There have been many stories of millionaires that were middle and high school dropouts. Conversly there are people with degrees settling for minimum wage jobs. Why is this? It goes to show that formal education only goes so far and it wholly depends on the person as to how knowledge is used.
Remembering back to high school I hated certain subjects including history and math and thus I didn’t pay much attention to the learning. Oddly enough today, I am in real estate and had to learn math on my own and through a few real estate classes. Also odd is that I have gained an appreciation for history and with the internet, TV sattellite and my own want to learn, I now have a good conversational skill of which the subject of history is now a part of. The reality is that we learn in our adult life for several reasons including necessity, curiosity or because someone we are close to knows about something that we want to know about.
Motivation is key to learning, which is why in high school I didn’t want to know about Aztecs or Pilgrims, they were not even still alive, what did I care? I didn’t want to know about Algebra, why would I ever use that information? As we get older we have certain motivations to learn about subjects that we once thought we’d never use. As an adult I have found that I not only like to write, I also enjoy conversing with people. Both of the things I like best have motivated me to learn a little about a lot including a contininuous attention to vocabulary and interesting events in which to converse.
There are also different types of what I would consider intelligence. There are people with street smarts, book smarts and sociologically smart. Most of us excell in at least one of these categories, and some excell in some or all. So when self teaching is spoken of it also begs the question of what do you want to learn. We can take online courses and work toward a degree but that may be only learning a ciriculum as an end to a goal. Learning is best done on subjects that you want to know about and the information can be kept with you for further use.
You can teach yourself anything and with todays free flowing information you can be en expert on just about anything. I can’t say enough that it starts with a spark of interest, some research or even talking with some experts in the field of whatever the subject is. When I was in college I wanted to be a psychologist but found I did not want to brave the long years of school yet I ended up dealing with people regardless. Being in real estate I can use my knowledge of psychology and hone the skills by virtue of being around many different people. After 18 years in the sales business I may have taught myself psychology without going to 7 years of school. Of course the difference is that I don’t have a framed diploma on my wall but does that mean I’m any less certified in the abilities of reading, assessing and knowing people? Actually the answer is no, I know this in part because I spent a small stint in marriage counseling and that counselor was a nut. She was a certified psychologist and counselor, she had her diploma but her social skills were nil. I did find something interesting through this stage of life however. The counselor had a divorced daughter, and I myself was facing the same even though I had the skills to analyze people. I learned that when you are too emotionally close to someone, all skills go out the window. Slightly off topic but it proves that just because someone went to school and got thier piece of paper does not make them smarter than you.
In closing, you can teach yourself anything and be as good if not better than the pros. It’s a matter of wanting to do it, implementing it and keeping at it. Without that piece of paper others may not classify you as if they would otherwise but it’s all about personal knowledge if you want to gain it for personal reasons.