Educate Yourself

Educate Yourself

A job well done, satisfies the soul. Such was the past week for me. I am a builder. I derive a lot of pleasure from seeing the results of my efforts. For the most part, this is a common thread that runs through my life. I am not good at idling my engines, and very few have had the opportunity to see me lying in the sun, on a beach. Walking the path that leads to the mountain is just as satisfying as reaching the summit. This I value, more and more, after too many years of only living for the summit.

One day, long ago, a co-worker said to me, “Paul, give yourself a pat on the back, once in a while, you’re doing a great job, and you need to know it as well.” I immediately understood what he had said, and I still remember his words to this very day. Today, I focus more on the journey, and a lot less on standing on the summit. This has made my journeys more fulfilling and happier. A two-minute stay on a summit, or a few days of ecstacy, after winning the gold medal, or the championship trophy, are all moments we aspire to.

It should never be forgotten that these fleeting moments are only achieved after years and years of dedicated, sustained effort. 99.9% of your time will be spent to reach the summit.  Simple math leaves you 0.1% left to enjoy the view from the summit. This is why I focus all my efforts now on the path to get there. The journey is always challenging, and the path can be long and treacherous. Ask anyone who has accomplished a major goal in their life. We all need goals. Goals are destinations. Where would a ship leaving a port sail to, if it had no destination? We spend most of our lives on the path to get “there”, so why not learn to enjoy all that it has to offer.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, “Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” Enthusiasm is not something that falls out of the sky, like rain and snow, it is a seed we carry inside of us, the more we water it, the more it grows. Without it, little can be produced and few dreams are realized. The summit is a very small part of the mountain. Once on the summit, the way from there, … is down, into the valleys again, only to plan a path to the next summit. Most of our lives are spend in the valleys, hence the need to appreciate and value our time there.

I am a vigorous proponent of self-education. I believe that educating oneself is a major responsibility that each individual must undertake. You must educate yourself. No one, except your parents will do this for you in your early years. If you miss out on this important duty, your life will be forever lost in shadows and miseries. Perhaps you mistakenly believed that it was the purpose of the schools to educate you. It is not their purpose, and if you still believe this, give your head the proverbial shake.

John Taylor Gatto, in his book, Dumbing us Down, writes this, “Schools are intended to produce…formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled. To a very great extent schools succeed in doing this, but…in a national order in which the only ”successful” people are independent, self-reliant, confident, and individualistic…the products of schooling are…irrelevant. Well-schooled people are irrelevant. They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal, but as human beings they are useless. Useless to others and useless to themselves.”

Adding to John Taylor Gatto’s interpretation of modern education is Noam Chomsky. This is an extract from his book, Understanding Power.

“…given the external power structure of the society in which they function, the institutional role of the schools for the most part is just to train people for obedience and conformity, and to make them controllable and indoctrinated.”

Almost all of my formal education taught me how to become an obedient sheep. Many of my classmates turned out to be obedient sheeple as well. What a waste, for active and energetic young bodies and minds. Lucky for me, my parents introduced me to the world of books, early. This in large part, help me to resist being corralled and shorned so often. As soon as I saw an opening in the gate, I was gone.

If you have young children, teach them how to read. If you are reader, read more. Read books that you don’t normally read. See how other people live. Every coin has 2 sides and, an edge. Don’t forget the edge. At the end of the day, ALL education is self-education. No one should be more concerned about your education than YOU!

If you believe that school system is designed to educate you, you may still be stuck in that pen with the other sheep. Baa … baa … baa

The years roll by quickly, don’t waste them.

11 thoughts on “Educate Yourself”

  1. i hardly can relate the topic. you noted that It should never be forgotten that these fleeting moments are only achieved after years and years of dedicated, sustained effort. and that most of our time will be spent to reach the top.  meaning we have just 0.1% left to enjoy the view from the summit. what did you mean? can you throw more light?

  2. Hi there. Too many persons I have seen that succeeded are those that tools the time, resources and pains to educate themselves. I totally agree with all that you have said; school makes us obedient alone; it adds very little or no value that is life transforming into our lives. I have seen many people that did well in school suffering before my eyes and I don’t want that to be my case.

    I am the kind of person that love learning on my own. I want to ask, is there any major difference between learning on my own and learning from a teacher? I mean in terms of effectiveness; take a piano lesson for example. Thanks.

    • Good Day, Vwegbah.

