Educate yourself

Learning does not require presence in an institution or even an instructor. In fact, smart people continue learning on their own well after their school years end, regardless of the level of education. We learn far more from our real life experiences than we’ll learn from school, and you can learn how to do anything provided you put forth the time, focus and effort to do so.

Here are easy ways to learn about any subject:

– Use the internet: Google your subject to get basic information from a variety of sources on your subject. While not all of these sources may have accurate, updated information, you can research several sites and get a consistent, basic overall knowledge of your subject. Wikipedia is a more refined resource on general subjects, as entries for every subject require references and is scrutinized by readers and administrators, though the consistency of information can still vary since all articles are written and submitted directly by readers.

When the material you read leads you to ask questions, go back to Google and conduct another search on the subject matter you have questions about. For example, if you research “football coaching”, and pieces you read make you curious about the Spread Offense, you can go back to Google and search for “Spread offense” to get more information and build your knowledge base.

If you want to read books on your subject, you can run a search on Amazon for books on your subject, which, even if you don’t purchase these books, can give you a reading list to take with you to the bookstore or library.

– Read several books on the subject: While some book information may be outdated, much of it can still educate you on the basics of your subject of choice. You can research potential materials on the internet before traveling to the library or bookstore, or search the catalog in house once you get there.

At a bookstore, you typically can sit down and read books off the shelf without purchasing them. If new to a subject and still learning, your best approach is to sit down with several books and read a bit of each one, only purchasing a book if you truly find it interesting or useful as a resource.

The advantage of the library over the bookstore is that checking out books costs nothing, allowing you to closely read more materials without risk… though library materials typically tend to be more dated than the bookstore, where new materials constantly cycle in as other materials are sold.

– Give it a try: If your subject can be safely practiced, why not try to do it yourself? Even if you’re not athletic, if you’re interested in running you can find a beginner’s running program, dress to exercise and give it a shot. If you want to learn how to play poker, even if you can’t or won’t take a few bucks to the casino, you can find simulators and online sites to practice on, or get a deck of cards and deal hands to yourself.

Even after reading about a subject, experience is the best teacher. Those who preceded you learned through trial and error, and it can help teach you as well.

No matter what subject you want to learn, the three ideas above can help anyone get the hang of any subject they want to learn more about. And as you explore more subjects, you’ll hone and improve your research skills, which will expand your potential in learning new subjects.

We never stop learning, and the smartest people aren’t the ones who know the most, but are the ones who never stop trying to learn new things. If you have questions, get out there and try to find answers.