Self guided education manifesto

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” —Mark Twain

Note: This post is intentionally long. It’s meant to be our compass for learning the skills that matter in the world and throwing theory out the window. Read it. Save it. Bookmark it. Come back to it. Print it and post it on your wall for you and the world to see and experience.

At the end of this post I’ve even provided two free PDF downloads to further guide you towards learning what matters (one is a list of over 30 of the best online resources for creating your own passion-filled curriculum). Check them out below. If you’re in email, be sure to click here to read this online to get the free content.


Enter the Unofficial Self-Guided Education Manifesto…

Last week’s article on The Birth of Self-Guided Education caught like wildfire. This topic has always been a passion of mine but I had no idea how much it would resonate with the rest of the Live Your Legend community. Over 4,500 of you read it, shared it or commented on it in a matter of a few days.

When that happens, I know a topic deserves some respect.

Many of last week’s comments blew my mind. As it turns out (and this should not surprise me much), many of you have already made amazing progress constructing your own experiences and success stories with Self-Guided Education. I was inspired to say the least. My realization was simple:

Living Legends create their own education.

The truth of the matter is every Living Legend (whether they dropped out of high school or got a couple PhD’s) took their education and their learning into their own hands. I don’t care what profession you’re in or aspire to, it’s on all of us to start learning the skills, tools and practical knowledge that matters.

For years I’ve been wanting to create a separate business on this topic but given the awesome momentum we’ve drummed up here, I say we run with it…

If we are going to really take this personalized education thing seriously, we must have a guide to help us on our way. Just as every great company has operating principles and every great person has values they believe in, we need our own lighthouse.

So I spent the last few days compiling the most fundamental lessons and principles I could find on Self-Guided Education. They are by no means inclusive and I know we will add to them over time, but they are indeed a start. For now, these are the sum of both my experiences and that of the Living Legends I’ve spent time with over the years. Many of your comments from last week and beyond helped make this manifesto what it is. Thank you.

So without further ado…

The 27 Principles to Teach Yourself Anything  (aka The Self-Guided Education Manifesto)

1. Theory is optional. Practical application is mandatory. Constantly ask yourself whether or not this new knowledge will make you more useful – both for helping others and for pursing your own dreams. Practical application rules the world. That’s what’s going to get you a job. It’s what will get you a promotion. It’s what will get your idea off the ground. What will get you funded. It’s what will make you money. It’s what will actually help people. Feel free to learn the theory too if that’s your thing (at times it can be fun), but never at the expense of learning what’s actually usable.

2. Showing up is just the beginning. It’s no longer enough to show up to class, do the homework and take the the tests. That’s table stakes. This is as true for formal education as it is for life. You must be willing to take what you learn and test, experiment and apply it to things that matter to you so you can see what actually works, what’s worthwhile and what’s a waste. No one else can do that for you.

3. Put yourself in situations where learning is required to survive and thrive. If your job, hobby or passion doesn’t require you to constantly learn then something’s wrong. Make it a must and you can’t help but grow. Sitting around pounding a keyboard and taking orders doesn’t require many new ideas. Changing the world does. Take the right risks and create the proper environment. *Thanks to Anne Samoilov for inspiring this one.

4. Learn who you are. Know your strengths, passions, weaknesses, talents, gifts, values, experiences, successes, failures. Dig inside yourself and test it all. I’ve spent the last ten years going to school on myself and I’m only just beginning. This is a constant. It’s exactly why I created the Live Off Your Passion eCourse. Becoming a self-expert should be a required minor (if not major) for every university student.

5. Learn what you love. This is the next step in knowing yourself. Constantly pay attention to the things that excite you. Notice which people who inspire and motivate you to be a better person. Catch yourself dreaming about the business you wish you would have started. Find the tasks and jobs that you get absolutely lost in. Watch closely.

6. Learn what you hate. The “I hate to do” list can be just as powerful as the “I love to do” list. Notice the things that make your hair stand up on end. Know which activities and personalities make you want to vomit. Avoid these like the plague. Society does not benefit from you spending more time doing things you hate or getting better at things you suck at. That is not what improvement is about. It’s about taking the best of you and making it better. The world will be better for it.

