Chapter 9: Self Educate

You are the gatekeeper of your mind. You control what sticks and what gets tossed out.

No one else can teach you.

There is an old saying: “you can lead the horse to the water but you can’t force the horse to drink”.

You are the horse. You can be stubborn and not learn what is good for you. You need to take responsibility for your thoughts. 

You need to be open to learning more.

The way I look at the world, there are 3 types of education.

  • Survivalist
  • Institutional learning
  • Self-awareness

Survival learning, we learn not to touch what is hot. How to swim. How to crawl, walk and run.

We learn balance and spacial awareness.

We learn how to cross the road, who to trust. Where to find food, shelter and support.

We start off in this world learning how to survive.

Over the years, the man realized that they can pass down skills to the next generation through schooling. Reading and writing were fundamental in doing so.

Then academics got involved. Over the years, an institution of education was built. Its objective shows a way of thinking. Much like this book.

Science teaches observation through cause and effect. A way to draw conclusions through reactions of events.

If “this” interacts with “that” and a reaction occurs, why does it happen? What is the lesson we can draw from that reaction?

Math teaches us that we can solve problems and ultimately predict results.

We can solve angles and measurements. We can time events in the future and we can calculate complex equations.

English teaches us professional conduct.

Art teaches us expression. It teaches us to look at our reaction and assess what emotions are evoked. To me, good art (be it a physical display or musical performance) draws on a unique past emotion we have experienced. 

I personally chase after positive experiences in art. Uplifting, peaceful, inspiring. Art that brings hope or happiness.

The complication of institutional education is that you are not taught how to succeed.

You are not taught how to be successful.

Rather you are only taught how to professionals solve certain problems and you are tested on your ability to mimic someone else’s approach to solving a problem.

Don’t get me wrong, there is value in learning problem-solving techniques. The problem is the application.

How often do we apply maths in solving our day to day problems?

Self-awareness is what we learn outside of school. Professional interpersonal conduct and application of educations theory in the workplace. What you have learnt in school applied in the workplace.

It shouldn’t stop there. Learning should never stop.

In a world of unlimited opportunities, where failure doesn’t exist, we should be continually testing things and teach our self new skills. Trying new things.

Searching for more things that we like. More things that we are good at. More things that we enjoy doing. More things that we can do, better.

We should be chasing after a full experience of life. To go out and see as much as we can. To go out and taste as much as we can. To go out and see the world around us.

To me, that is living. That is the purpose of life. 

Being open to trying new things.