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Knowledge Is Power: 6 Rules Successful People Live by to Teach Themselves Everything

Knowledge Is Power: 6 Rules Successful People Live by to Teach Themselves Everything

What if I told you that you can learn just about anything you are interested in, in a timely and cost-effective way? With so many time-constraints in our daily life, our education is being constantly halted. With the practice of self-education, your future is back in your hands.

Self-education will make you a fortune.

Self-education is extremely important for your future and it’s one of the most effective ways to increase your knowledge on whichever topic you may be interested in. Jim Rohn,[1] America’s Foremost Business Philosopher, once said: “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” The world is changing so rapidly, by having the self-education skill, you can learn almost anything you choose to and stay on the edge in the information age and avoid becoming obsolete.

If you are wondering what self-education means and how to put it in practice, you have come to the right place! Self-education means the self-guided learning process anyone can take in order to better improve their knowledge. The methods implied focus more on practical knowledge rather than theoretical one which, for most people, makes it easier to learn and later remember. Self-education also relies on the notion that, by educating yourself, you will get some sort of return such as a job promotion or an improvement in your earning ability.[2]

Learning new skills can double you chance of success.

Self-education lets you take control of your life by allowing you to improve any skills you need in order to reach your goals. You may even acquire a whole new set of skills. Apart from being a powerful tool to further help you educate yourself, self-education can also be an incredible way to learn something entirely new! A recent study conducted by Stack Overflow[3] found that 69.1% of software developers appear to be self-taught!

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Self-education can help you take the first step towards success. For example, if you are planing to change your job, consider educating yourself further on the particular industry you want to switch to. This newly acquired knowledge will increase your chance of adapting and quickly succeeding at your new job.

On the other hand, self-education can help you take that extra step on the road to success. Let’s say you are a salesman. By taking the time to educate yourself on new sales techniques, you are likely to later increase your sales and improve your closing rates.

Self-education isn’t easy. That’s why you need to prepare for it.

Self-education can be a liberating practice that helps you understand your learning styles and how to teach yourself effectively.

But as you may have noticed by now, self-education is no easy task. The practice of self-education presupposes that you follow a specific schedule and the right resources in order to teach yourself correct information in a time-effective manner.

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Now that you have a better understanding of the concept, the pros, and the cons of self-education, we will give you some useful tips on how to turn this concept into a useful reality.

1. Start with something you like

Whether you would like to progress in your career or get a new hobby, self-education can help you as long as you find a specific interest you would like to further educate yourself on. Having an interest is vitally important when it comes to learning. Some studies[4] found that “interest can help us think more clearly, understand more deeply, and remember more accurately.” If you are unsure of your interest, start by making a list of specific goals you would like to reach and then make a list of skills required in order to achieve your goals.

2. Find the right sources

More important than learning something is to learn something factual and proven. Make sure that your sources are reliable by reading some reviews about that specific website, book, YouTube channel. Speaking of YouTube, non-traditional sources such as YouTube or online podcasts can be hugely useful.

3. Grab a book

Reading[5] can help you become more successful. Nobody has all the answers but everybody can find a book or books to learn more about the topic and become an expert. When Elon Musk[6] was asked by people how he learned to build rockets, he simply said “I read books!” The ability and the willingness to learn is the most important asset anyone can have.

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“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry S. Truman

4. Assign time for learning

Make sure that you are not making excuses when it comes to making time to learn. By giving yourself a certain amount of time to solely focus on self-education, and even establishing deadlines to finish specific topics, you are increasing your chances that your time-investment will quickly lead to big results.

5. Don’t forget to test yourself

Don’t be scared to put your knowledge to practice. Once you feel confident enough to try something new, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Practical education can be a powerful tool when it comes to helping you further cement your knowledge. The ultimate goal will always be to put theory into a practical and useful skill.

6. Commit to life-long learning

Never stop learning! With the widespread use of the internet, you can have access to extremely useful information anywhere. Use that to your advantage and to constantly update your knowledge and intermittently better yourself.

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Besides online learning, you can also continue your education from workshops, networking events and personal development seminars in your city or local area. There are so many unparalleled benefits[7] you can get from attending live events and seminars that you cannot simply get by reading books or searching on the internet. You might be able to access exclusive information which is not available anywhere else. You can ask the experts directly and receive personal advice and recommendations.

Your ability and commitment to lifelong learning is critical to your success. By dedicating yourself to learning and growing everyday, you can get ahead in every aspect of life and achieve the goals you set out for yourself. The dream life you always want to have might just be one book away, one seminar away or one skill away. Keep on learning and applying what you’ve learned and you will eventually get there.

Reference

More by this author

Liem Nguyen

Entrepreneur

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How to Fight Information Overload

How to Fight Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Decide whether you really need the information.
  3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
  4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

The Nature of the Problem

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

Why information overload is bad

It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

1. Set your goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. What to do when facing new information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

3. Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

In Closing

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

(Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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