Never Stop Learning!

by Oct 13, 2022Success

Many people stop learning the day they leave school. Why? Because after 10 or 20 or 30 years of teachers telling them what to do, what to learn and how to think, most have unpleasant memories of their curriculum.

After all, going to school is extrinsically-motivated education: the motivation is external, to get good grades and get a degree.

By contrast, once you graduate, taking a course, reading a non-fiction book or attending a conference requires intrinsic motivation – from within.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Self-motivation means that your internal drive makes you look for ways to acquire new knowledge to improve your life – personal, financial or professional.

The problem is that some have waited years for graduation day, as if it symbolized their first day of freedom.

Quite the opposite. Those who stop learning are not free.

They are the most likely to become trapped.

They are the most likely to adopt the opinions of their neighbor, the newspaper, TV commentators, commercials and an endless list of gimmicks.

They are the most likely to embrace new fads, to believe self-proclaimed experts, to follow advice from Dr. Google, to become a puppet on the strings of a puppet master or to follow harmful financial advice.

They are the most likely to unintentionally misguide pet owners.

They are the most likely to use old drugs, old dosages, old protocols.

I don't think much of a man or woman who is not wiser today than he or she was yesterday. - Abraham Lincoln

I could give countless real-life examples, but I will refrain from it, out of respect for colleagues who sadly don’t know any better.

We are so fortunate to work in a field that is ever-evolving. Truths from a few years ago have been replaced with new findings. Treatments that seemed acceptable a few years ago are now considered obsolete. Old dogmas have been replaced by new rules.

  • Placing a mouth-gag in a cat can cause blindness. Who knew?
  • The correct dosage of famotidine doubled a few years ago. Who knew?
  • Tramadol, adored for years, has essentially become a drug of the past. Who knew?
  • The only treatment for a torn ACL is a not simple nylon suture. Who knew?
  • Not going to the bathroom for a whole shift, not drinking any water all day, binging on pink donuts and shots of caffeine energy drinks is not a sustainable way of life. Who knew?

The list goes on…

Woman with dog and book.

These new findings should be fuel for your brain. Every day should be an adventure in learning, progress and growth. Journals should be a source of new, exciting knowledge, rather than expensive dust-collection devices. Conferences should be a way to seek new knowledge, not a way to get CE credits while you play golf or get a mani-pedi (not that anybody in our profession would ever do that).

I work with a wonderful nurse who starts each training session with “This is what I’m teaching you today, but be aware that tomorrow, someone with many letters after their name might publish a paper that will prove this wrong.”

So it should be quite the opposite. The day you graduate should be the day your real education should start.

If you want to learn more about personal finance and practice finance, join us virtually for the 2022 Veterinary Financial Summit on October 22 & 23.  

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free Certified