Success can be measured in a number of ways. Some see success as leading a happy, healthy life. Others see success as having a secure job with a strong income. Although definitions of success come in different shapes and forms, education remains key, from our early years as children to our oldest years as adults.
The reason education remains key is because it’s such an integrated aspect of our lives. From our first steps and first words to our development into adulthood, education permeates through every fibre of our being.
Although education in a defined sense means those years where we’re learning in school, education is a concept which follows us from the cradle to the grave.
An old Chinese proverb points to the power of learning over the course of a life. The proverb says “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”
As a species, we are constantly learning, and whether we’re going to a classroom, reading a newspaper or even browsing the web, we’re learning new things each and every day.
But although education is all around us, learning to harness its power is the real key to success.
Henry Ford, the industrialist and early pioneer of the automobile, once said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” The point he’s making is that we can’t rely on the education around us to succeed, we have to actively engage in learning.
Understanding how to harness the power of education is as straightforward as creating life goals. These can be simple goals, like learning to play an instrument or to speak a new language, to more challenging goals, like learning how to help the fight against coronavirus, climate change, world hunger and other global problems.
For those who are looking to challenge themselves, but aren’t quite up to tackling those big global problems, you may find that your goals involve creating a more secure life for yourself and your family. That may come by gaining that promotion you’ve been hoping for at work, a helpful pay rise, or by attaining the skills needed to apply for your dream job. In almost all of these cases, education can and will play a role.
With learning being a life long pursuit, there are also opportunities and resources for education at all stages and ages. You can enrol in a part time course, take the plunge and go back to school, college or university, or simply purchase a book and learn yourself.
There are also plenty of open access online resources, from Wikipedia to websites like Futurelearn.com, where knowledge can be acquired.
The former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill perhaps said it best when he remarked “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”. As long as we all continue to learn, we can find ways to achieve our goals.