Searching is a Sign of Success

Facts are free for everyone to find but comprehension is much more important than ever before.

Searching is a Sign of Success

I was reading an interesting article this morning which discussed out education system.

The precis is that memorising facts or information is important in some areas of learning but unless you can apply that information to contemporary pursuits, it isn't so important.

The writer summed it up as saying anyone who can simply recite facts without real-world application is just a worse form of Google.

While recognising factual recall is valuable for improving one's 'well-roundedness' and is vital in some instances (e.g. learning a language), comprehension of data is a far more valuable skill.

However, in an age where information is everywhere and freely available, it is surprising just how many people can't be bothered to even search for the answer to their questions. Instead, they throw them at others, expecting them to solve whatever problem is at hand.  

It begs the questions that if an answer can be supplied so easily by Google is it a worthwhile question to ask someone else? For the record, I am not talking about general conversation but an individual taking specific action (letter or email) asking another for information.

I had so much personal experience of this as a politician. The thousands of emails sent to me every week were notable because more than 95 per cent of them could have been answered through a Google search.

It was hard to really respect the genuineness of the person who wrote asking what I thought about changes to the marriage act or immigration or an Australian republic when so much information was already available online.

The individuals sending those request clearly had access to the Internet,  they were emailing me after all. But their actions demonstrated  they just couldn't be bothered doing even the most basic research for themselves.

It's different if someone shows they have tried to find the information but had some trouble understanding it or implementing some instructions. After all, there is value in having an experienced voice fill in some blanks or adding some interpretation.

Unfortunately it now seems too many want to outsource almost all their thinking to others.

When I was a politician, of the many student requests we received for assistance with research projects, the students who demonstrated some preliminary level of inquiry and understanding before contacting me, were always better received than those who had done no background work.

The consequences of the latter approach is felt in multiple ways.

An entire generation of potential entrepreneurs won't do even the most basic things for themselves and instead look for a step by step guide to follow before they will start. Such guides exist but they still require comprehension, innovation and interpretation to prove fruitful.

It's one thing to tell someone how to start a profitable internet business (for example) but unless they understand the principles and foundations of what they are doing, the business is much less likely to succeed.

It's the same in almost every other area of life. Learning from others can be a way to truncate the self-development process but unless you can understand the how and why of what they did and apply it to your circumstances, the benefit will be reduced.

Even more importantly, unless you have the wherewithal to take independent action for yourself, there is no way you can succeed.

Perhaps the greatest indication of that success potential is if someone have even bothered to search Google for the information before expecting someone else to answer it.

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