Education vs Experience

Education vs Experience

photo found on Etsy by Happy Letter Shop

What’s better – education or experience?

I already hear people saying, “Oh, one isn’t better than the other.” #fairness #diplomatic #noncommital

I go back and forth, on a fairly regular basis. And I haven’t always been sure why, until recently.

I see this woman sometimes. She’s a littler older, wiser – has a PhD in neuropsychology – interprets body language – studied with mystics. I have to see her every few months because that’s about the time I start questioning myself again.

When I made the decision to work for myself it was startling. Even though I was dead sure in my heart that I was making the right call at the time. But I’ve never been certain about anything for more than a few weeks at a time.

I’m noticing a pattern in the questions that show up in my head – did I make the right decision? do I have what it takes to work for myself? can I find structure in the midst of total freedom?

And when these questions arise – after a failure, during a difficult decision, or when I start feeling depressed.

She tells me that although there are a lot of theories, our ability to make decisions is usually run through two filters – fear and joy.

When you’re fearful, everything is life-threatening, the consequences are outrageous. But when you’re happy, nothing can touch you. You breeze through threats and challenges without much thought. You live more freely.

If I was always joyful, I wouldn’t hesitate to become an expert at everything in the world. I wouldn’t question the use of my time or think there was something better I could be doing. I would engage in learning something new everyday and I would stick with it until I really knew it. And I would trust that the accumulation of knowledge and skills would create a sense of satisfaction that I am seeking in life.

I’m searching for a sense freedom when I don’t actually know what I’m doing, when fear is present. During the times when my face is sweating and I can’t sleep at night because someone is going to ask me a question and I’m not going to have the right answer and they’ll realize I’m a total fake and it’s possible that I’m about to fall flat on my face and look like an idiot. I hate not knowing what I’m doing. It’s so uncomfortable. It’s worse than crawling skin. And that feeling is almost enough to shut down my ideas before they get rolling.

But then I think about the joy I feel after I do something new, or overcome a mental obstacle. I’m talking, really stick with something that I am curious about inside and not giving up the second it becomes too foreign, or when I start to notice people questioning me, or thinking I’m weird – dismantling me with their projections. When I overcome that, I don’t even need anything else after. No drugs, alcohol, approval from other people, money, fame, nothing – it’s a real moment when I’m certain that I’m spending my time wisely and you couldn’t take that away from me with the jaws of life.

Sometimes I feel unqualified to make the choices that I do. And I assume that other people know more than me about things because of their education. And I think that when I put content out to the world there is someone right around the corner doing it better. And one day everyone is going to realize that I’m making all this shit up and have no right to speak on anything.

It makes me want to go back to school or get a certificate so I can lean on a piece of paper when in question. But let’s face it, that paper is barely good enough to wipe my ass with. Education can never compare to life – it doesn’t provide the same satisfaction or information as an actual experience. It’s only fear that keeps me from remembering that everyday when I wake up.

Freedom comes from courage. Experience is the reward.

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