For more than 25 years, I have provided scholarships for young people wanting to attend a private university here in my home town. Over the years, our scholarship fund has assisted more than 500 students with their education. I’m always amazed that young people will make great personal and financial sacrifices to apply to many universities in hopes that they can get a college degree. After being accepted to an institution, they commit a great amount of time and money toward their goal but they can be heard to ask questions such as “Are we required to come to class?”, “How much of the book do we have to read?”, and “Will this actually be on the test?” They strive to avoid as much of the very classroom that they spent so much time trying to get in to.
The term “school” comes from a Greek word that means “free time.” School was actually a reward or an honor that was bestowed upon a young person who didn’t have to work in the fields a full day but was allowed to spend some of their time thinking, learning, and becoming exposed to new ideas.
Education is a lifelong process. It does not end when we graduate. Quite the contrary in fact. Our real education begins when we leave school which is why thegraduation ceremony is called a commencement.
I often think we put far too much emphasis on formal education as opposed to informal education. While I am very proud of my university education and degree, most of the things I know today that impact the way I live and pursue my passions came to me after my formal education.
If you will read 10 books on any subject, you will know more than 99% of people on that topic. We all need to organize our informal education as much as our formal education is organized. You need to have a reading list of books, magazines, and newspapers that pertain to your area of interest or passion. If you’re not sure what to read and study, simply ask the people who are where you want to be for a reading list.
My late, great friend, colleague, and publisher, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones always said, “You will be the same person you are today five years from now except for the books you read and the people you meet.” Through reading books and meeting people, you can go anywhere you want to go, be anything you want to be, and do anything you want to do.
As you go through your day today, commit to learning what you need to know to live the life you want to live.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.