      All education is self-education. This does not mean that you shouldn’t learn from others. Learning the piano, reading a book , or taking a course are all educating yourself. You learn things from others, but you have to bring them into your mind.


  3. Hi Paul!

    Hope you are having a great day there in Canada.

    I have to say that reading all your blogs was a wonderful experience. They are very informative, insightful and very enlightening. Being a Wealthy Marketer myself, I understand your discussion about enjoying the journey and not trying to stand on the summit. I have only been at Wealthy Affiliate since the end of September, but I have leaned to work hard, not be distracted, and to engage with the community as often as possible. Right now I’m working through my Level 4 Entrepreneur Certification Lessons. I have a website on WA and one on WP. I am still in the process of building content for both.

    Your page and topic formatting and use of drop-down menus are exceptional and make it easier to maneuver through your website. This is something I have not yet been able to achieve. Maybe it’s just because of the theme I chose for my website or I just haven’t seemed to understand how to use my menus effectively.

    I knew about the Equifax breach as I believe I received one of those letters of doom, offering me free Credit Monitoring for one year.  The first thing I did was through the letter in the trash. I felt if I couldn’t trust them to protect my personal information, there was no way I was going to sign up for Credit Monitoring.

    You pointed out a lot of great information in this blog but I am missing the connection between your WA blogs and this one. Can you please offer some further explanation how this fits in with your other blogs?

    All the best!


    • Hi Barbara.

      Thanks for reading my posts. 

      The connection to my Equifax post can be made through Credit Monitoring. Building a business, online marketing is, is the same as any “brick and mortar” business. 

      We require good credit to purchase houses and cars and other expensive things. Equifax, Transunion, and Experian, are the 3 Credit Bureaus that monitor ” our credit” in North America. In Canada, we only have Equifax and Transunion. Whether we like it or not, they have and control our credit history. Every credit card and loan you make reaches and is stored in their database.

      If you were sent a letter, it is very likely that your credit files were compromised during this breach. I suggest you look further into it. Also, Equifax did give many people “free” credit monitoring for a number of years. A friend of my, who was a customer received 4 years of free credit monitoring.

      Hope this helps.


  4. Educating one’s self truly is the key to real learning.  For me, real learning means truth. I want to know THE truth about what I have learned.

    In school, as you’ve said, they “teach” us to control us.  They teach us what they want us to believe not what we should believe.  Would you not agree?  Did we not trust our teachers?  Yes, we did and we were in 100%. 

    It wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties that I started to read other books and materials about some of the things I learned in school.  I was OK with math, English, social studies and geography.

    As an example, and I won’t go into details, but I was really thrown for a loop when I started reading material about the arguments for the Evolution vs Creation controversy.  They weren’t teaching us both sides of the argument in the schools I went to.  In fact, the schools only taught evolution and they taught it as fact even though, even to this day, it is still a theory.  Much of it, (I later found out), was made up and fake but, that’s for another conversation.

    The end result of this was, they were guiding us into their “Truth”.  They were controlling our thought processes and in the end, what WE came to “Believe” WAS their truth.  But it wasn’t.

    Part of the whole process of gaining wisdom and understanding is EDUCATING OURSELVES. It’s discovering what the truth really is.  It’s not “What is your truth” or “What is my truth”.  It is “What is THE truth”.  I don’t think it matters what you study or learn about, you’re learning “truth”.

    There is a “right” and a “wrong” way to do just about everything, wouldn’t you agree?  I believe educating ourselves shows us the “right” way.

    I apologize if there is not enough “question” in my response.  Perhaps the real question is… What or why are we educating ourselves for if it is not to gain truth, wisdom and, understanding?

    What do you think?


    • Thanks Wayne, for the thoughtful comment. 

      Like you, I agree that some subjects did have a purpose and were useful. The mathematics, sciences, reading and writing properly.  

      A better and more in debt reading and writing program, learning how to think through problems, learning about the money system and how it works are other areas that can be very useful but they are seldom taught in school.

      It is mostly a system from the Middle Ages, hence the reason it turns out mostly obedient workers to service the system. Very little true education is involved.


      • I totally agree, Paul. Although we/our children need the basics, teaching how to work through problems and managing money the correct way, how to invest (Highschool) for the future, budgeting, these are all important. I wish they had focused on those when I was in school. Having those skills would have served me much better in my twenties through my forties.

        That was 50 years ago. Are they teaching ANY of this in school now? I have a feeling NOT.



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