Being Educated DOES NOT Mean You Are Smart

Being Educated Does Not
Mean You Are Smart 

I have been pursuing higher education for the past 7 years, having obtained two degrees, and currently working on a doctorate, and even I believe that being educated does not mean you are smart. Unfortunately, it also doesn't mean you are successful. It's a hard concept to be told, especially if you have spent considerable time in post-secondary education, however the sooner you recognize it the better equipped you will be to use it to your advantage.

Educated ≠ Smart ≠ Successful

Education is a system, and as you quickly realize, it's also an industry. An industry that runs on its own clock and is just like any other one. In colleges and universities, the "employee" equivalent to the job market can be considered the students, who are trying to advance in their field and move up the ladder (only they don't get paid for their time...). Some are looking to have a greater advantage at obtaining a job in the "real world", which I think IS smart. However like employees, many students won't make it any further than entry level positions. This is what we (on the inside) call "the sad truth". So while you might be what is considered "book smart", that doesn't mean you are automatically successful.

When it really comes down to it, it's 2018, and the unfortunate truth is that many people consider "success" being synonymous with monetary wealth. So does education at least equal more MONEY? Not really. According to Stats Canada, the median pay for graduates in Canada with a bachelors degree is $53,000. This is marginally greater than the average salary of all working Canadians, which is just over $51, 000. The good news for academics? If you do go on to obtain a higher education degree (masters, doctorate), the average salary is closer to $70, 000, but even this number doesn't impress some of the "successful" people we know. But there is still something those who are educated have that others don't.

Median pay for graduates with bachelors degree = $53,000
Average salary of all working Canadians = $51,200

If you are educated, you ARE knowledgeable. Those who are educated likely have a better understanding of their field of study than someone who did not attend the same program. But knowledge does not mean smart. As one of my old professors told me (and something that taught me more than any classroom did):

"being educated just means you have memorized facts that 
other people discovered a long time ago".

That doesn't make you smart. That means you mastered the art of using flash cards throughout your education and were able to regurgitate it during your test or exam well enough to pass. Repeat that over and over again, and you got a degree. And having a degree, as we've already discussed, doesn't equate to success on a monetary basis.

So what DOES being educated give you, if not the ability to claim your smart or successful? Like anything, being educated gives you TOOLS to be successful. It means you know something that most others don't, but the most important thing you NEED to do is APPLY IT, and here's how:

Take the knowledge you have and use it to your advantage. You know more than the majority of others who are outside your field, so leverage this to increase your merit.

Create something. Develop a system, piece of equipment or even an idea, but don't rely on your ability to just have to DO. And once you figure out what it is you can DO, keep doing it.

Keep acquiring the knowledge.

Keep building and growing and learning from your mistakes. If you do all this, and stay persistent, you're sure to find success. And that sounds pretty smart to me.

Thanks for reading,
Kalan Anglos

Kalan is a High Performance Expert & Ph.D. Candidate who aims to optimize YOUR performance for both sport and every day life. He is recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), and has obtained his MSc. Kinesiology degree at the University of Victoria. Through his masters thesis research, Kalan has established and implemented the KFit Test Battery for Combat Sport Athletes which is used by both Karate BC & Karate Canada as their standard fitness test for athletes across the country. Additionally, Kalan is an exercise prescription & physiology lab instructor at the University of Victoria, and trains individuals every day to help meet their fitness needs and goals. He has many years of experience both as an elite athlete and high performance coach and is knowledgeable in the many fields surrounding high performance.