“90% of my education was outside of the classroom.” -Paul Jun, LYL reader

7. Don’t take anything for granted. Go out and test it all. I’m talking everything. This especially goes for those lessons, suggestions and “social norms” that seem completely ridiculous. If something tells you there must be a better way, there likely is. Go out and find it. Just because it was done one way for 30 years, does not mean it has to be done the same way tomorrow. In fact, the longer something has been practiced, the more it should probably be questioned.

8. Record everything. What you love. What you hate. What you’re good at. What you suck at. What inspires you. What depresses you. Every emotion and lesson, positive and negative, write it down and understand how it’s forming your story and how you can use it to better learn and apply going forward.

9. Be careful who you learn from. My personal rule is: once three trusted and admired people recommend something, I do it. The only problem with our new world of self-guided education is that there is more absolute crap available to learn than ever before. There are tsunamis of books being published, blogs being created and courses being offered today. By default this means the sheer number of mediocre or downright bad content available is going through the roof. Your time and your mind are precious. Find a way to filter what you consume.

10. Analyze every investment. This and the above go hand in hand. Our time is priceless and our money comes in at a close second. For every dollar and every hour you’re investing, be sure you’re getting a return. That could be in the people you meet, the businesses you build, the skills you acquire, or anything that you attribute genuine value to. You decide.

If more people scrutinized their investment in education like they do the shiny, expensive trinkets they buy, I bet we’d have a lot fewer folks walking around looking for jobs with theory-filled diplomas and a mountain of debt. In order for something to be an investment, it must have a return. Keep your standards high.

11. Teach others. There is no better indication of true knowledge than when you can genuinely help and teach someone else the material. Give, give, give. The high is unreal. Yesterday morning I interviewed Simon Sinek (author of Start With Why) for Live Your Legend (it will be live in mid January!). He hammered home the fundamental truth that we are here to serve and help others. Nothing makes us feel better. Check out Simon’s recent talk If You Don’t Understand People, Your Don’t Understand Business, for an added kick in the ass.

You know things that others want to know. Identify that and find a way to offer it. Use a blog, the web, a community group, your family, anything. Trade knowledge. If you can teach something to someone else, chances are they can teach something to you too.

12. Build things. This starts from day one. If you are reading about how to write, then start writing. If you’re being taught how to interview, they go find some job openings. People dramatically overestimate how much time them must spend learning before they start doing. The answer is exactly ZERO. The moment you start learning is the moment you must start building and testing.

13. Break things. Don’t expect everything you build to work. In fact, most of it won’t. That’s where the best learning happens anyway in the screw-ups and the failures and in what you do as a result. The Wright Brothers were rumored to have brought five sets of parts to every attempted test flight because that’s how many times they’d fail before supper. James Dyson went through 5,127 prototypes before he invented the first vacuum that didn’t lose suction. The people who break the most things tend to experience the most success.

14. Make money. Most people don’t make money from things that are fun because they either think it should take much longer or they never ask in the first place. What if you put a price on your experiments from day one? I bet there’s someone who will pay you. And it’s not until you have a paying and satisfied (or unsatisfied) customer, that you really start to learn if your ideas are worth a dime. Does it help people and will they pay you for it? That’s the ultimate decider of whether your ideas and education have merit.

15. Efficient is not the same as Effective. Just because you can hand address 1,000 envelopes in an hour, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just use a template and print them out in five minutes. And just because you can print 1,000 envelopes in five minutes doesn’t mean you shouldn’t scrap the snail mail altogether and take to YouTube, blogs or the web where you can get some real leverage (although I’m a huge fan of the thoughtful hand-written note on the right occasions).

For some reason we’ve become obsessed with efficiency. But that’s the very thing that might be killing us. Being Efficient is doing things right. Being Effective is doing the right things.There’s a massive difference.

16. Most education happens outside of the classroom. Useful products don’t get built inside your four walls. Learning doesn’t happen inside a 15-pound textbook. The rubber meets the road when we decide to step out of what’s comfortable and actually start interacting with the real world. That’s where the data, the improvement and the magic happens.

“If you want to write your own life, I suggest you start by Googling a course on something interesting to you.” -Eddy Azar, LYL reader

17. Explore. My best education to date was the years I spent studying at the London School of Economics (in a hands-on learning environment) and running a small business in Sevilla, Spain. That changed my understanding of the world in a way that I never could have dreamed of. It made all the difference. World travel ought to be a requirement for everyone. Drop a year of school if you have to to save money. It’s that important. Explore everything. Yourself. Others. Ideas. The world.

18. Connections are EVERYTHING. The people you meet influence what you learn, what you believe and who you are. Constantly evaluate what relationships best serve your goals professionally and personally. Keep the best and fire the rest. Everything magical in the world exists because of the people who came together to make it possible. The world begins and ends with your relationships. This is actually the next course and book I’ve already started working on for all you (tentatively titled How to Connect With Anyone – more on that soon).

19. Don’t assume anything. You may learn your most powerful lessons in the most peculiar of places. Expect this. Search them out. Have fun with it.

20. What if everyone had it backwards? Every so often, sit down and ask yourself: What if everything I’ve been told is completely backwards? What if the pundits are wrong? What would that look like? Invert everything. If you think you need a year of experience to do something, think about what would happen if you started attempting it with only a day under your belt. I’m not saying you do that, but at least think about it. See what comes up. Ok, then maybe give it a shot. ;)  After all, what’s the worst that could happen…

21. Try every medium. Read books and articles, listen to tapes and seminars, watch videos and presentations (TED Talks are a great place to start), write down ideas and stories. There are so many ways for us to learn. Find those mediums that resonate most. Focus your learning there, but then take in the others to turn things on their head from time to time.

22. Get in arguments. Perhaps “discussions” is a better word. With friends, with smart people, with experts, with everyone. Find people who will test your ideas. People who will question your beliefs and help you see things from angles you may have been blind to on your own. It’s amazing how certain we can be of things right up until someone provides a more compelling answer. Be confident enough to stand up for what you believe, but be open enough to know when you’re wrong.

23. Find people who think you’re crazy. Don’t just surround yourself with people who believe exactly what you believe. If you do, you’ll never know if your ideas are truly objective. Good friends, mentors and models are often good at serving the role of devil’s advocate. You want these people around. They make you better.

24. Seek out different ways of doing things. The online world makes this endless. There are a million ways to make a living, change the world and help people. Notice all the ways people have been successful. Find the tools that suit you best. Devour them. *See the end of this post for a free PDF download of over 30 of the best online learning tools I’ve found.

25. Everything is a lesson. Every person. Every experience. Every hardship. All of it is your teacher.

26. Nothing is certain. Beware of those who are overly sure of themselves. There’s often other ways. Don’t be naive.

And finally…

27. It never ends.

There is always more to learn. There’s always more to discover. The learning never ends. Never. I don’t care what your age or stage is. If you’re not learning, you’re dying, literally. The choice should be pretty clear.

Develop a passion for learning like you would for anything else you love. Learn the things that interest you and apply them in ways that make you and others happy and you’ll become addicted in no time. The only option is to make learning an obsession.

And there you have it – just a few principles to get us started.

*By the way… this list is not complete. Nor will it ever be. If I missed anything you think is core to our manifesto, please leave it in the comments below. Add anything you see fit.

We are entering a new world of education.

One where we decide what enters our brain. We decided what matters most. We get to build our curriculum. We get to take control and be responsible for learning the things that will make the biggest difference in our lives.

Why take the reins, you ask?

Because when we focus on learning the things that actually matter, we make the world better.

Welcome to the Self-Guided Education movement.

We’re just getting started and one thing’s for sure… It’s going to be a party.

I’m glad you’re with me.


Need help building your own education? – Here are 2 free downloads

I created two free subscriber-only tools to help you create your own curriculum:

1. A PDF list of over 30 of the top online sites and resources for learning absolutely anything, on your own terms and for very cheap.

I put together a document with all the best websites and online tools I’ve found for learning just about anything under the sun. Let this be the starting point for creating our own passion-filled curricula.

2. A sharply-designed and formatted PDF version of the above manifesto.

A slightly sexier version of the above manifesto, for you to print out and put up somewhere where it will inspire you and those around you to take control of learning the things that matter.

These resources are free for people who have joined our community at Live Your Legend by subscribing to free email updates.To get the workbooks, just enter your email address in the form below. Don’t worry, if you’re already a subscriber you won’t be double-subscribed, you’ll just get immediate access to the free downloads:


*If you don’t see a form, click here to get the free tools.

Scenery images courtesy of a Duncan Fawkes Photography, a loyal and talented LYL reader.
Thanks to Corbett Barr of Expert Enough for the inspiration on the manifesto image. 

  • Jeronimo

    Loved it!

    I think that the go to class education system of today has an expire date. I mean, everyone gets bored (ever the teachers), information is growing so fast that when we finish our studies some of it is outdated…we have to find new ways of learning that are in alignment with all the new sources of information we have.

    The bad thing is that nowadays anyone can be an expert and offer crap instead of the real deal.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      It’s true. The main issue does seem to be that the school system cannot keep up. A personal expert who’s had real world experience can have something up and live to teach others in a matter of days or weeks with no one to tell him whether he can or can’t publish it. Not so much so in formal education.

      But the negative with this hyper speed is that indeed people can act like they are experts when they aren’t. That’s why I have the rule that at least a few respected people must recommend a book or course before I’ll take it (unless I’ve created a trusted relationship with the author personally through their blog or elsewhere). You gotta filter through the stuff that really isn’t that helpful. Asking other savvy people is a great way to do this.

  • Paul Jun

    This is a high quality post, Scott.

    You know what’s a shame? Well . . . depending on the school, of course, most of the time you will not learn or hear anything this good in school, ever. I’m going to email this to my advisers and professors and recommend them to send this to students, because people need to hear this man. This is why kids are graduating college STILL looking for a job. They wait till they graduate to start anything. The time is to start now.

    I also had to understand and exercise how to balance and organize my time. I guess sacrifice would be the proper way to explain it. Sacrifice time and hanging out and watching tv.

    I had to sacrifice a lot of fun and free time to force myself to sit down, study, read, watch, and learn something. It’s hard to change habits, but if you’re passion enough, you’ll do it.

    I tell people, listen, if it’s worth something you’ll find a way, if not you’ll find an excuse.

    It’s hard to sit down and study and focus real hard, but after a while it gets easier.

    Again, awesome post, and just downloaded the PDF.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Thanks so much for sharing this with the powers that be Paul. I’d love to hear what they think. Ideally professors will work in conjunction with self-guided education folks like our community at Live Your Legend.

      btw, I LOVE this quote of yours: “if it’s worth something you’ll find a way, if not you’ll find an excuse.”

      I’m posting it to the LYL facebook page right now. Hope you don’t mind!

    • pf

      Weird , I have the complete opposite … I have to force myself to spend time on nearly anything that doesn’t involve honing my art craft. Just sitting down and watching 20 minutes of TV is painful because that is time I can use for drawing. Damn.

      • Jacob Lane

        Awesome! :D

  • Shanna Gagnon

    Thanks for this post Scott! I’m saying goodbye to my students on Friday as I head out on maternity leave. I am going to us your post as a way to inspire on-going learning with my students. Keep it up!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Yeah!! This is where it starts Shanna. With the teachers who are willing to take a stand and teach what they know matters. Thanks so much for your support! You are making a massive difference with those kids.


    Good post Scott, there are some principles that I will write on my bedroom walls: 4, 5, 6, 12, 18, 19.
    I would add one principle: “Always think you are stupid when you begin to learn something”, be humble. Knowing is like traveling, when you travel a lot, you realize how ignorant you are about the world.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Awesome Malinco! Another excellent quote too: “Knowing is like traveling, when you travel a lot, you realize how ignorant you are about the world.”

      Thanks for that!

