Many decades ago, a holocaust survivor told me that the secret to her survival was to put as much useful information as she could inside her head. Even if she had to flee with the clothes on her back, what was inside her head was safe as long as she was alive. Her knowledge could always be used to generate an income later.
I use this advice daily.
Infestation of ignorance
Many cultures celebrate the wisdom of age. Our society celebrates ignorance. This will be our downfall.
Our physical growth stops in our late teens, but our intellectual growth stops only with death. Continue to build your knowledge no matter what your age.
The movie Idiocracy projects our society 500 years in the future when ignorance takes over. Jay Leno features a segment called Jay Walking on the Tonight Show in which he asks general knowledge questions such as “what year did Columbus sail,” to people on the street and then makes fun of their lack of knowledge.
Ignorance is not funny, it’s serious.
Ignorance is a parasite. We must not allow ourselves to become infested by ignorance. It not only erodes and kills its host; its spread will destroy our way of life. Ignorance must be defeated with knowledge.
We must not accept ignorance as an obstacle to success.
Safety in knowledge
Ignorance is unnatural and unsafe.
Twice in a row last week I was given incorrect change. Neither clerk was able to correct their mistake without my help. (I was actually given too much change in both cases.) If it were not for my morals, I could make a substantial living by just receiving the wrong change at checkout counters.
Without knowledge, you become a victim of those who have knowledge. You become their slaves. Without knowledge, you become easily controllable to those with information.
I teach high school graduates who count on their fingers, who cannot read a newspaper, who cannot calculate their paychecks. One of my students confessed to me that he lost his home to foreclosure because he signed the mortgage papers without being able to understand what he was reading.
Do not allow yourself to become victimized by ignorance.
It is within your power and your responsibility to get educated.
Limiting our dreams
We use our lack of knowledge as an excuse to limit our dreams. We confuse lack of knowledge with lack of potential.
We all have vastly unlimited potential. We are capable of accomplishing just about anything we can imagine – flight, going to the moon, breaking the sound barrier, conquering hunger.
We restrain ourselves by concentrating on the qualifications that we need, rather than HOW we will become qualified to do what we WANT. Truly successful people see no restraints. Success seeks knowledge.
In order to achieve your dreams, you must get qualified. Getting qualified is your responsibility. Find the dream, and you will find the way.
Do not allow lack of money to become an obstacle to your education.
“All wish to possess knowledge, but few…are willing to pay the price.” -Juvenal
Knowledge is free, an education is not. Intellect is not a function of income. You will find the money once you have the dream.
Most dreams require money and educated people make more money. The highest paid careers involve specialized knowledge. Get that knowledge and get paid.
An education is an investment in your success.
Degrees are merely documents
Although formal education is the easiest way to become successful, many of our wealthiest citizens never received a degree. That is not to say that they did not obtain knowledge.
Learning through reading, practice, mentors, museums, observing nature, and of course, the Internet are all ways to increase your knowledge, but increased knowledge is a must.
“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Chekov
To succeed, you must become a master in your field. You become a master through knowledge and practice.
Knowledge alone does not create expertise; it merely provides a foundation for practice.
Only through continual improvement will you find true success.