“Much learning does not teach understanding.” ~-Heraclitus (540?- 480?)
Learning, which I am a huge proponent of (I have the student loans to prove it) is much different from understanding and more importantly implementing. For without implementation learning is just idle activity.
The whole point of education is so we can then implement our knowledge by going forth and conquering so to speak. Learning is a means to an end, not the end and certainly not an appropriate way to excuse away doing the actual work. Learning enhances work, not replaces it.
I, myself have recently faced down this epic battle in my head while thinking of returning to school for an additional M.A. and an eventual PhD. Here is the thing…I admit I LOVE learning, love reading, love classes, etc. And fortunately I have concluded that I love them because they further empower me in my joyful journey. And along that journey there is work always going on! Learning and work can walk hand in hand. Work does not follow learning. Work co-exist with it.
Is there a difference between learning just to learn and learning to implement? You bet there is! Chances are you’ve seen it in your workplace. The scenario goes like this… Everyone researches, committees are formed, sub-committees are formed and there is input and evaluation ad nauseum. People get burned out, not because of the time invested in learning, but rather when the implementation does not take place. Need further proof follow Seth Godin’s blog or read his fantastic books!
So in summary, learning is fantastic, but it is not an appropriate avenue in lieu of activity and advancement. Learning is just learning. It is you that still has to (gets to) do the work.