Building Community Through Better Relationships

No Journey, No Treasure

If you have a treasure map, which is more important: the journey or the treasure? As a trainer and educator, this debate looks like the conflict between academic and practical education. Learning wrestles with this ongoing tension. Ultimately, people learn in order to improve their quality of life. Whether the objective is a degree, intellectual curiosity, or new skills the process determines the success. But which one takes priority?

Unsurprisingly, several processes, techniques and approaches are available for better learning. However, the motivation for self-improvement is more limited, and is definitely individualized. Success results from prioritizing a specific objective, identifying the path to achieve it and valuing the accomplishment. So focusing on value, is it the journey or the treasure?

The Journey
When pursuing new knowledge a map is helpful. It leads to the treasure. The map has value in itself. Pirate movies famously show heroic battles for treasure maps. But, the map is not the treasure! A class, webinar, or lecture may deliver critical information. The investment of time and money can provide a return so that the student becomes more productive or better compensated. Nevertheless, realizing full value requires additional steps. Even when learning for personal curiosity, the true value comes in applying or sharing the new knowledge. Indeed, the education journey can be exciting. But applying newly learned knowledge often results in maximizing value.

The Treasure
In other cases learning yields direct results. Completing a training program may immediately result in higher compensation for a professional. Or in the example of passing the bar, enduring academic processes and subsequent testing satisfy a life goal that leads to more prestige. If pursuing knowledge means securing wealth, the motivation is clear. The map has a clear purpose, and the learner is ready to endure even more pain beyond acquiring the map. However, the learner must be certain that the riches will be worth the sacrifice required to achieve them. Being properly motivated is great. But being properly rewarded has to follow.

The Objective
Eventually, it all comes down to “why”. Learning for curiosity is noble. Studying for personal reward has clear motivation. However, acquiring knowledge to achieve a clear objective is enduring! With a transcendent purpose behind the learning, the student will be driven and persistent in pursuing the end result. When learners approach acquiring knowledge from a growth perspective, the drive, the curiosity, the reward all come together. Ultimately learning with a clear objective yields the best results. Satisfaction is there for the taking.

The best value for any educational investment results from a clear focus on a specific life enhancing outcome. Successfully attaining more knowledge goes beyond just keeping score. GPA’s are important, but they are not the final judgment. Acquire and apply new facts and insights. Enjoy growth through new knowledge. Too often, individuals accomplish goals and feel empty. Brilliant people engaging in self-destructive behaviors are a cliché. But, by constantly seeking and growing, the next adventure will yield new surprises and experiences. “You don’t stop playing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop playing.” Pursue life and learning with a youthful exuberance!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond


December 8, 2014 - Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , ,

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