Formal education will make a living, self-education will make you a fortune.
We go to school and learn a lot of things and practice a lot of textbook theory. Most would agree that when you get into the real world, it is much different than a textbook.
I have always believed that your real education begins after your formal schooling, and this self-education, as Jim Rohn says above, "will make you a fortune."
I was recently asked to speak to a young millennial graduate about how to succeed and go after what they want in life. The following is what I told them.
The first thing I told them is that in the real world you are not entitled to anything. The world doesn't owe you anything. It doesn't owe you a job or success. No matter what you have done or what you have accomplished to this point, in all honesty the real world doesn't care. As far as it is concerned, you are starting with a blank canvas. The beauty of this is you get to write a whole new story. But, it is going to take a lot of hustle and having having the vision to size and act on opportunities. You notice, I did not say hard work. Not that it isn't needed and there will be times you will have to work extremely hard...harder than you ever have before. But I know a lot of people that work extremely hard and don't get ahead or grow beyond their current status. It's not the work itself, it's doing the right type of work that makes the difference. Many don't ever see the distinction.
What is more important to understand about how you will truly succeed is to develop a sense of resourcefulness and willingness to act on opportunity and make it happen. This is the secret. Never say it cannot be done, ask "how can it be done," even if you don't have the resources, talent, or even a clue how to do it. It you want something bad enough, you'll find the way. Necessity is the mother of invention and I might add, hustle. One other thing I will add to this first point is that when you are going for what you want, you are going to put in a lot of time, physical effort, mental effort, resources, and sacrifice. And after doing all of this, you still may not get what you want. That is life. But, you will have grown to whole new levels and learned a tremendous amount of real life skill and knowledge that you need when you decide to get back up and go again. That is priceless. Lastly, get up and go at it again...and again...and again until you reach what you are after. It will probably not be exactly what you envisioned, but it will be in the ballpark and who knows, it may be even better than what you thought.
The second thing I told them is that if you are going to do go after what you truly want, then you need to take a big step back and get clarity on what that is. Most people don't get what they want because they don't know what they want. In our 24/7 world with an alert every second on our phone and 15 shiny objects in front of our face every minute from Instagram posts to text and everything in-between, most people never stop. They never stop, clear their head, and ask themselves what it is they are really after.
Gaining clarity of purpose is one of the most critical things that you will do for your life and your success. Being crystal clear on what you want will act like a beacon...a guide to keep you on track and make you hungry to get it. In the absence of it, people wander aimlessly from one thing to the next. We wonder why the new norm is to have 12-15 jobs in your life. (that is a real stat from the Bureau of Labor statistics)
Life moves so fast now that it is very hard to slow down and actually do the self-reflection needed to find out what you really believe, want, and get clear on it. It's hard. It's not just taking 10 mins to say "I want this." It is questioning it with boldness and asking 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level questions as to why you want it, why it matters, and how far you are willing to go to get it. If you can't 100% all in for what you want, then you won't get it. My advice is to take a few days, turn off the phone, social media, block out everything else and put pen to paper. Hash it out. It will be one of the greatest things you've ever done.
The last thing I told them is to start learning. You must begin to educate yourself outside of academia. Read everything you can. Read things you don't think you will agree with. Get a different perspective. See all sides, then make up your mind. Once you know what you want, find others that have done the same things. Read their books, watch their videos. Study it like you are studying a craft. Keep a journal of the best ideas and refer back to it regularly.
And my last point on this was that if you do this, 5 years from now, you will have created a whole different world for yourself and have had some great success. You will have probably ready several hundred books and writings, but, and this is most important, don't rest on your laurels at this point. Don't get complacent and think you've learned everything you need. This was one of the biggest lessons I learned personally. Keep pushing yourself. There really is no such thing as enough. You can always learn, grow and experience more. Never stop.
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