While criticising the education being imparted during his times, he observed that it was leading students to a race of dyspeptics, mechanical life and jelly-fish existence. According to him, true education leads learners in assimilating ideas to be used in life and building character. In other words, good education is one which leads to life building, man making, and character making through assimilation of ideas.
He was of the view that the goal of mankind was knowledge which was inherent in human beings but was needed to be 'discovered' and 'learned'.
While stressing hard work and concentration in learning, he had said, “Whatever you are doing, put your whole mind on it. If you are shooting, your mind should be only on the target. Then you will never miss. If you are learning your lessons, think only of the lesson."
Thus, Swami Vivekananda saw education as a process of unfolding innate human potentials of intellect, wisdom or character and spirituality to serve the society.