Too Much Learning

The modern myth: that more education is the answer to all problems.

I’m a fan of education. But I disagree. Action takes precedence over education. Learning is often another excuse to postpone action.

If you are going to do something, to start something you have never done before, it is smart and often necessary to seek education. To take a course, or read a book. It is important to learn the foundations, to have a starting point.

But from there, you have to do it. From the outset, learning must be complementary to action: it must be sought to solve obstacles in the way, or to move to a new level of mastery, after reaching a plateau. One should not seek education for its own sake.

Learning is a tool, not a philosophy.

Some things that – during any given process, trip,  or project – are more useful than reading a book or taking a course:

  1. Find a mentor or coach who can witness your process and evaluate you objectively. Someone who can point out specific areas of improvement.
  2. Be part of a community with the same goals. The exchange of knowledge is a form of learning, to be sure, but it is the motivation of having comrades by your side and the pressure of keeping up with the group that can help overcome many obstacles.
  3. Experimenting. Consider spending the time and money you would spend on learning trying out something new instead, and seeing how it works out.

Learning how to read, to see, and to listen is good.

Learning how to do is better.

Photo Credit: marcoverch Flickr via Compfight cc