Progress doesn’t occur in predictive, linear direction. Matter of fact, progress most of the time, occur when something unexpected come on the way, taking us out of the comfort zone. When you are in those situations, there is no choice but try to come with a solution. It took me years to get it, but now I am convinced, that is the best way to learn.
I knew this before, but something inside was telling me, that I am wrong and is impossible to self learn. I spent all my life (and several thousands) believing in the formal educational system with the hope that it will give me the tools and knowledge to reach my professional objectives. In the end, I ended up applying other things that the theory that I learned in school.
Honestly, I would say that currently I apply barely 10 – 15% of what I learned in almost 8 years of higher education. I would have learned maybe much more, if I would have done more internships and voluntary jobs.
Nevertheless the job market is ruthless and competitive, and formal credential still help you to put in the game. Without the diploma, you start with a huge handicap based on implicit market rules.
I really admire the ones who are starters. Entrepreneurs who without formal academic background but with practice, dedication, perseverance and courage. They take risks and try again and again and again. Sometimes I think if I would have just traveled to New York, without any contact how I would have survives. Maybe necessity would push me to be creative, and now I would have my own company.
Real learning happens by doing. When you are struggling figuring out what to do, and discovering solutions by trial and error, you learn. When you need to process and organize all the information, in a way that help you out to reach your goals. When you start knowing who are the key players, and how you have to action strategically. That is when learning happens.
I believe formal education is totally overrated. You would never learn how to deal with real problems and personalities in the real world in a confined classroom. If I could travel back time, I would have more confidence in myself, and I would have going out more, would have talked with people who I admire, and I wouldn’t waited to have my degree.
Life is happening now. Learning is when you live.