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Key to Success

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Key to Success

What is education? According to the Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English it is defined as “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university and the theory and practice of teaching”. In my opinion success requires not only formal education but the positive attitude, drive and vision through informal education.

What is formal education? It is the interaction between students and a teacher that is required for a student to obtain some sort of people pursue formal education in the hope that obtaining a degree or certificate will open the window of opportunity, help them gain social status and financial security. Education obtained in school teaches essential skills for the working world and it changes and mold behaviour of an individual so that the person will become a responsible for member of society. Two years ago, one of my teachers said “To be a productive member in our society, you need to get a formal education”. This statement seems to be true when one considers that we live in a complex and competitive society; many jobs are unavailable to those without an education. For example, in order to be a nurse, a person needs a nursing certificate from a recognized educational institution and pass the national board exam to get a license to work. However, is formal education the only way to success?

Most of us believe that education from school is more important than the education obtained outside an institution. Our society thinks that receiving a diploma or degree is the necessary first step towards success. However, some of the world’s most famous and wealthiest billionaires are college dropouts. For instance, the youngest billionaire in the world, Mark Zuckerberg, dropped out from Harvard University and later co-developed Facebook. Obviously, his success did not happen overnight, but through his personal belief in what he was doing and his passion for computer programming. He had the courage to tackle a big project and he succeeded, even though he was a college drop out. Like Zuckerberg, I do not believe that only certificates from institutions will bring us the things we want in life. Instead, it is informal education that teaches us to explore and expand our world. One does not learn to become brave by sitting in a classroom. No college can teach curiosity or teach us who we truly are. Formal education gives people false confidence because knowing a lot of facts does not make you successful. It is how you use what you know, and this skill can only be learned outside the classroom.

If a formal education does not guarantee success, what type of informal education is needed to help us achieve our goals? Informal education consists of a lesson learned from experiences outside the classroom. Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines started from poverty and now is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. His life was not always easy: his father left his family for his mistress, Pacquiao was unable to continue school because his family was now penniless, he left home at the age of 12 and lived on the street selling cigarettes. Through his positive work attitude, hard working nature and dedication to achieve his dream to become a boxer, he is now a successful professional boxer, a product endorser, politician and singer. Pacquiao did not learn his positive work attitude from school. He acquired the skills necessary for success from the informal environment of the Manila streets and people who helped him.

In conclusion, a formal education may be a stepping stone to fulfilling an individual’s dreams, but success requires us to also develop a positive attitude and the motivation to get up each day and face the challenges of an impossible task or environment. In many cases, such as with Mark Zuckerberg and Manny Pacquiao, these skills are not learned in school but in the much more dynamic and risky environment of the real world.

References:

"education." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. 5 Aug. 2011 .

Pilkington, Ed (March 10, 2011). "Forbes rich list: Facebook six stake their claims". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved March 30, 2011

Kroll, Luisa, ed (March 5, 2008). In Pictures: Youngest Billionaires: Mark Zuckerberg, U.S.: Age 23: $1.5 billion, self-made. Forbes.

"Billionaire Dropouts". Pennylicious. 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2011-01-30.

"Manny Pacquiao". PhilBoxing.com. Retrieved September 4, 2007.

"Manny Pacquiao". Canadastarboxing.com. Retrieved May 9, 2011.

References: "education." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009. Encyclopedia.com. 5 Aug. 2011 . Pilkington, Ed (March 10, 2011). "Forbes rich list: Facebook six stake their claims". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved March 30, 2011 Kroll, Luisa, ed (March 5, 2008). In Pictures: Youngest Billionaires: Mark Zuckerberg, U.S.: Age 23: $1.5 billion, self-made. Forbes. "Billionaire Dropouts". Pennylicious. 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2011-01-30. "Manny Pacquiao". PhilBoxing.com. Retrieved September 4, 2007. "Manny Pacquiao". Canadastarboxing.com. Retrieved May 9, 2011.

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