With Fall right around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about school. I graduated from college two years ago, coming up on my third year away from any form of “formal” education. It is a wonderful feeling to never have to worry about tests, bells, and sleeping in on the final exam day. However, there is a discomforting feeling that comes when you realize that you are done with your formal education. That feeling comes from realizing that all of your education is now up to you. This is incredibly empowering if you can truly take your self-education seriously. Here are some easy ways to do just that, and without much effort, put yourself in the top percentile of successful individuals who continually work on their self-education.
I bet you knew this would be the first tip I had. According to mentalfloss.com only 42% of college graduates read another book after college. That is nearly half! Being done with school, or even being in school doesn’t mean that you don’t have to read unless you are assigned too. Reading is the quickest way to increase your intelligence, improve your vocabulary, and become a better writer (all necessary skills to keep a good job). Read any type of book you like, from fiction to non-fiction, just read (even if you claim to not be a “reader”). Reading is contagious, but the trick is you have to push yourself to that first book. If you find reading to be a chore, then you don’t have the right book. Find something that fascinates you.
2. Use Your Resources
We live in a world where the knowledge of the ages is available at our fingers tips. Right now you can google any subject and find hundreds of websites, videos, books, and other information on that subject. This means we have no excuse for not being more education on which ever subject (i.e. current events, history, home making skills, career skills…) you chose to study. Don’t limit yourself to the “traditional” sense of continuing your education through school or lectures, look outside the box and use your personal resources such as your phone, computer, and community to better yourself. It is also never a bad idea to see what fun or interesting community classes are being taught in your town.
3. Use Your Down Time
Famous speaker, and motivational guru Zig Ziglar called his called his car his “university on wheels,” and for good cause. The average American spends about 293 hours a year driving their vehicle, according to automotive-fleet.com. If you were to listen to tapes, lectures, or a book while driving in the car instead of music you would have collected over 12 days of non-stop learning over the course of the year. So get creative about your time. I am all about doubling up on your hours. Find ways to add value to your time such as getting ready in the morning while listening to a YouTube talk, or while you drive, or even while you work.
4. Make it a Priority
Okay, I hear you, yes “continuing your education” sounds like a lot of work, and maybe something that you feel doesn’t matter to you. However, this is YOUR life and I know you want to make it the best possible. Continuing your education doesn’t have to be an extra item added to your to-do list either—make it part of your everyday life. It is as simple as committing yourself to taking the time to do something you want to do. And unlike school or college, there are no assignments. You can study whatever subject, topic, or trending idea you like! We do it naturally everyday on social media, just consciously redirect your attention to where the return on investment will be the highest.