Automobile University

In Blog, Discipline, Leadership
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Automobile University | Dre BaldwinWhen I played on my first organized basketball team, our coach Steve told he team that we all needed to work on our individual skills outside of practice time if we wanted to advance in basketball. Team Practice time is for the team, Steve explained, and where we place you in position to utilize your strengths. Your individual practice time is where you work on your weaknesses and develop new skills.

The same metaphor applies to your education. School is Team Practice. What you do outside of school is individual practice.

I read that the average person commutes 30 minutes to and from work every day. Over the course of 5 years, that’s 1,250 hours — the equivalent of a college education.

I’ve written and stated many times that what I learned in college doesn’t play much of a role in the stuff I do now. Most of the knowledge I have now came after and outside of college, from books and audio programs.

We can’t read a book while driving a car (and though I don’t take public transportation anymore, if I did I’d like to see my surroundings, so I save the books for home), but we all listen to stuff. The car can be your university.

The audio programs and people I listen to — Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins to name a few — all have been around for so long (or their work, in the case of deceased people) that you can find plenty of their stuff online completely free. Any streaming music service has it. YouTube has it. And you need to educate yourself past what school teaches.

School was/is designed to create workers — people who can follow directions, do what you’re told, and repeat over and over (think about the exemplary “best” students in school). If that’s all you want to do in life, maybe school was enough for you.

But think about it: The world is always moving and changing. New stuff is coming out every day. So if you graduated at age 22 and live to age 60, does it make sense to go 38 years learning nothing?

And it doesn’t matter at first what you listen to (or read). Personal development, no matter when it was created, is universal and applies to anyone in any profession. If you’ve never read or heard it, it’s new as far as you’re concerned.

Shit, I like music just as much as you. But if I can add 5 hours/week of knowledge to my life, it’s worth it. Jay-Z can wait.

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