Learning To Live

by Patrick Liew on July 6, 2011

I wrote this reflection in Café Buendia. This is an Italian café at Henley-On-Thames, an idyllic English market town with boutique shops lining both sides of a one-lane street.

For a week every year, this quaint village will attract people from all over the world to witness the Henley Royal Regatta.

It is also home to my alma mater, the Henley Business School. Henley is the oldest business school in the UK with more than 30,000 graduates from more than 112 countries.

This trip is a pilgrimage for me to return to Henley where I received my MBA. Please allow me to proudly share with you about Henley and my learning experience.

By the way, I should be proud of every experience in my life; including lessons learned from even painful ones. Otherwise, how can I build on them to create a better future.

Henley is one of the most established and respected business schools in Europe. It is also one of the few business schools worldwide to hold triple-accredited status from major UK, European and US degree-awarding bodies.

What I like about Henley is that it is rated as the ‘Number one in the world for student quality and breadth of alumni network ‘(Economist Intelligence Unit, 2009). What it means is that I can go to many parts of the developed world and be able to connect with a fellow alumnus.

I spent a wonderful afternoon walking alone around the Henley campus. It was a great experience enjoying the beauty of the school’s Victorian architecture.

I hate to repeat the cliché – they don’t build such magnificent buildings anymore.

Henley is located besides the banks of the River Thames in Oxfordshine. It sits among 30 acres of beautiful parkland.

It’s a beautiful place to think about business and life.

I took time to reflect upon my journey to earn an MBA.

I am always grateful to any teacher who has taught me. The Chinese has a saying, ‘Be grateful to your teacher every day. Be grateful to your parents all your life.’

Through Henley, I developed the foundation to manage a business. More importantly, it taught me how to learn.

This is important because, with the rapid rate of change, what was relevant in the past may no longer be applicable in the future.

Hence, I believe there is an expiry date to my MBA. It should become invalid and thrown away within five years.

I believe if I stop learning, I should be considered as uneducated.

If I am not learning, growing and achieving better results, I am not living – I am dying gradually.

Life is not worth living.


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