The purpose of education is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions

“The purpose of education is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.”

James Baldwin, 20th Century American author

Image from Unsplash by Kyle Glenn

It’s pretty common at this point in the year for people to continue wishing each other a happy new year. I feel comfortable doing so even into early February.

As the days after the winter solstice become slightly longer and we pine for an early spring, many of us hope that 2023 will be a better and brighter year.

What were some of the most significant decisions you made in 2022?

How did they influence where you are today and the trajectory of the months ahead?

Perhaps it may be time to head back to school and expand your educational opportunities.


Instead of—or in additional to—formal schooling, please be sure to enroll in the “university of you.”

Consider creating your own personal and professional curriculum.

What would you like to learn? Who will be your teachers?

How might the lessons learned help you look more closely at the world and make even better decisions moving forward?

Friday Review: Education

Friday Review: Education

What are you doing to continue your education? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.


“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”




“Decide to DIY your education.”




“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.”




“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.”

“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.

“Decide to DIY your education.”

“Decide to DIY your education.”

—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?

Careers are a jungle gym not a ladder

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

—Sheryl Sandberg, Founder of LeanIn.ORg

Image of a jungle gym

Image from Indiamart

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

“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:

Health _______ Relationships _______
Emotional Intelligence _______ Fun _______
Adventure _______ Continuous Learning _______
Community Involvement _______ Faith/spirituality/Religion _______
Joy _______ Meaning/Purpose _______

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

“There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist

Image of a notebook with a checklist

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?