Originally, I was going to talk about optionality and education, but most of the discussion focused on the example of going to medical school as a way of planning way too far into the future and actually closing off doors that you could have left open to yourself.
As I’ve written before (see “optionality” in search bar), people confuse school with education and more schooling with more options in their lives. I meet dozens of young people every quarter who are continuing their schooling in the hopes that it will open up more doors for them in the future. What those doors are, they do not know.
Education does open up opportunities — if you don’t know how to do things, you can’t do them — but school and education are not the same thing.
For example, in the amount of time it takes you to go to medical school, do your internship, residency, and land a job, your field will have changed so much that you will be entering an entirely different realm than you thought you were. All the while, you could have spent that time, money, and energy learning other things that would open up doors for you in the interim period. You end up falling behind on your education in your pursuit of school.