We live in the information age. With enough time, focus, and dedication we can pretty much teach ourselves anything. ANYTHING! Isn’t that amazing?
In most cases, we don’t even have to pay for this information. Let that sink in for a moment. Our generation is extremely advantaged.
We get to build our own curriculum.
I wanted to share with you 5 rules to live by when you are on the journey of self education. These rules are intended to be principles that will guide you to learn from the information you consume.
- Apply – The best way to learn is to apply the theories you are learning about. Nobody learns how to ride a bike by reading about it, nobody can become an olympic athlete without dedicating thousands of hours to practice. The same is true about building business, organizations or other side hustles. Sure, take the time to inform yourself as a form of guidance, but do not remain paralyzed because you don’t want to make a mistake or you’re not really sure about what you’re doing. In case you didn’t realize, no one knows until they do. Applying is really the only way to make knowledge count, which brings me to my next point…
- Evaluate whether the knowledge is useful – If you’re going to spend the time to learn something make sure you are learning something useful. How will the information you are consuming improve your skills and help you to pursue your passions, help you to understand others and better your relationships, put you in the position to help others and contribute to society at large? We know that our time is limited, so we need to utilize it to learn information that ads value.
- Check your sources – Broke people like to take advice from broke people. Single people like to take advice from single people. Do you really want to take advice from someone who hasn’t accomplished the goals you are seeking advice on? My advice to you is to try your best to find and connect with someone who has already done what you want to do. I’ve said this in a few other posts, but I cannot stress this enough. This doesn’t just apply to the advice you receive. It also applies to content you are reading and listening to. It’s great that we have access to so much free information, but it also means that ANYBODY can post content, which means you should check to see whether that person is actually an expert in the subject they claim to be.
- Teach – Another great way to solidify learning is to teach other people on the subject you just learned about. In order to remain inspired when I am writing posts, I read alot about personal development. I then try to “teach” others through writing, mentorship, speaking, about what I’ve learned. This serves several purposes – it helps me to remember the information I am reading about. It helps me to condense it. I also provide exercises/habits to others to help them implement the content they are absorbing, which in turn helps me to create habits that reinforce my own learning.
- Never stop learning – When I graduated from grad school, my initial (ignorant reaction) was I’m done. No more reading assignments, no more papers and no more tests! Yaaaay! This kind of thinking will hold you back. Even if you started reading a book to teach yourself a skill and you successfully learned how to do whatever it was you were teaching yourself, you should NEVER stop learning. Learning will always serve you. It will always help you to level up. You know how most people in fitness try to explain to people that fitness isn’t about dieting or working out to get to your goal weight or look, but that it should be a lifestyle? Well, the same applies to learning. Learning should be a way of life. Find ways to ensure you are learning everyday!!