Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education. ~Bertrand Russell

Herman Melville, Ernest Hemmingway, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Charles Darwin, Leonardo DaVinci, Buckminster Fuller, and thousands of other world-changing minds have something in common:

They’re AutoDidacts.

These are all people who taught themselves whatever skills they were interested in without the benefit of a mentor, or the interference of education.

Too many people misconstrue an education for intelligence, or having a degree with genius. Here’s an incredible autodidact (and personal hero of mine) talking about how the most educated people are often the easiest to fool:

[vc_video ratio=”16-9″ align=”center” link=””]


Personally, I’ve been educated with a mixture of self-directed practice, reading books, attending college, and personal mentors.

I taught myself a lot on my own, then demonstrated skill to people who would become my mentors, and then threw college into the mix. I was fortunate to grow up around some really interesting people who taught me really cool stuff like how to juggle fire when I was 13 years old.

Not everybody is as lucky as I am.

Digital Revolution

Until recently, everyone who would be considered an “autodidact” was severely limited in how they could learn. It was either through books (which could be hard to come by), or mentors (who might not live close by).

Nowadays, however, we have access to an incredible resource that’s so incredibly powerful & extensive that you’ll never reach its end; the internet.

No matter what topic you want to learn about, you can do a quick search and find detailed tutorials that can walk you through step-by-step. You can listen to Harvard lectures for free.

We are no longer bound by space & time. We can compress decades’ worth of someone else’s hard work into a couple minutes on YouTube.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants. ~Isaac Newton

Free Your Mind

Too many people think success is locked behind the gates of certificates, stamps of approval, or some other gatekeeper.

Don’t get me wrong; if you’re a brain surgeon, I want you to have the proper education.

Otherwise, I don’t really care.

Use YouTube. Learn via Skype. Read interactive e-books.

Don’t allow yourself to be trapped by the belief you need someone else’s approval to learn what you need to get the life you want.


This is the term I coined for the people who have already figured out the world has fundamentally changed. They’re bypassing the old ways of learning.

It’s exciting to think about what kind of incredible discoveries, works of art, and advances in human potential is just around the corner. Think about all the amazing accomplishments achieved by the list of people at the top of the article; wonder what they could have done if they had the internet growing up.

A better question is, what will you do?

Posted by Jonathan Pritchard

For the past 20 years Jonathan has been a professional mentalist. He's toured the world, entertained the troops stationed overseas, & amazed audiences on TV. He realized the same psychological techniques he uses on stage are exactly the same he uses in his own business to create an incredible life. Companies & clients hire his coaching services to get a mind reader's thoughts on problem solving, networking, relationship building, and any other dynamic where people are involved. When not on the road, he gets his mail in Chicago, and you can find him practicing kung fu every morning.