On a summer afternoon 25 years ago, two young classmates received a letter in the mail. Students all over the country received similar, sometimes dreaded, letters: school results.
These two classmates were very much alike and indeed got the same results. Both had been better than average students, both were charming and both - as young people are - were filled with ambition for the future.
Recently, they returned to their school for their 25th reunion.
They were still very much alike. Both were happily married. Both had children. And both, as it turned out, had gone to work in the same company straight out of school, and were still there.
But there was a difference. One of the men was a clerk in that company, and the other was its president.
Have you ever wondered what makes this kind of difference in people's lives? It isn't that one wanted success more, or that one was more innately intelligent than the other.
The difference is in what each person knows and how he or she makes use of that knowledge.
And that is why I am writing about what we do here at Elephant & Cross. Because that's our purpose: to connect people to knowledge - knowledge that can change lives and be used everyday.
Right now, I am thinking about the students we have helped find courses for at Elephant & Cross. I'm thinking about how each of their stories is different, and how different people are interested in different things. Just this week we've had students studying Human Resources, and Business Management, and Web Design. All these unique and different subjects. What unites these people is wanting to learn and having fun doing it.
If you have never thought about continuing your education, you cannot imagine how useful it can be to you.
I understand that most of us work busy jobs and don't really have time to go to lectures in between taking the children to football and getting stuck in morning traffic.
But we're living in a new era for learning. You can invest in yourself and earn a diploma or degree from from wherever you are and whenever you feel like. That's the magic of connectivity and the online learning revolution: it puts the power in your hands.
No more rushing to lectures after work. Most courses have recorded lessons so you can pop in anytime you want. Deadlines are flexible and work around your schedule. In short, online learning is designed for actual people and not robots.
We're excited every time a student tells us that they never thought they'd ever have the time again to continue their education, or they never thought learning could be so rewarding.
About those two classmates I mentioned at the beginning. They got the same results and together got the same start in the world. So what made their professional lives so different?
What they learned. And its application.
I cannot promise you that success will come to you instantly if you decide to further your education. But I can guarantee you that you will find your journey in education to be one of the most interesting, rewarding and useful periods of your adult life.