When I got my business degree in 2011, I was ready to start my career.
I wanted to start a business, earn money, and also invest. Those were my main priorities for the past seven years.
I did all those things. You know what I found?
Every decision you make in life is either an investment or a waste.
Here’s what I mean:
- Browsing social media for hours is a waste of your time
- Eating junk food is a waste of your health
- Having a job that makes you miserable is a waste of your energy
- Working out is an investment in your health
- Spending time with people you care about is an investment in relationships and personal wellbeing
- Reading, taking courses, watching informational videos, are investments in your education
Those last three things are all good. And investing in your education has the highest return on investment. Why?
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We live in a competence economy. Power lies in the hands of those who know how to solve problems that society needs an answer to.
In a way, that’s always been the case. In the hunter-gatherer days, the best hunters were the most successful people.
That’s why we need to improve our skills if we want to survive, let alone be successful.
And how do you get skills? By learning them — which is hard. That’s why I believe investing in your education is better than any monetary investment there is.
But there’s a problem with that
You see, education, learning, knowledge — it’s all perishable. Not only do you lose it if you don’t use it. But you also lose your knowledge if you don’t improve it. You simply forget.
That’s what I didn’t get for most of my life. Education is not something you accumulate and that will remain in your head forever.
But now, I consider education like food, water, air, and exercise. You need a constant supply. That’s why I invest most of my time and money on my education.
You also don’t breathe once a year, right? So why do you only read one book a year? It doesn’t make sense. Education is critical to your survival in the modern world.
When education is applied, it produces income
You can lose everything you’ve gained in life. Your money, job, clients, reputation, house, car, and even the people you love.
The only possession you will never lose? You guessed it: Knowledge (if you keep investing in it).
If you learn how to build a business, you will always be able to make money.
If you have a skill that people depend on, you will never be out of a job.
There’s only one condition: You must apply the things you learn. Without application, knowledge is useless. Everyone knows that. Again, few apply it.
The reason I invest so much time and money on educating myself is this: Education is a survival strategy.
Let’s face it, we all hate uncertainty. And education is our safety net (don’t get ‘education’ and ‘degrees’ mixed up. It’s education that matters; not degrees).
It’s not easy. In fact, learning, studying, getting degrees, and mastering skills are some of the hardest things in life.
- Going to school is hard
- Reading two books a week is hard
- Following an online course in the evening after a long day is hard
- And that’s exactly why most people don’t do it.
Thanks to the information revolution of the past decades, you have all the opportunity in the world to learn more.
To me, it’s madness if you’re not investing in your self-education every single day. I prioritize learning over everything in life. I’m not just trying to make a point.
“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” — Erasmus
I really prioritize education over food, relationships, health, clothes, and the other things of life. You know why? If I don’t, the other things are not as good.
And it’s very simple. My goal is to read/learn/practice just 30 minutes a day.
That’s not a lot to ask for, right? Because if you don’t have 30 minutes to spend on your education; what kind of life do you have?
Education is important; we know that by know. We just have to make it a priority.
Nonetheless, as with many things in life, we don’t do the things we know. Especially not in the long-term.
Everyone can get started – few persist
The way I see it; there are only two options. You either learn or die. Within an instant, you can decide to invest in your education for the rest of your life.
Abraham Maslow put it best:
“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”
I’ve got my mind made up. Which one do you choose?