General Q&A


Learn Anything: Hacking Your Education


Lesson Info

General Q&A

It's actually two questions what? What roadblocks? We don't really talk much about this, but what road blocks specifically have you run into without the college education? You know, doing what you're doing, I'm I know recently you gave your book tow the the president harvard, right? You know, so kind of along those lines in the second part is, you know, if you weren't doing what you're doing now, do you have any idea where you'd be headed? I think the biggest roadblock has been that definitely like convincing people that I am an interesting person than I am, you know, interesting enough to talk to despite not having a college degree. Um, if I adopt if I'd gone to harvard and dropped out of harvard, that would have been a very different story, right? Because so much of the credibility associated with going to harvard is getting into right, but the school that I dropped out of this called hendricks it's an arkansas no one's ever heard of it on dh it means nothing to say that I dropped ou...

t of hendricks at all, right? Um and so the biggest roadblock has been convincing people that that incredible and that's that's much is your to do now, right? You know, holding up a book that someone's publishing is is a pretty good way to do that but I think it it really has to do with accomplishments and whether or not it's an accomplishment that someone respects whether that's publishing a book or starting a business ah, you know are working for a you know, a major consulting company like tiffany did um I think it's people people associate accomplishments by breath and educational brands or just one type of brand um you know, it could be a company could be an organization it could be something that you do, but going to harvard is not the only brand but exists um and where I would be now if I hadn't dropped out I guess I'd still be a college student in arkansas I don't know but I mean, do you have any do you have any thoughts on what you would be doing if you if you weren't, you know, publishing a book now and, you know, and really pushing the in college on all of that you have any other? I have no idea where you would have headed instead, I don't know it's it's hard to those there's no control experiment for her life, right? I mean, I knew I knew going into college that I wanted to go back and go back to seven skillon and work and start ups and technology I lived and worked there for about six months before going to college so I had I had some small amount of direction I've been working in central just helping people get into college I was really attached to that as a particular mission but I really liked the culture of being in a place that valued learning the valiant self advancement ah and that valued what people did and their merits not necessarily the degrees that they had so I imagine that I would be living in us after working at some sort of start up I don't know what that start up would be though well, many online questions coming in we dook I'm going back over the day and seeing what people have asked and let's see question from earlier wass from sam in colorado is a mentor necessarily older than you a parent like figure and he says and I know he's retired I know a couple of youngsters that I think would really good mentors but I feel kind of funny asking them so what would your advice to sam don't necessarily mean we're going? We're going to talk about specifically how how people who are your own age where appears candy mentors on sunday and can be part of ah appear at advisory group I think I think age is another one of those constructs that gets tied up with school right? So much of school we think is about teachers and students and there's usually and and an age gap between those um but I would encourage sam tio not let that stop him in terms of reaching out to people there's definitely people who are younger than me that I consider mentors who I look up to and learn from constantly absolutely on what about the reverse do you have people approach you who are very very young guy yes ideo for sure yeah I definitely have people who you know who are older than me we're looking for advice I mean I think it's I think it's it's not really about age right um you know people like to say oh like you're twenty one you've got it all figured out like that's not the case right? I'm convinced that the only steal it I really have is about convincing people that I can do things that I've never done before that is usually the response I have another question for you uh any tips on how to accomplish your learning goals on a budget and without having access to a lot of networks it depends on what laura ingalls all right, you know if it's f you learn ingle is you know, travel around the world maybe it makes sense to adjust that maybe it makes sense to start by traveling in your own country you know, maybe you khun use couch surfing or something like that travel without spending too much money I think there's a lot of there's a lot of opportunities um both defined funding resource is as well as to make money as you're going about learning I'm seeing a lot of people using wasn't using crowdfunding sites for example to start finding ways to fund their learning as well is finding ways to use use what they learned and turn it into something that they can sell. So whether that's, you know, doing what they do and making a video on making art or like creating something or maybe creating an experience or exhibition of what the lord learning are throwing a party that people can then come to you and can provide some funding but they're learning we have smart great questions coming in but any studio yeah, I have a question I was kind of thinking about it when we're supposed to talk about challenges I think that a lot of the things that we talk about here it's like, oh, you have to be confident you have to go and do it and go on ask but like self doubt is a really like a big thing like for me and I think probably for a lot of people ask morning like how did you are? How do you see just like to overcome those kind of thoughts? Well, first off self doubt is really good, but I'll tell you why there's a there's, a paper, a psychology paper, one of the most one of them a really well known finding in psychology called the dunning for grew effect and the title the paper was unskilled, unaware basically what they thought was that the people at the highest end of the confidence spectrum were most likely to doubt themselves so the fact that you doubt yourself is really good on people the lowest end of the confidence and intelligence but structure were least likely to doubt themselves so all those people who are who are really overconfident and think that they're really good actually really crappy andi course this this doesn't work in the opposite way, right? Like if you you can't you can't get smarter by doubting yourself more just like you can't, you know, join the mba to get taller, but I mean that's something to keep in mind that if you're doubting yourself that's actually a really good sign it means that you're thinking about yourself you're questioning yourself you're thinking about your assumptions whether or not they're correct you're evaluating how you're doing and you're constantly striving to improve so I don't I don't I don't worry about self doubt too much because it's it's actually a good thing to have um, you know it's if it gets to a problematic level where you know you can't do anything without doubting yourself, you know that's that's a challenge um but it's it's definitely something that I think it's pretty easily balanced with self belief to be to be self directed you have to believe in yourself and believe that you have good ideas and that you are confident um and generally what the dumbing her affect found is that people who doubt themselves are also really high in self belief that that process of doubt once you take the time to evaluate and think about what you're doing actually reinforces the soft belief and becomes a virtuous cycle. Another question for you coming all the way from milwaukee from cook esquire do you believe that there is a way to motivate people who are not nationally self directed to take advantage if I'm schooling if someone isn't as aggressive or so sure, absolutely. We're going to talk about specific strategies to do that on sunday when we move into the nitty gritty and the how to of how to go about effectively planning goals, how to develop systems with accountability buddies on how to keep yourself on track when you're outside of school I think that that's one of the biggest challenges because, um we're all naturally self motivated right? We're naturally born in the world were curious, we wantto learn we want to taste and smell and find out what different things are and then were put into schools and told that our heroes he is only valid if we had a great honor and that's really not very helpful, because that's not how the world works, right for the foot for the rest of your life. Big surprise, no one's going to give you a test on what you do, they're going to say, here, do this project and walk away, and you're gonna have to figure out how to do that for yourself. How to ask the right questions, how do I find the information and deliver the information? How to keep yourself motivated doing that? So we'll talk. We'll talk very specifically about those strategies on sunday. That's great that's, great! You want to take a few more? Sure, ok, cool. So from prana, did you use any psychological techniques and developing sort of what you've done specifically any, any or to develop any techniques to learn, learning such a speed reading or any sort of things like that? And we have a whole session tomorrow morning focused on metal learning, the skills that have become about our lerner, whether that's, self efficacy yourself, evaluation or communication skills, I wouldn't, I think of, I think, ifs speed reading less in that sense, there's definitely some tips and tricks around the neuroscience of learning that I used to try and be petty allegedly sound I don't think of those is like tips and tricks, they're just things that you can do that we know help us learn better right on. We'll talk specifically about those on sunday. There things like the optimal amount of time to take breaks between your learning, the axle time, uh, like the the optimal gaps between when you study to retain things in memory for certain periods of time. How to create more connections in your brain state more likely to recall information. There's definitely things like that. I don't think of the most tested tricks that just what we know scientifically, that actually will help us. Another question for you from all lines from deborah, you know, considering your experience now you've been educated. Deal how can we influence that's a big question? Haku influence both schools and teachers to accept that all kids do not learn the same. Of course, you have a system there, and you have different, I guess, red tape and state standards, et cetera, bothersome little things that you can give examples of how teachers can employ some of what you do, but in a traditional classroom setting, I do a lot of work with with schools and governments about how how to do this, and the reality is there's there's a lot of things that teachers can do on a very individual level. That can actually make very real changes so going back to montessori for example there's a lot of very specific things that were done in that in those types of classrooms that could be adopted in regular classrooms. One thing for example is one story students start out every day writing down their learning goals and what's called a learning journal on dh we know science shows that the very act of having students set their own goals makes them more likely to achieve them as opposed to having a teacher breaking up for them something else is having having context tow learning makes people far more likely to be engaged and that can be a simple as you know instead of asking asking someone what they're interested in and tailoring that subject even just a little bit to what that might be absolute done they've done studies with you know that little like lou lunar landing game others like the little spaceship that goes up and down there trying to like get on the launch pad andi the completion rate is like thirty percent higher if they tell you that you're trying to lend a spaceship on the moon as opposed to just let you play the game by yourself so maybe someone's trying to teach accounting and they ask you know what do you interested it and if you know if the answer is like horses or lady gaga or like whatever it is you know, pretend that you're like managing a racetrack, pretending you like you're someone's, like musical tour manager. And just that little bit of context might help people be more engaged. Um, another thing is, I, knowing how praise affects motivation, will talk about this morse on sunday as well. But there's, huge differences in telling someone they're motivated versus their start on. They found that telling someone that they're that they're smart, decreases motivation and actually decreases performance pretty sharply.