  • Dan Holterhaus

    Hey Scott,
    I particularly like #17, Explore. It sounds like that had a drastic effect on your life, and I find that each new thing that I explore brings a new excitement to my life!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      It was the massive game changer for me Dan and that’s why travel and exploration has become a constant in my live since the very first trips.

      I’ve thought about this a lot with my close friends…

      If I had to sum up my life mission/purpose in one word I am pretty sure it would be EXPLORE. That’s where everything begins.

  • Quinn DeLuna

    Great Post Scott! I especially like principals #1 and 10. I forwarded this post to my younger brother as he has just finished his 1st quarter at UCLA’s E.E. program. I always try to make sure that he doesn’t make the same mistakes I made in college. Your post hits several key points right on the head.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Hey Quinn – awesome to hear from you! It’s been way too long since we’ve caught up proper. Let’s do it soon.

      Thanks so much for keeping up with things over here and for spreading the good word to the people who are just getting started. That’s where it can have the biggest impact.

      Let me know next time you’re in SF and we’ll have a proper catch up!

  • marc van der linden

    Excellent list of life principles! I love the principles and also the format of presenting them – it make is easy to read, understand and remember

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Huge thanks marc. I think I might even have a designer rework the image of all the words at the top to make it even more engaging!

  • Sudan

    Great Post again! Seems like you are on a roll. Few of your ideas were awesome, many of them were common but ignored ones.I really liked your statement” Once three trust and admired people recommend something, i do it. Awesome method when you are confused and unable to take decision. I will give it a try. Keep going. People are dying to receive Scott! How about taking an interview with Josh Kaufman from PMBA? I think that post will burn the fire on education system.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Excellent point Sudan. I actually was reading Josh Kaufman’s stuff just this morning and wrote a note down that he’d be an excellent person to interview for the Live Your Legend audience.

      Crazy coincidence that I’m just reading this idea from you too – thanks for that!

  • Heather

    An excellent post!

    Many of us who have been around long before the information age need to ‘unlearn’ before we can learn. Doing the theory and not the practical is much like having the thought but not taking action.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      So true Heather. Perhaps I’ll spend a bit more time on the unlearning in a future post. That’s a crucial step for many of us to get right before the rest of the magic happens. Great idea!

  • Tom

    Good post…

    But maybe a little ironic, if not hypocritical.

    Tell people to begin selling their ideas, products, manifestos, books, blogs, education programs…

    Then warn of the amount of garbage information floating around (and say ‘only trust verified sources’).

    Word of warning to ALL readers – watch out for snake oil, no matter the source.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      I second that warning in a huge way Tom!

      I realize that I am in that product/service selling business with the work I do at LYL. The key is to only consume the things that come highly recommended or are from sources you trust. That’s why I have the “3 trusted recommendations” rule. If three people tell me it’s worth while then it is. This could be well known testimonials from a blog or product, close friends I trust or a relationship I’ve built with a writer or entrepreneur by reading and interacting with their site and work.

      Unfortunately there is a lot of subpar work out there. A lot of products that should not have ever been for sale in the first place. The excellent news is that over time this is all self regulating. People cannot go on selling products forever if they don’t help others in a meaningful way. Those who really do make others’ lives better will prevail over time as long as they stay in the game and keep at it.

      Help people in a way that only you can and the rest will sort itself out.

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  • Duncan Fawkes

    Great post, think this is right on the money.

    Some resources that sprang to mind seem a little more specialised than those you included in the PDF and may be wide of the mark you’re aiming for, but they are resources that I have used in building my passion for photography:

    1) Creative Live ( inspired by top photographer Chase Jarvis. Provides free live weekend long online ‘classroom’. Topics are predmoninantly photography based, but there are others (e.g. cupcake decorating is one I put one of my friends onto recently). You can also buy the courses for a reasonable fee if you miss the live show (they answer questions via twitter, etc during the lessons so it’s good to get involved live if you can).

    2) Craft & Vision ( create resource brought by another top guy David DuChemin. Good blog posts, really useful and cheap eBooks and there’s a $99pa community that you can join for monthly podcasts, free books, image critiques, etc.

