“The Energy of the Mind
is the Essence of Life!” –Aristotle
I have dozens of friends who have often lamented their lack of a college degree. I would, respectfully, point out that history is rife with easy examples of tremendous success by people who eschewed the notion that education (vs knowledge) is vital to success.
Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Ted Turner, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, are just a few of the thousands of highly successful Americans who never completed college. Absent a degree – all this handful of Americans did was end slavery and found such iconic American companies as Apple, Oracle, CNN, and Microsoft.
Also, I would argue that the opportunities to become “educated and knowledgeable” have never been more available to all us for just a few dollars a year! Consider this. An average four-year degree will entail eight-semesters of study. For argument’s sake, let’s say that each semester required five classes and two textbooks. Do the math.
Your $125,000 degree would consist of the knowledge gleaned from reading around eighty books. EIGHTY BOOKS! As uneducated genius Matt Damon told the smug and arrogant Harvard student in Good Will Hunting, AFTER destroying him in a debate on history and economics, “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”
My purpose here is not to trash a college education. My purpose is to celebrate the life-long availability, to all of us, of the means to become knowledgeable in an infinite variety of subjects. Of course, that avenue has always been available via the public library.
However, our high-tech world has put every book on the planet at our fingertips to read or listen to – instantly! The notion that you “don’t have time” to educate yourself today is simply a false and lazy premise. You can easily migrate your book reading & book listening into existing time commitments such as driving or exercising.
The beauty of listening to books while exercising is truly an elixir of the Gods. It is the epitome of the sum being greater than the parts as you, simultaneously, improve the fitness of the two most important organs in your body; your heart and your brain.
We now know that the fate that awaits the vast majority of us will be our physical demise driven by heart disease or dementia. What a powerful Dynamic-Duo, then, is the marriage of exercising both in just 30-60 minutes a day? How sweet is it also that within that practice – we could consume the equivalent of five-to-ten college degrees, over the course of our lifetime, while counting steps on a treadmill or walking our neighborhood recreation trails? A healthy heart and brain is an irresistible added benefit.
The human brain is a miraculous marvel whose power and capabilities are almost inexplicable. Each of us has been gifted with an almost infinite capacity of intellectual horsepower and knowledge potential. Sir Francis Bacon once said simply and eloquently, “Knowledge is power!”
I would argue that knowledge is a SUPER – power that has never been easier to access and acquire and never more crucial for a happy, healthy and satisfying life. The ability to read was once a luxury enjoyed only by the elites. Today? Access to the worlds intellectual diamond mines are as close as your keyboard and a set of headphones. Drinking deeply from this infinite well of knowledge will be the gift that keeps on giving…for a lifetime.
“The mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never returns to its original dimensions.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson