Growth is high on my list of values, that’s why I’m an autodidact. If you’ve never done a list of your values, I suggest you take three minutes, and try it now. Writing, seeing, and re-reading your values brings clarity to your daily actions. It gives you a clear path to follow, and often prevents you from doing things that would feel wrong.
Because growing is a high priority value to me, I feel compelled to do every single day. In the Internet age, where endless knowledge is available to all, the autodidact is right in her comfort zone.
Consuming Information vs Learning
There’s a big difference between consuming information and learning. Consuming information is the same as eating a big Mac trio. You eat it, digest it, feel something– mostly disgust–, and forget about it. It just fills a void in your life, or your stomach.
Learning engages your brain, and sometimes your body. It’s taking an idea from someone else, dissecting it, testing it, using it, applying it, changing it so it works better, and sharing it back to the world. Your improved idea is now ready to receive the same fate you made it endure.
Fear is the Path to the Dark Side
There’s tremendous joy in being a self-taught person, but the joy might just stay at level one or two if the ideas are not shared with people. I’ve been doing the taking, dissecting, testing, using, applying, and changing, but not the sharing of ideas, which prevented joy to reach higher levels.
Out of fear of people’s reaction to my “outrageous” ideas, I’ve been hiding them in the dark. Because I was afraid people would judge my person, my ego, I didn’t share my thoughts.
Now that I understand that ideas are separate entities of the self, it’s easy to share them with the world. Whether the response to the idea is positive or negative is irrelevant. What matters is that the idea can grow, giving the opportunity to the autodidact to use it, shaping it with all her experience, and sharing it again.
Are you an autodidact? Do you share your ideas, or keep them in the dark because they’re “weird” and “outrageous”?