    3) Horse’s Mouth ( not a photography one this one and haven’t yet used this personally. Online mentoring network, and I think we all need mentors in our life (I certainly do!). Appears to be UK-only.

    As I say, might not be what you’re looking for but thought I would share and let you decide!

    One thought that I’m sure is on your radar but I thought I would throw your way anyway is that geting this info out of a PDF and onto a website would be a great step forward. That website would then become a portal to great learning. Could have open contributions to lists in various categories, reviews and ranking system such that the resources most people find useful rise to the top. Could have recommended reading lists on a variety of topics (there are so many good books we should read!). Probably require membership or subscription to prevent spammers/keep quality of contributions high.

    Thanks again.

  • Paul

    I love the find people who think you are CRAZY idea. It seems to be common on the web nowdays for those who attract the most attention ; ). What I have find extremely helpful is using powerful mindmapping tools such as the technology on TheBrain (check on google). I love brain dumping and believe in the theory of never forgetting an idea. I have an example on my website. I think that everyone should look at super fast and efficient ways of learning. One thing that has helped me for sure is photoreading and I suggest that anyone who is studying or preparing for a new profession should take a look at how photoreading can help them. Thank you for sharing : )

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Such a good point Paul. I actually used to teach speedreading in San Francisco for the Iris Organization. The stuff is so powerful. That’s where I learned so much about mind mapping too. We used MindMeister a lot but I know there are plenty of other great programs.

  • Jen Lilienstein

    This post goes right along with one of my favorite quotes:

    “Learning is high adventure–not a chore.”
    ~ Gordon D. Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Learn to love it and anything, I mean ANYTHING, is possible!

  • Greg Denning

    I love it Scott. I think learning comes from three main sources: Inspiration, Study, and Experience.
    Life is amazing when we add rocket fuel to our learning and growth by applying ourselves DAILY to those three sources.
    Let’s seek inspiration, study the best books and ideas, and get out and create incredible (and challenging) experiences for ourselves.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      And OUTPUT is key to making it all useful. We have to get out and do. That’s where the real magic beings. Great points!

  • Noch Noch

    awesome reminders. i’d add – also something i’ve been struggling with – that we need to be generous and give. perhaps similar to what you say about “teaching”. but an extension, is to be generous with the contacts you have, the knowledge you have… it will come back around. i used to hold everything close to heart and calculate. i’ve now learnt that giving makes me happier than calculating what i can gain in every situatino
    Noch Noch

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Excellent point Noch. I actually wrote about it in this weeks post about Real Relationships. Do everything you can to connect others with people you know whom could be of huge benefit. We all know people who others would love to know. Take the time and think about what introductions you can make. What things can you do for others with no thought of getting something in return. In the end, it’s all about giving!

      I am working on my next book/product and it’s all about Connecting with People both for others’ benefit and your own. Can’t wait to share it!

  • Garth Beyer

    One thing I would have to add to the list is quite simple.


    I am not being egotistic when I say that I knew each principle you shared. As a fact, I would bet that more than 75% of those who read it all knew them as well. The thing is that the moment we finish reading this post, life grasps us yet again and immediately we forget more than half of the principles.

    I for one will come back to this post relatively so that I can be reminded of these principles.

    Stay Positive and Self-Education
    -Garth E. Beyer

    • Scott Dinsmore

      You’re right on Garth. That’s why I created the free PDF for people to download and print out and put some place where it could remind and inspire them daily. Out of sight, out of mind. We need to make this stuff memorable!

  • Naveen Kulkarni

    Hi Scott,
    I am a first time visitor here ( actually wondering how did I didnot know about such a wonderful blog so far).

    You have put together some really excellent points about self guided education.

    I feel, point #6 : Learn what you hate ….is the real gamechanger when it comes to eliminating our (imaginary) fear of doing something new.

    Learning what we hate actually puts us in the uncomfort zone and when you start getting involved yourself into it, you suddenly start growing. Everything seems so easy.

    Thanks for this article and have a great day.

    • Scott Dinsmore

      Welcome to the adventure Naveen!! So glad you stopped by and that some of this resonated with you. You are going to be at home with our community and I hope you’ll stick around for what’s to come!

