It’s been a few years since I completed graduate school. Ever since, I’ve noticed my focus has shifted to self-education. I’ve always had a love for learning and with more bandwidth I’ve had the opportunity to dive into books/podcasts on topics I’ve naturally been curious about.
However I’ve noticed a gradual but significant shift in my mindset regarding self-education.
At first self-education was a passive thing I did. I read for leisure because I found a topic interesting.
But then, reading inspired me. The inspiration sprouted from my love for biographies. I love learning about people’s success stories and how they ended up were they ended up. Over the years I’ve read about many people’s success stories. Because I’ve grown more interested in flexible lifestyles, I’ve read about many entrepreneurs.
There are two things I’ve learned from the entrepreneurs that I’ve studied:
- All entrepreneurs are “self-taught” in some way shape or form.
- Somewhere along the way entrepreneurs transition from “theory”, apply the knowledge they learn, and put it into practice.
This is when I realized the importance of self-education and application and ever since it has become a priority for me. The more I’ve read the more empowered I’ve felt to create and take action on my ideas. I’m beginning to understand that it will be very difficult to get to the next level without focusing on self-education and making a concerted effort to take action.
I’ve realized that people in some ways have lost sight of the importance of self-education and action. There are so many people that have gone to college that haven’t created, built or contributed to the world in an original way. (I am not saying you have to be an entrepreneur to do this necessarily.) However I am saying that many people are guilty of treating their college education like a trophy. The mindset is “I went to (insert college name)” and that the college they got into and earned a degree from is an accomplishment in itself. While college gives us an opportunity to accumulate knowledge, I believe that applying that knowledge and creating or implementing change in your life or the lives of others is the true accomplishment. Moreover we can not rely solely on institutionalized education to cover and introduce us to every topic we are interested in. There are some things worth learning that we are never taught in schools.
Luckily the internet has made self education much easier, cheaper and accessible. Social media has even made it possible for you to identify “experts” in a topic you are interested in and to connect with them!
For those of you interested in being an entrepreneur or a creative, I think it’s important to prioritize self-education and to work on incorporating it into your every day routine. Sometimes it helps if you build relationships with people who have similar interests. So, I encourage you to decide on a topic you would like to learn more about and google it. Research the topic on different forums. Read articles or blogs. Watch tutorials on youtube and identify some experts in the field. Once you’ve identified experts more often than not you will also tap into communities of people who also share similar interests. These people typically leave comments on blogs or youtube channels. Don’t be shy. Reach out to others and make an effort to build relationships. Who knows, you may find your best friend or business partner!