Originally Posted On February 25, 2016
Has anyone watched the YouTube video Huge Quest!? The comedic story depicts someone who wants to get big so he keeps traveling around the world, eating everything in his way, growing, and continuing his path of HUGE! Eventually, he's on a universal level and he consumes everything. Because I love relating one thing to something completely unrelated this, of course, is a perfect comparison to the pursuit of knowledge - a quest that can continue until the end of the road!
But we aren't cartoons and we can never reach the endpoint of understanding. Meaning that we can't reach the end - the quest of education only ends in a triumphant death looking over the accomplishments of a triumphant life!
But the majority of people don't view the pursuit of knowledge so heroically. Because they are more content with a safe feeling of "understanding" rather than the discomfort that their knowledge is not the end-all. They reject new teachings and refuse to expand their horizons by continuing the pursuit of knowledge.
The sad truth is if you believe you've reached your full potential, you will never grow again and you will only restrict yourself. You will age, become set in your ways, lose your abilities, and become a mere shell of the being you once were - all the while confident in your lackluster abilities, unaware of the world around you.
It doesn't have to be this way! Reject the confidence of being "good enough" and continue to grow and blossom!
We live in an age where information is easier to find than ever before. Nearly every problem we will encounter has already been solved by someone else who then uploaded it to the internet! Not everyone can afford the commitment (money or time) to attend school, but that doesn't mean you can't experience the opportunity to learn and further educate yourself.
By utilizing our greatest knowledge resource, the internet, we can gain a deeper understanding of many things. One of the ways is by participating in MOOCs. These Massive Open Online Courses are online classes (often available for college credit or free personal gain) on a wide variety of subjects. They contain real information and are designed to be like a school environment, complete with lectures, assignments, and assessments. These are the real deal! So much so that even accredited universities are assigning these courses for their online students and giving out degrees in return for their successful completion and a tuiton charge.
But the great thing about these courses isn't the convience of being able to take a college class from home in your free time. The real perk is that for a large portion of these MOOCs anyone can register at no cost! Taking the course for free will not gain you college credit, but you will gain an understanding of the subject material if you make it through the entire course.
At the beginning of the month, I made an account on Coursera and signed up for a MBA-level MOOC on Fundamental Corporate Finance and the Capital Asset Pricing Model. I've finished the third week of course work and so far it's been enlightening! Despite the large amount of stock-related information I've been consuming recently, this course has taught me tons of new information and has offered a new way of assessing individual stocks and calculating portfolio risk and efficiency. As somone who really enjoys improving efficiency, the course has been a lot of fun!
With MBA-level information accessible at my fingertips, what reason do I have NOT to utilize it? If you find yourself in a living situation where you aren't learning anymore, I highly recommend signing up for one of these free courses (on any subject that interests you - art, science, business, anything) and advancing your understanding of interests important to you!