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  • Anne Samoilov

    Finally catching up on all my reading…and was sooo excited to read this. I didn’t even realize this was a topic I’m passionate about until reading your last one covering the topic.

    3, 4, 15, 20, and of course 27 are the ones that hit me the strongest, but truthfully, each one stopped me for a moment because they are all so thoughtful.

    I especially think the one about connections and building relationships is so important too. I’ve watched people who connected with each other not only support and lift each other up, but also end up being co-creators of some of the most amazing work. Genius can happen in that partnering…

    Love it and thanks again Scott – and the shout out in #3!

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  • John Casidsid

    This is very valuable information, Scott. I’m fortunate to have stumbled upon your blog during a Google search on self guided education. You’ll be happy to know that you are one of the top sites for this search.

    This is very exciting material and opens up so many doors for readers like me, who are currently in college, to take control of our education. The learning definitely occurs outside the classroom… on your own, during real-world experiences. The fact that your testimony, along with many others who have received college degrees, affirms my belief that a degree is only a piece of paper made for credential purposes. In order to learn, we have to be intentional in learning the material we want to know.

    I am only beginning to unlock my unlimited potential to learn and will be trying to spread this movement of self-guided education to my family and friends. I really think this can change some of their lives.

  • Hussein Zoulfikar

    Excelent post Scott, currently i’m in a career status where your words are so helpfull to me.
    i just printed the manifesto and hang it on my desk at office

    • Hussein Zoulfikar

      Where I really find my passion is owning a natural sweetener manufacturing business (Stevia), but I can’t go ahead now and start the business for some financial reasons as I’m still recovering from a financial strike and have Obligations (two children)
      I’m currently a project manager in an organization. I thought of the “getting fired” option. But before that step I’m taking a transitory option. I’m presenting a proposal to the entrepreneur for a project which I hope (if implemented) will make me wake up excited every day.
      In this project I’m reconciling between the organization’s line of business and pouring to my knowledge and experience which will benefit me in my future business dream.
      As well I’m thinking to start “small” with my business, in parallel with my current job.

  • Annette

    This is a great list of education rich websites! However, I didn’t see listed. This is an excellent resource for FREE college level courses online. I signed up for a couple, and it was a good experience for me.

    • Michael

      I use Coursera as well. I’ve recently got into web design and I hope to take design classes on Coursera to further my studies. My experience on Coursera was also very good! I did a blog post on Coursera check it out!

  • Peter

    Really good,

    but you are not trying to sell something … right?

    If you try, how can I trust you? You’re a salesman…

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  • Samantha

    Learn when to step away, stop, and be silent. Sometimes I need to pause for a moment to let the big ideas breathe before acting on them. Not always…but sometimes this is key. Thanks for piecing together such an encouraging manifesto!

  • Jason Wallis

    Hi Scott and all, I am a professional photographer (yes I know: “everyone is a professional photographer nowadays”)
    However, I stay ahead of the pack by continuous learning.
    At first I would spend time watching Photoshop tutorials on Adobe TV and YouTube and then lately I have been subscribing to an online library of photoshop courses for a very low amount.
    I spend about an hour a day and have found already my knowledge and what I can DO with images has increased exponentially.

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  • John

    All this stuff is great. People are confused by what is really going on in schools. Good schools and good teachers don’t just teach content. They teach broad concepts and principles. The learning of content is to be seen as an example of a principle.
    Great teachers also teach students how to learn, to be enthused by learning.
    Recent learning research shows that by learning something just a little more difficult than a person feels comfortable with, causes brain connections to be made. This results in future learning of anything to be more easy.
    This is why a university degree in anything is much better than no formal education.

  • Chimpy

    “1. Theory is optional. Practical application is mandatory”

    I want to become a brain surgeon. Would you be happy for me to practise my self guided learning on you and your children?

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  • Alejo

    Awesome 27 points, a great way to start this path, Thanks Scott

  • Dana Malstaff


    Some great stuff. I don’t see on your list for self-guided education. It’s an amazing resource and a great place to meet likeminded people as well.

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