        14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

        14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

        Personal goal setting starts with having a destination in mind.

        If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother moving forward? You’ll just get more lost or find yourself back where you started again.

        “If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will take you there.”- Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

        You have to have a destination of who you want to become in order to get there.

        Personal goals will be easier to make if you know where you want to go.

        You must start with how to get there and break down the steps. These steps must be realistic.

        That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big; in fact,

        “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.”

        Dream big no matter what but be realistic at the same time. Be open to detours, too.

        According to Action for Happiness[1], ways to make goals include deciding on goals, writing steps down, telling someone about it and plan out each step.

        Here I will outline 14 personal goals that can help you become a better you:

        1. Live Authentically

        You don’t have time to be living your life as someone else. All you can do is be yourself. You must choose to be who you really are. That’s the best way to live.

        Being yourself is not easy though. It requires dedication to your values and dreams. You won’t be able to be authentic without losing your fear of what others think of you.

        There’s only one way to be successful in this life and it’s if you do it for the right reasons. It’s if you choose yourself. It’s not until you find that you will be free.

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        Get inspired by my other article: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

        2. Take Time for You in Self-Care Prioritization

        Self-care is not something you should take for granted. Often, we don’t prioritize it well enough. Some examples include finding time for yourself, do things that make you feel good. Get dietary advice to eat healthy and exercise to improve your health.

        Take a break. Go outside. Relax. Read a book or watch a good movie with someone you love. It’s about rewarding yourself with your joys and hobbies.

        You can find more examples here: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

        Self-care is not selfish. It’s important to find time for yourself so that you CAN give more of yourself to the areas of life you need to. You deserve it. You are worth it. Remember that.

        3. Don’t Take Things Personally

        The less you are concerned with others, the more you can focus on doing what matters most to you. What others say does not reflect the real you. It is just their perception, which may not be the full picture or the truth.

        People who try to hurt you are not happy.

        “Happy people don’t try to bring other people down.” – Anonymous.

        That’s why it’s just not worth holding on to their words.

        When you refuse to take things personally, it’s because you know who you are.

        4: Decide What You Stand for

        4. Decide to Be Who You Are Meant to Be

        Look for things you are passionate about. Advocate to make yourself and others heard. Join groups that support your beliefs.

        “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”- Anonymous.

        So, decide what you value and what you stand for. Then, you can do anything.

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        Take a look at this guide if you aren’t sure what you’re passionate about: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

        5. Find the Silver Lining

        Find happiness in any situation by finding the silver lining. You can decide to be happy because of the good you find. You must choose to look at the good.

        People often think about the bad first, and they dwell on it. It’s human nature, but if you can look for the good or the silver lining, you will be happier for it.

        You can learn from any situation or use any situation to better yourself or humanity. Take that and you will overcome it all.

        6. Do Something Good for Someone

        Instead of just focusing on your problems, do good for someone. It will not only take your mind off what problems you have, but also help you see that you are capable of doing good — right, you still have things to offer.

        There are many opportunities to do good. Volunteering, checking on a friend or family member, get involved in a project that serves your community, etc.

        The more good you do, the better you will feel.

        7. Practice Daily Positive Self Talk

        Every day is a new day. The way you talk to yourself is how you can ensure you build resilience and endurance through any challenge.

        Here are some positive self talk examples:

        “Things may have not gone my way but I can see the good in the situation still.”

        “At least I am alive. I have my health, my abilities and the opportunities to use what I have for good.”

        “I am worthwhile.”

        “I can do it.”

        Even more here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

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        The more you practice positive self talk, the more you will overcome and accomplish.

        8. Surrender, When Necessary

        When you surrender, you give in to the current rather than fight against it. It means you value inner peace most of all. You don’t sacrifice your inner peace for anything. You know your worth, and you are willing to see how a situation unfolds. You don’t try to force solutions either.

        Instead of forcing solutions, you allow the best ones to come forth. You also know how to use what you have. You don’t fight against your situation. You instead use it.

        When you surrender, you are accepting what is. This makes it easier to move forward.

        9. Ask for Help in One Area of Your Life

        We are often taught that needing help is a sign of weakness but it is actually a sign of strength. It’s developing skills that you might not be as well versed in. It’s developing mentor/mentee relationships to help you succeed.

        Success is subjective to every individual. When you are developing yourself, you need others’ input. You need help to be who you are meant to be.

        There is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help instead opens doors for you that you may not have been able to open yourself.

        10. Never Stop Learning

        Learning is meant to be lifelong. You can follow your interests, and everything is a “Internet Search Engine” away. But how to really commit to this? Take another class, sign up for a workshop, read books on the subject of interest, develop new hobbies…

        In Success Magazine,[2] Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich suggests 3 techniques to never stop learning:

        “1. Embrace the Mind of a Child.
        2. Put yourself in the hands of a trusted teacher.
        3. Read, read, read.” Overall, be responsible for your own growth in life.

        You are never too old to learn something new. Start today.

        11. Set Boundaries and Say No When Appropriate

        Having boundaries can feel uncomfortable because we are telling others what we do not accept. It is also necessary for healthy relationships. You will use them to protect yourself, your heart and your mind.

        No one can make you do anything. If you are uncomfortable with something, you have a right to say no. Those who truly care about you will not be offended. You are also setting the bar high, or setting an example for others who are too scared to have boundaries too.

        You will make better choices if you have better boundaries: How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

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        12. Follow Your Gut

        Trust your instincts. They are trying to tell you what to trust in.

        You may not want to do something but feel pressured to do it. Your gut is the one speaking to you, telling you not to do it if you don’t want to. It can save you from many things, for example preventing you from making poor choices.

        When you follow your gut, you preserve your interests and secure yourself.

        13. Do What You Love

        Are you doing what you love? You must choose what you can’t live without. Don’t sacrifice that for anything. Life is too short.

        Your best also comes out when you are doing what you love. You can give more, do more if you’re happy with what you are doing.

        So, do what you love. Don’t question it: Why You Should Always Do What You Love (And How to Do It)

        14. Appreciate What You Have

        Good Deeds Day defines gratitude as,[3]

        “Gratitude allows us to recognize good in our lives. Focusing and appreciating the good in our lives constantly reminds us about the great things all around us… Gratitude allows us to see that the sources of that good are usually close by. Practicing gratitude allows us to recognize those who bring goodness into our lives and humbles us in order to give credit to those we are grateful for.”

        At the end of the day, you need to recognize what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. You must choose gratitude as your attitude in order to live a happier, better life. You will win then.

        Counting your blessings everyday will help you bring in more blessings. You are limitless. You will overcome more too if you have that positive perspective.

        Appreciating what you have starts with the simple things in life. Recognize what’s working. Find your reason to hold on. And then change the world.

        Here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For if you need some reminders.

        Final Thoughts

        Goal setting is about finding what will better yourself and lead you to happiness. You will find peace with yourself when you are on the right path.

        You have to make the decision to make the best of everything, and you have to remember what really matters. Your goals will shape you for the rest of your life.

        Good luck!

        More About Goals Setting

        Featured photo credit: Anika Huizinga via unsplash.com

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