Sunday, February 1, 2015

(Self) Education is the foundation of a wealthy life


I didn’t respond to the comment made on a post on this blog a while ago – but now I am ready to do so: I wanted to ask you; if you could advise someone on a career path or a specific job-related skill to learn, what would it be?”
Before giving you my two cents worth, here is a word of caution.  I am not professing to know the right answer on questions of life; I am groping myself and often what may be the right answer today is no longer right tomorrow.  Such is life! Life is truly very dynamic: yesterday energy supply was limited and expensive – today there is abundance and energy is cheap!
Someone’s career path depends on the lifestyle that person wants and where that person’s interest lie. Whether you are 5 or 100 years old, your life is too short to fill your days with things you hate. That doesn’t mean that you always do what is pleasant, it means that you follow the goal(s) you think are worthwhile pursuing and you do what it takes to get there. If it takes a good grade in school to go on a dream trip to Disney land, than do it.  If it takes living below your means to get rich and you want to be rich; just do it.
In today’s world, most people will live into their eighties.  In the 1930’s, North Americans had a life expectancy of 62 years. Google's Ray Kurzweil thinks “The Business Of Extending Human Life Is Going Into "High Gear". So expect to grow really old: 100 years; what about a 120 year life expectancy?  What about that immortality is within our reach unless you’re hit by a bus? J
In fact, the longer our life expectancy, the less important it is what career you chose; the more important it is to learn how to educate yourself. Use the first twenty to thirty years of your life to learn what life is about (not that I have figured that out at 60; but at least give it a good try!). Learn during the first 30 years of your life how to educate yourself and learn about the joy of learning every day; of learning something new every project that you take. Life at 200 years may become pretty boring if you don’t! J
We’re arising from an era of cookie cutters; from a time where square pegs that didn’t fit in round holes weren’t considered useful. However, often the opposite is true! – After you have learned the self-discipline to study by yourself then educate yourself. In the 1950s until the 1980s, having a university degree was your ticket to above average wages and a secure career.  If you were smart and had the self-discipline to shave yourself from a square peg into a round one, you did very well.  That is why parents always encouraged their kids to do their best at school. “Do your homework; go to university and college and you will make a lot of money” they said and still say. However, it is no longer true!
The demand for this cookie cutter education rose so exponentially that today we have an oversupply of graduates; we have a world where every basket weaver has a university degree and that many of these graduates have horrendous student loans. Yet, they are no longer shaved square pegs; now graduates are cookie cutter products that have not learned to think out-of-the-box; instead they are well trained corporate drones. Now you need a degree for becoming a secretary, sorry… administrative assistant; for becoming a bank teller or store manager at 7-eleven. Strangely enough, now the demand is high for craftsman: plumbers; electricians; and welders. Five years from now DNA-engineers maybe the flavor of the day!
Read Tony Robbins’ book Money - Master The Games – it is a bit long but it has many valuable ideas. It contains many of the ideas to building a happy and prosperous life that are being advocated on this blog. In fact, many books on building a life of abundance (no matter how you describe such a life) always come back to the same themes.  It is not a secret that only the rich know – the difficulty of building a happy and abundant life all boil down to converting your dreams into goals (ever moving targets) and having the self –discipline plus perseverance to achieve it. Many people don’t define their goals (their Belize) and even less have the self-discipline and perseverance to reach their goals. So make sure you are one of the few to make your dreams real!
I think that it is important to learn math and language(s), including computer programming languages.  Languages are not just about words; they are about seeing life from different perspectives. Learning how others may see things is one of the most important skills to create win-win situations. Win-win is constructive; ‘I win-you-lose’ or ‘you-win-I-lose’ is not. You and I lose is destructive. You need those basic skills; you need the skill of deductive reasoning but you need even more so the skills of dealing with people.  You learn the good; bad and ugly at elementary school; in private or public. You learn a lot about raw emotions and herd mentality at high school during your crazy-years or teenage years. For a lot of people, those teenage years are the most dramatic years in their lives and in that of their parents.  When kids are toddlers and under ten they are often sweet and charming. During their teenage years, life is raw emotion while they’re supposed to learn to become a reasonable adult. How impossible!
Once you’ve overcome – I mean it: overcome – those years then there is the time of real education: starting with learning to live on your own; it is time to educate yourself and that education depends on what your personality, your lifestyle and interests are. I am not saying that a university education is bad – it depends.  Many people adore having a high IQ; which is in my books more about having an academic talent rather than being really smart.  Many professors may have high IQs but are entirely weltfremd (if you don’t know what that means educate yourself on Google or Bing).
Many kids hate school and thus weren’t the round pegs that fit in today’s education system. That does not mean they are dumb! Often the evidence points to the contrary. Many of these kids educate themselves and don’t have the glossy certificates of well-behavior. They’re headstrong; often unpleasant; and listen to no advice.  But in the end, many end up defeating their demons and being super successful. They’re fighters of the establishment and they are finding their own way often via harsh lessons. I am not saying that they are lazy and don’t do anything; many of those people have a lot of energy – energy frequently stymied in the school system which may have made them aggressive.  But once they learned how to release their energy to building a better life they are unstoppable.  Nobody will tell you that Steve Jobs was a pleasant person neither was Bill Gates but they had drive!  Not academic drive; they had a lot more in them than a high SAT score!
So learn to educate yourself; learn to use your educational and experimental skills to build the life you want and then throw everything upside down and start building an even more rewarding life; and so on and so on until you reach the ripe age of 1500 years.

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