As time goes by I realize the importance of self-education and how valuable it is to have the passion to learn.

I didn’t achieve my full potential in school but feel like if I ever do it in life, it would be because of the way I “self-learned”.

I don’t have the credentials that major schools offer, but in those disciplines I’m most passionate about — the ones that matter, I have not only the skills but also the experience.

Students shouldn’t wait to be unemployed or “bad-employed” to start learning the practical skills and acquiring the experience that can get them the job they truly want. Real experience beats any credential.

While a diploma tells our employer what we supposedly can do, a business or professional experience tells him what we’ve done.

We all know that rehearsing something is far different from doing it for real. I believe the marketplace is where this rule is the most strictly applied. The closer we grow to the marketplace, the faster we can find our way in this tough environment.

School (or at least some form of education) is essential, but it’s not enough. It provides the foundation, but that’s only part of the edifice. The rest is ours to build the way we want, with our own hands, by our own personal ideology.

Jim Rohn said, “work harder on yourself that you do on anything else.” I believe this is especially true in school because that’s when we’re most willing to learn — when we have the passion, the dreams, and the energy. For most of us it only gets harder as we get older.

However, we shouldn’t focus only on the technical and practical side of things. The day I started learning about personal development, or how to achieve success, wealth, and happiness, was one of the turning points of my life. There are valuable lessons to learn and fundamentals to master.

If we are to climb the ladder of success, our country may help us take the first step by providing schools that can get us our first job, but we have to take all the other ones.

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