You want to make a positive impact on the world, and you’ve got an issue or two in your sights. Maybe you’re passionate about fighting climate change, building community, or ending structural racism. The systems we live in reward abiding by the status, and discourage efforts to make real changes. In theory, “don’t be a fool, stay cool” is a great advice. So be an autodidact and make the world a better place to live.
Autodidacticism (self-education), or autodactism, is education without the guidance of teachers and professors or institutions (such as schools). An autodidact may have some formal education, but his or her main field of study is sometimes completely self-taught.
Becoming an autodidact requires two important qualities: intensity and intentionality. Some people may have been gifted with intelligence, but the most important factor in their success was the intense way in which they approached learning.
An autodidact does not simply learn but does everything efficiently, Autodidacts focus on study methods that maximize outputs and minimize inputs. This is because they do not learn for the sake of learning, but instead learn with the intention of gaining real, tangible benefits. For example, autodidact Bryan Davis, founder, and owner of Lost Spirits Distillery explained the Curiosity Podcast that he taught himself chemistry in order to remain competitive in the spirits industry.
One more skill of a successful autodidact is the ability to connect information from disparate sources and fields. Many of the greatest autodidacts have made their mark by creativity connecting information from various experiences and academic fields.
The “father of modern genetics” Gregor Mendel’s pea-plant experiments were influenced by his education in the natural sciences and in religion, and “she sells seashells by the seashore” businesswoman Mary Anning discovered several new species of dinosaur while collecting fossils for her family business. She taught herself French just so that she could read archaeological published in that language.
Mindfulness instruction is for everybody, but you’re just anybody: you’re committed and clarity. People are not just anybody; they’re committed to genuine transformation. Build a deep mindfulness practice that fortifies your personal mission of making the world a better place.
So where do you go to start learning? There is no shortage of opportunity to educate yourself. Be an autodidact and make the world a better place to live.