“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
This is one of the most powerful quotes I’ve ever read. It was one of the first quotes I remember actively making me want to start learning on a more consistent basis.
Most people say they want to change the world but usually don’t have the right tools to make it happen.
Here’s how you can add the powerful tool of education to your arsenal so you can help change your life and the rest of the world.
Formal Education Isn’t Changing
I was listening to a Jay Samit podcast when I heard him saying something super powerful. “If someone that died 200 years ago came back to this world, they’d only recognize one thing, our education system.”
Think about that, everything has changed in the world. Technology, transportation, space exploration, literally everything except our education system.
Whether you agree or disagree on if it’s outdated, it’s hard to admit that formal education isn’t a measure of success. The average 2018 graduate now has $37,000+ of student loan debt to climb out of after graduating. And getting a high paying career straight out of college is far from a guarantee.
The Biggest Downside of Formal Education
In my opinion, the biggest downside of the current education system is that it forces students to learn. And for a lot of people, it ruins learning in general. This leads to so many people not actively learning in the future.
It’s the reason that the average Amercian reads one book per year and watches 5 hours of TV per day!
Self Education vs. Formal Education
As Nelson Mandela said, education is the most powerful weapon to change the world. But if you want to change the world you need to start by changing yourself. And that usually begins by self-education.
As the great motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “Formal education will make you a living, self-education will make you a fortune.” And he’s right. Some of the wealthiest people in the world are college dropouts.
The problem for most people is that self-education is entirely up to you. There aren’t any professors telling you what to do anymore. It’s much easier to watch Netflix than buy a book or attend a seminar. But it can be done:
- Replace one hour a day of TV with reading a book
- Listen to one new podcast on your commute
- Attend one event each quarter instead of having a lazy weekend on the couch
Set Self Education Goals
In 2016 I made it a goal to read one book per month. Now I’m reading one per week and the only reason is that I set a goal in 2016 and started to learn the value of reading.
You should always set goals for yourself. Whether it’s reading one book a month, listening to three inspirational podcasts each week or attending one seminar per quarter. Setting goals makes it easy to stay accountable.
Another great way to stay on top of your self-education is to surround yourself with people who are doing the same. If all of your friends talk about fantasy football it’s hard to have a great conversation with them about Think and Grow Rich.
Instead, try to find people who are actively doing this already or find a meetup or club of people who are starting. Accountability plays a huge role in making sure you never stop learning.
Remember, education can change the world. But you must have the right education as well.
Start investing in yourself so you can start changing the direction of your life and the people closest to you.