The last five syllables ever spoken by Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln.
Allow me to probe you with a quick query:
What do Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemmingway, Albert Einstein, Peter Jennings, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Charles Darwin, Jimi Hendrix, Russell Crowe, and Abraham Lincoln all have in common?
Aside from their obvious reputations of greatness and virtuosity, they were all, to a large degree, self-educated, and self-directed learners. Many of these autodidacts were even formal education drop outs, sort of like my old friend “Fat Frankie.”
Except Fat Frankie didn’t go on and invent the light bulb, an airplane, or much of anything for that matter.
Well, wait… no.
I guess I spoke to soon.
Truth be told, Fat Frankie actually did discover that you can cook DiGiorno faster on broil, so long as you don’t mind soggy bottom pizza.
Moving back to point.
I truly believe that the perpetual desire to learn IS the interminable desire to grow and to thrive. All of the aforementioned revolutionaries clearly understood this as well, except of course, Fat Frankie, who for the most part, spends the majority of his time drinking diet soda from a straw and watching late night reruns of The Munsters.
I am a firm believer that the quality of life is directly correlated to our personal growth curve. The second we begin to let your growth curve level off is precisely when our god-given potential begins to depreciate.
In this musing, I’m going to make a strong case for autodidactism and present to you with an unconventional and oddly effective learning system for becoming an expert in any field of your choosing in 12 months or less.
First note that autodidactism, by definition, is self-directed learning, not learning all by yourself, or learning what somebody else tells you that you have to learn.
The big differentiation between autodidactism and formal education is that it stems from desire, not obligation. Desire, of course, is what we want to do. Obligation is what we have to do. Which do you think makes for a more effective learning experience?
Fat Frankie conceived his avant-garde pizza broiling system not at the bark of a teachers command, but through his manic desire to cut down the lag time between hunger and satiety.
The vast majority (like the vast, vast majority) of success in my life has come from what I’ve taught myself, through my own desire to learn, not from institutional force-feedings. The funny thing is that if I actually “wanted” to learn everything I was “required” to learn in college, I now know that I still could have, and it would have been at the expense of a late charge fee at the local library, not $80,000 in student loans. In essence, I paid that $80,000 to force myself to learn material that I didn’t want to learn, only what I thought I needed to learn at the time.
Some would say that the joke’s on me for not picking a major that I enjoyed.
I think of it a little differently, however.
The way I see it, is that I paid the price of $80,000 to find out exactly what I never want to do with my life; and since then have never wasted another single second of my life trudging the path of other people’s expectations or the systems obligations.
When positioned like that, then it was an $80,000 well spent.
Before we go any further, this is not a petition against higher education. I’m not trying to talk you out of college, or convince you that your formal education, if you have one, was a waste of money. That’s for you to decide and you alone.
This is a culmination of my reflections. This is not a personal vendetta against compulsory teacher-directed learning, a topic, however, which I would consider myself eligible to speak intelligently upon having been a lifelong “A” student. Instead, I simply aim make a case for autodiactism, not against teacher-direct learning. I’ll let you all argue the latter out amongst yourselves in the comment section.
I submit that self-directed learners simply learn more and learn more deeply because they WANT to.
When you have no desire to learn, force-fed tutelage rarely sticks. You play the game, do what you gotta do to earn your marks, move on, and forget most it within a few weeks’ time.
This is known as taking a mental dump, and for the record, I know of no better cerebral laxative than federal and corporate taxation.
If we take this into the context of a musical instrument, those who REALLY want to learn how to play the guitar practice often and relentlessly seek out the best instruction. It’s no different for those who REALLY want to learn accounting. Desire is desire Is desire.
Please take note of the following:
When I say “REALLY want to”, I’m talking about a deep, burning, and intrinsic desire; not just a knee-jerk inclination. There’s a difference; and a rather significant one at that.
Teacher-directed learning may get a degree, yes, but there are better (and cheaper) ways to learn.
Formal education may get you a job, yes, but there is so much more to that when it comes to living your life.
Jim Rohn, renowned business philosopher, once stated that formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune.
With that being said, I present to you Pat Flynn’s 8-step system for obtaining the equivalent of a Master’s degree in whatever you want, in 1/6 the time, and for less than the cost of dinner at Applebee’s. Now you can’t beat that with a stick!
So, before we get into any of the methodologies of becoming an expert, you first have to WANT to become an expert. I am not the one to tell you WHAT you should want, only that you SHOULD want something!
For many folks, the desire and passion for making money, and all that they believe money can bring will be a common starting ground. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Again, I’m not telling you that there are any right or wrong desires, only that you MUST have a desire; otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
Please don’t waste your time with “the trash”. Just because you might find a few crumbles of bread in the garbage can doesn’t mean you should go looking there.
And I don’t want to hear that this is too difficult. If you believe it’s too difficult, then you lack true desire and must regress.
To make this as painless as possible for all you “non-readers” out there, I highly suggest that you ritualize your reading sessions. For me, I commit to reading for one hour every night before I got to bed. No exceptions.
An under-read brain still has the absorbency of a dry and hungry sponge; but it ain’t gonna wet itself.
That equates (roughly) to 45 days or 1095 hours a year.
And if you’re like most people, that’s 45 days of completely wasted time.
While he may be funny, Howard Stern provides zero utility towards your personal development or status as an “expert”.
To waste 1095 hours of your time (which you’ll never get back mind you) a year is both unacceptable and ignorant, and must be put to an end.
While I may not be able to free you from your daily commutes, I can help you make better use of that time.
Introducing Automobile University, where all students are accepted (regardless of their SAT scores or their financial upbringing), and the only rules, are those of the road!
Yes, I’m asking you to quite literally transform your car into a rolling university through the Investment of auditory learning programs (for obvious reasons, written materials are out of the question). It may sound like personal heresy, but I’m evening giving you permission to turn off AC/DC, in exchange for a recorded lecture. Chances are you’ve got Hells Bells memorized by now. Time to learn something new.
Invest in as many auditory learning programs on your subject matter as possible (lectures, seminars, workshops, etc) and listen to them every time you are in your vehicle. This simple tweak will transform a mindless, time-sucking commute into daily enlightenments and accelerate your personal development.
Unless you’re unusually stopped up, just about anyone can conquer any publication in a matter of days, so long as you commit to a few pages every time you plop your hambone down on the pot.
Go ahead. Take your time. “They” can wait.
Just trust me on this one; a good mentor is worth every penny.
If you currently lack the financial wherewithal, don’t sweat it, there’s still a very viable option…
The sermons, the lectures, the seminars, the books, the mentors, the magazines, the podcasts, the journals, the coaches, are all ready for the taking.
Yet less than 3% of the population has a library card.
This proves once again, that there’s plenty of room at the top. All you have to do, is be willing to make the climb.
Go get a freaking library card.
And no, they don’t deliver!
Many of the philosophies that I have shared with you in this post today are elaborated upon inside FHmP.
Time to get the book and start the change! CLICK HERE!
Please be sure to leave some love in the comment section, along with any questions or concerns!
If you enjoyed this post, please “like” and share it with your friends!