The distinct uniqueness of self-education is what brings about fortune and success. When you discern your purpose and then create your vision, you set yourself apart from the masses. You can then serve the public, providing them what they need, in a form they never knew possible.
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” -Jim Rohn
Brains and charisma are wonderful, but the person whom I am most impressed by is he who says: I have a formal education and a day job in engineering, but I am a weekend photographer because I thought myself so; I work in human resources, but I spend my evenings immersing myself on this story that is just begging to be written; I am the president of my own company, but enjoy travel hacking and helping others travel cheaply on the side. I am most impressed by those who do what they love, learn from those experiences, and then apply those lessons to other areas of their life.
Self-education is more valuable than formal education. And I believe that our society is headed towards a point where self-educated, multi-passionate people will be recognized for their successes, hopefully prompting a wider acceptance of self-learning and passion-overlap careers. As more find success and fortune within that realm of self-created individualization, I imagine those inspired individuals will become harder to ignore.
Each year, our formal education system is spitting out hundreds of thousands of brilliant, not-as-entitled-as-you-might-think, hearts-on-fire, brimming-with-potential, excited-for-the-future college graduates. We exit the system and hop onto the moving sidewalk to success, quickly falling into the conveyor belt of complacency with our utterly unfulfilling, minimum wage jobs. The opportunities associated with a lifetime of student loan repayments seem to have been little more than well-crafted lies. And many accept this as the way things are, the way life is supposed to be.
Young people today have a unique opportunity to harness resources and knowledge, to educate themselves in their areas of interests cheaply and with the support of friends and mentors from around the world. Each of us has a unique set of skills and interests. We live in an age and society where you can do something out-of-the-box and then publish a book on your experience. The new paradigm is shifting in favor of those who don’t wait for opportunities, but create them. Those who find the greatest success are not those who search for the right niche, but those who develop their one based on what they do. The happiest individual is he who does not expect life to spoon-feed him the most poignant lessons and meaningful answers, but who instead seeks out challenges and opportunities to learn.
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” -Isaac Asimov
Stop waiting for your life to begin. You’re here. This is it. It is your own responsibility to discover your gifts, to pursue your interests and learn all that you can, and to then direct that knowledge towards some form of creative innovation.
Some will say that everything has already been done. Make it your life’s purpose to prove those individuals wrong.