The purpose of education.

My friend Amit took an extra year to complete his engineering degree. Yes, he failed a year. There were enough people who mocked him and laughed at him. His parents were concerned. They were happy that he had a friend like me, a moderately studious student. They felt I would be a good influence in his life.

Today, Amit runs a large organisation. They construct residential complexes in Pune. They have scaled up from a few people to having more that 200 people working for them. Amit has a fantastic top team of people who come from various backgrounds. Each of them is an expert in their field - be it finance, marketing, design, liasoning, or operations. Amit is a visionary. He has big dreams. He is passionate about what he does, and want to do 100 times more. Today he is a man of action. And I am very sure, he will make it happen.

When I asked him what drives him, pat came his answer - he said, ‘Aditya, I just love building. When I meet a satisfied customer, when I can sort out some issues that a customer has, when I see my customers smile, I come home a satisfied man. That’s what excites me.’ He says he can do this work for16 hours a day, and he does not get tired. It only energises him more and more.

My dear friends, I have studied at one of the best management institutes in India. Let me assure you, they do not teach you this in MBA colleges.

I truly believe my friends Amit’s success is not based on what he knows. Its not based what he studied. It’s based on how he thinks. The special quality about Amit is that he knows what he doesn’t know. Thats right. He has the humility to accept that there are enough things that he just does not know. I’m repeating this because it is so important. And, Amit has no ego about asking for help. He has no ego about asking people who are better than him in some aspect to come and work with him. He is not insecure that they will steal his limelight. He says, ‘I just want to do great things. Come, lets do some great things together! Please teach me what you know.’ He does not say ‘I know it all. Come, I’ll show you what to do. Follow my instructions, or get lost.'

The most dangerous thing is when I THINK I know. And lo and behold, I have now become closed to learning. Someone said it correctly, “the more I know, the less I learn!"

The American publisher of Forbes magazine, Malcolm Forbes, is known to have said “The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind, with an open mind." If my car is already full of passengers, then is no space for anyone else to join. If my mind is already full, and I am unwell to let some of it go, then there is no space to learn anything new.

Thank you dear Amit, and thank you my dear mentor Naren, for living by this and teaching me this important lesson in my life. I will never allow knowledge to create arrogance in me, but only more humility and more open-ness.

With loads of Love and & Gratitude


This is from the original article we published on