Class Description

For most of us, getting a good education that prepares us for a satisfying, successful life and career means going to school and attending college. We pay our dues by sitting for hours in a classroom, doing the prescribed homework, and often paying tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of getting a degree from an institution of higher learning.

But that’s not the case for Dale Stephens, who decided at a young age that school and college weren’t for him. Instead, he embraced “unschooling,” which is self-directed learning based on curiosity, confidence and grit. Instead of blindly following what society and institutions say we must learn and how we should learn it, Stephens offers an alternative approach that is richer, more dynamic and geared to our unique interests.

Stephens is the author of “Hacking Your Education,” founder of, a highly sought-after speaker, and a successful investor and advisor. He and his special guest speakers will help you devise your own personal learning path, figure out your dreams and how to pursue them, learn to embrace your outsider status, and discover how to find meaning and purpose while also making a living.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create a personal learning plan that defines what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, and how you will learn it.
  • Keep yourself motivated when you don’t have the structures of school.
  • Identify what your goals and dreams are and what you need to learn to realize them.
  • Connect with mentors and advisors who can help you on your educational journey.
  • Build a community with other “hackademics” to help you learn anything you want.
  • Create a portfolio to communicate your talents rather than a traditional resume.
  • Find a well-paying, satisfying job using subversive job search techniques.


a Creativelive Student

I'm not able to afford this class now but I saw the live view on CL and want to thank you! So many things I have experienced recently it was nice to learn that I am not about filters, time managing as innovators, taking smaller steps instead of reaching for long goals...chunking. Great course!