“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interest. The library was open, unending, free.”
—Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates, American author and journalist
Image from Unsplash by Susan Q Yin
Thinking back over my education, I seem to have lived two lives. Up to and through college, I was a classroom kid — following the rules, studying for each test, pursuing good grades — to become what society called a success. At the time, my SAT scores and GPA were all that mattered, with, of course, the right extra-curricular activities and work experiences.
Cracking a book that was not required reading or (Heaven forbid!) reading a book for pleasure could never compete with playing with friends or watching TV.
Years after traditional school was over, I discovered the wonderful world of books in which I could explore any interest that suited me. Suddenly, I couldn’t get enough of the knowledge and wisdom packed into all the treasures they held.
Examine your own educational journey. Where and how have your classrooms and libraries influenced your life so far?
How do you intend to continue your education from this point forward?
Please reply to this post with a few books that have opened up your world and set you free.
—Chip Conley, American hotelier, author, and speaker
Image from Unsplash by Jo Szczepanska
I recently learned about Chip Conley through Seth Godin. They first met when attending Stanford and were part of a think tank or mastermind group supporting their entrepreneurial spirits.
Without question, Stanford is one of the finest academic institutions in the world, yet Chip and Seth saw it as limiting in some way. They decided to attract other great and creative thinkers, and take responsibility for their own extracurricular education.
Follow these links to learn about Chip and Seth, and how their continuing education is turning out.
How and in what ways can and will you create a DIY education plan for yourself? Who will you choose as your professors or partners on your journey?
To what degree does your company or organization offer a well-defined career path?
Prior to entering the working world, many of us in the Baby Boomer generation experienced an educational system that was very linear and predictable. This approach won’t work for our 21st century workforce, and thankfully, things are changing.
For all of us, especially members of our younger generations, there will likely be far more zig-zagging, climbing, and leaping due to the exponential nature of change occurring in our world. Continuous learning of new and diverse skills will be an absolute necessity for motivated and hard-working people to reach the top levels in their chosen fields.
How can you, your colleagues and perhaps most importantly, your children and other young people be better prepared and engaged in navigating the jungle gyms of their current and future vocational playgrounds?
“Education today, more than ever before, must see clearly the dual objectives: Educating for living, and education for making a living.”
—James Mason Wood, 19th Century English Zoologist
Recall the days you got your school report card. What subjects did you study, and how did you do? To what degree did your studies prepare you for life?
Take a moment to look at your career-related studies and perhaps your performance review process for your current work or vocational efforts. How are you doing in these areas? How much do these efforts help you live your life?
What has your educational journey – beyond the focus on career development and making a living – looked like over the years? Who were your teachers, and what grades would you give yourself in the domains outside of work?
Give yourself a grad for each of the following subjects in your life – and feel free to add a few more “electives” to pursue your own advanced degree in living:
Where can and will you focus your educational efforts in living today and in the future to get a “PhD in Thee”?
“There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist
Image from Unsplash by Glenn Carstens-Peters
Elementary school, middle school, high school, and college are what we call traditional education. If you were lucky, perhaps your upbringing included books, encyclopedias, and of course, highly committed parents who emphasized education as a key doorway to a bright future.
For many, once we complete our traditional education, we slow down or even stop our efforts for continuous learning. Somehow that song, “No more teachers, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks” was ingrained in us, and we decided we were finished.
Consider yourself as your own home-schooling professor, creating the perfect curriculum just for you. The topics you choose are both important and relevant to a fully engaged and happy life. What could this self-driven education include that would result in a PhD in Thee?