That’s the word for someone who engages in self-learning and self-teaching. Most of our culturally cherished individuals were/are considered autodidacts. Many of these figures are from bygone eras (Abraham Lincoln, Michael Faraday, The Wright Brothers, etc.) but we have reached a point in our collective societal evolution where being self-taught is more crucial now more than ever.
To convince you further, here’s 5 reasons why everyone should engage in some form of self-teaching and self-learning.
Reason#1: Skyrocketing costs of learning
For many Americans and those in the Western world, the educational system has failed them.
As of this writing, collegiate student loan debt stands at 1.5 TRILLION dollars. That’s almost more than the combined total for auto loans and credit card debt.
One would think that all of this would be worth it in the form of something like better wages and a guaranteed, but wage growth has remained stagnant while inflation rises.
The unwritten “social contract” is this: go to school, graduate, get a nice and secure job. That’s the cultural narrative.
But what’s not talked about is how many people go to school for “worthless degrees”. They come out on the other side with a ton of student loan debt and little hope for the future.
If someone wants to get a career in a “worthless field”, there’s got to be a better way to do it.
Reason # 2: Builds patience
Learning is not an overnight endeavor. It takes time for your brain to internalize information and sort it out, applying it to where it needs to be applied.
This is the complete opposite of our current world. We live in an instant gratification, “gotta have it NOW” society. We want results delivered to us on a hot, steaming platter with a silver spoon (hold the mayo).
When you start to learn and internalize information on your own, you will respect the process and develop patience. In addition to this, you decrease your tendency to procrastinate.
Reason#3: Being an autodidact encourages self-mastery
When you don’t have someone constantly “cracking the whip” behind you to turn in assignments and prepare for pop quizzes, it then becomes your burden to learn what you have to learn.
Undergoing any form of personal or professional development requires a lot of sacrifice, discipline, and planning.
Not everyone will be up to the task but those that are will have the extra edge.
Reason # 4: Self-learning gives you that “extra edge”
Here’s the deal: most people learn what they need to learn in school and that’s it.
A degree from an accredited institution will not make you “set for life”. This is a sugarcoated fantasy, as explained in the first reason.
For myself, most of what I learned in college is now obsolete or on its way to becoming obsolete and I didn’t graduate that long ago. Relying on outdated information is like trying to use a 1990 IBM computer to run a complex computer script.
The world of tomorrow belongs to those who learn and internalize information at a deep level faster than their peers.
When you are constantly used to learning and you learn stuff that actually interests you, becoming an autodidact is a breeze. This means keeping ahead of the job market competition and getting further ahead in your career will be an easy feat.
You’ll be making the wave, not being the one riding it.
Become an autodidact today
After reading this article, I’d hope that you’ll decide to dedicate your life to learning more on your own. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to college. College is essential if you’re trying to major in something “hard” like becoming a doctor or a surgeon. Even those guys read in their field every day, learn new techniques, and experiment from knowledge they gained on their own.
I’d encourage you to think about your life path. Look ahead to the future and ask yourself: “what knowledge and skills will I need in X amount of years?” Figure that out, then go to work on developing those skills.
If you’re waiting for someone to come and tell you what you should learn and should do… you’ll be waiting a long, long time.
So don’t wait because if you jump in you can see how far your curiosity can take you.
Sim Campbell has made it his mission to examine what it means to live an expansive and fulfilling life in the modern world as a young emerging man. He talks about this on Unstoppable Rise, a site dedicated to relentless personal development with a strong philosophical slant.