Education

The best advice I’ve received: Never stop studying

Hiroshi Mikitani
CEO, Rakuten Inc
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Education?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Education is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Education

Many students around the world have recently finished their classes before taking a holiday break. I have no doubt they had tests before their classes ended. Those who studied surely did well.

This reminds me of the best advice I ever received came from my favorite college professor – and I was not all that happy to hear it at the time.

“Study your entire life. Study everything.”

This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was not a patient student. I was the type who preferred to cram the night before rather than spread my studying over time. I certainly didn’t envision studying over my entire life.

But I have realized my professor was absolutely right. The key to success is to never stop studying.

Think of it in terms of an athlete. Does an athlete stop practicing when he turns professional? Of course not. He continues to practice. The day he stops, he is no longer an athlete.

The same is true in any profession. When you are in school, of course you study. But when you leave school, that is hardly the time to stop studying – just as it would be a terrible time for an athlete to stop practicing. As you enter professional life, you need to study to maintain your position and to advance.

What to I mean by study? Study anything. Everything.

  • Study a new language. At Rakuten, we require our employees to learn English. Even when they learn, we require them to improve. We make language study part of the everyday work of our company.
  • Study history. I am often inspired by great moments in history – for example, the way in which President John F. Kennedy was able to inspire and lead the U.S. science community to put a man on the moon.
  • Study success. All over the world, new processes are being invented. When we study successful people and companies, we see ways we can improve our own lives today.

Study your entire life, even if it is just an hour a day. The studying you do today will determine the person you will be in five years. What will that person of the future achieve?

This article is published in collaboration with LinkedIn. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

To keep up with Forum:Agenda subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Author: Hiroshi Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten Inc.

Image: A Master of Business Administration (MBA) student works on a computer in a library at Management Development Institute (MDI) in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi May 2, 2012. REUTERS.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

With Generative AI we can reimagine education — and the sky is the limit

Oguz A. Acar

February 19, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum