The wealth of information you have at your disposal is phenomenal.
Thanks to the internet, social media and smartphones you can self educate on any subject at anytime and anywhere.
This generation, our generation, is the most privileged of all time. There has never been a greater time to be alive.
You have all of the world’s collective information at your fingertips. The Classics, STEM subjects and more recent subjects like data science are all just a couple of clicks away.
Thoughts and words from the greatest thinkers, philosophers and leaders are available to you for free (or a very small fee).
Self educating will not only set you free but will provide you with valuable skills, help you during difficult times, open you up to new ways of thinking and provide you with an understanding of the world and your place in it.
Wikipedia has over five million articles written in the English language alone.
Universities from around the world (including the top ranked universities) offer free online courses. These ‘MOOCs’ (massive open online course) allow anyone to sign up and learn about topics from neuroscience to web development.
YouTube has over one billion videos hosted on it.
Want to learn how to tie a bowtie properly or who the great philosophers were or hear a profound speech by a famous author or watch a documentary on the wild plains of Africa? Just youtube it.
Amazon has millions of books for sale which you can get on hardcopy, Kindle and audiobook.
There are millions of blogs, podcasts and news sites all providing alternative news and views to what is shoved down our necks by the mainstream.
We are truly in the Information Age. You have no excuse not to self educate.
Today, most people use the internet for work purposes, to buy things and to play the status game via social media. They get giddy over new seasons of TV shows like Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
I’m told there are lessons to be learned from watching these shows but since I haven’t owned a TV since 2010 it’s unlikely I’ll watch them.
I’d rather be filling my time with things that improve my life not poison my mind (watching TV has been found to decrease your level of intelligence).
Our problem today isn’t discovering the information to educate and inform ourselves, it’s filtering out the right information and making the time to absorb it.
You have to prioritise it. You have to take time out from work, friends and other commitments to create space for yourself.
Learning is like a drug. Once you understand one component of a subject you want to understand another, and another, and then figure out how they all interlink.
If you have a naturally inquisitive mind this won’t be difficult for you. If you don’t then you need to light a spark and get those neurons firing.
Make it easier for yourself.
- Create a Feedly account and subscribe to a bunch of blogs and news sites. Take time out of your day to scan the headlines
- Subscribe to podcasts in iTunes
- Buy an Amazon Kindle (or use the smartphone app) to take multiple books with you everywhere you go
- Smart people online often make book recommendations. Find and read them
- Subscribe to topics on YouTube
- Sign up to a MOOC
- Find discussion forums relating to topics you’re interested in and learn from people smarter than you
The world is an increasingly complex place where information is abundant.
Opportunities are abound for those that can not only absorb and synthesise information but take action with it.
Those that don’t change, adapt, learn and grow are the ones who get left behind.
Don’t let that be you.