Do you love to learn? Even though you finished your degree and are proficient in your field, do you still find yourself searching for new information?
Years ago when I finished college, I had a hole – a big black void that I used to fill with homework, writing papers, and studying for exams. That sounds ridiculous right? When you’re in school, the one thing you can’t wait for is to finally be done!
At around this same time, my responsibilities at work began to escalate and I began to fill that “learning” void by reading lots of books about how to be a better working professional . I picked up ones about management, leadership, sales, text message marketing, and many others (go to my “Books” section to browse a few of the titles).
Continuing my education in this fashion felt like a very natural way to further my quest for knowledge.
What Was I Actually Accomplishing?
This seemed to be a sufficient strategy until one day when I was talking with one of my superiors. I mentioned some of the books I had been reading and he then posed a very simple question:
• What results have you gotten out of what you’re doing?
Naturally, I was a bit defensive. I began to declare all the theories I had learned and how I planned to apply them. But then I realized my error.
Had I become more concerned about “the act of learning” rather than actually creating results? Was I actually “applying” anything I had learned?
Running on a Treadmill:
If I asked you why you went to college, you’d say because you wanted to get a job. If I asked you why you went to get a Masters degree or special certification, you’ say because you wanted to advance your career or get paid more.
Although the “are you getting any results” question was directed at whether or not I was making things better at work, I began to interpret it in regards to a broader scope of things. What were ANY of my efforts actually resulting in? Would getting another degree translate into more pay? Would taking on more projects result in a promotion? Would you be a more fulfilled person?
I began to realize that my efforts were only so limited, and that perhaps I needed to look at the big picture before blindly engaging in any new activity. I didn’t want to just be running in place.
Turning Ideas Into Something Tangible:
In many ways, this blog is a testament to that question.
It’s okay to read books about retirement, stocks, investing, etc. But if you don’t ever try to practice these strategies or put forth your efforts, then what are you actually doing?
Among the personal finance books I’ve read, I began to notice a re-occurring theme: “You need to start some type of side business through creating passive income”. This meant any combination of investing, collecting real estate, starting a business, or making money on the Internet.
Rather than reading about other people getting rich, I decided I would actually try the whole blog thing for myself. I knew I wouldn’t make millions overnight (and am still far from it), but I knew I’d never make a dime if I didn’t try something! This blog “is” my result.
Readers: Are you getting anything out of learning, or do you just love to learn? Do you feel there is any benefit to going on to get advanced degrees or certifications? What results have you feel you have accomplished through your efforts?