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Speaker 1: Welcome to the Effortless English show with the world’s number one English teacher AJ Hoge, where AJ’s more than 40 million students worldwide finally learn English once and for all without the boring text books, classrooms and grammar drills. Here’s AJ with a quick piece to help you learn to speak fluent English effortlessly.
AJ Hoge: Hello, this is AJ Hoge. Welcome to the Effortless English show.
The best education. What is the best education? In yesterday’s show we talked about true education compared to fake education, which is school education. I want to continue that discussion today and talk about how do you create the best education for yourself. What is the best education? How do you do it? What is included?
First of all, true education equals self-education. It’s active learning. Active learning, that’s the first key foundation of true education. The best education is active, selflearning, self-education. It means you are the boss of your own education. You decide what to learn and what to do. That is the key point.
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We talked about Louis L’Amour yesterday and how he was self-educated. He left school at age 15, so he did not finish high school, did not finish secondary school. He could read, he could probably so some basic math, and that’s about all. He became a very educated man in the full and the complete sense of that word education. He had a rich life full of experience and he was very, very, very knowledgeable.
How do you create the best education? How do you do it? What is the best education?
Well, it’s not school. It doesn’t matter what degree you get in college, for example. It doesn’t matter which high school you go to, which secondary school you go to. Doesn’t matter if you go to a private school or a public school, an expensive school or a cheap school, schools are not real education. They’re not the best education. If you focus on schools you will not get a good education. Not anymore. Not in this year. Not in this time period. Nope, it has to be self-education. You have to do it. It’s outside of school where true education happens, and that’s how you become truly educated.
We talked about this yesterday, this general idea. Let’s talk today about the specifics, some of the specific elements, some of the specific parts for the best education, for your best education. So you know, you accept, you realize, you must be the boss, it must be active, you must choose, but what should you choose? There are millions and millions of books, millions of topics to study, or at least thousands. Let’s talk about what I think are the key elements, the key parts to a true education, to your best education.
First of all, the best education has two categories. You must focus on two categories of learning. The two big categories of learning for the best education are life experience and book knowledge. That’s what we’re going to call them; life experience and book knowledge. The life experience, as you can guess, it’s things you do. It’s what you do in your life out in the real world. The experiences you have in the real world. That includes skills that you learn to perform.
Book knowledge really is reading. Now, as I said yesterday, we can also include listening, such as podcasts and educational videos and things like that, speeches, modern day with the Internet. But still I would say books are the key part of knowledge still. That’s the key way to get knowledge. So we have life experience and knowledge, book knowledge.
Why do you need both? To live a great life you have to have both experience and knowledge. They both create a good life. How? Let’s just imagine if you only have one.
Imagine you only have life experience. You go out there and you do lots and lots of different things in your life and you will learn, you will learn a lot, and you probably will be better educated, smarter, more successful, more happy than most people just through lots of experience, lots and lots of experience.
However, there’s one problem with only having experience. You’re limited, you’re more limited. Why is that? Because your limited to only your life, only your direct experiences.
Those are very, very, very important. Those are the foundation of education. That’s your life, so super important.
However, what does book knowledge add? Book knowledge gives you access,
connection to other lives, other peoples’ lives, other peoples’ experiences and learning.
When you read a book you’re reading somebody’s experiences and knowledge. To write a book you need to have a lot of experience, a lot of ideas a lot of beliefs, then the writer puts them all into a book. It can be a life time of knowledge and experience they put into that book or into a few books.
So just by reading those books you can gain so much of that person’s experience, and knowledge, and understanding, and problems and solutions. So instead of you having to have the experience yourself you can learn from them. Even better, you can learn from some of the most successful, most intelligent, greatest thinkers of all history through their books. You can gain a lot of wisdom and knowledge.
However, only book knowledge is also not enough. It’s also limited. Why? Think about it.
If you only have book knowledge you have no way of truly judging and understanding that knowledge from the books. Without experience you have no idea. See here’s the problem; any good writer or any good speaker will make a good argument about any topic, any topic. If they’re a good speaker, a good writer, they understand persuasion, for example, they can make a good argument for almost anything, including things that are absolutely wrong.
If you have no life experience then you will believe a lot of bullshit, a lot of lies, a lot of untrue things simply because the writer or the speaker was good at persuasion. They were a good writer, a good arguer and you believe them because you have nothing to compare the knowledge to, their ideas, their arguments to. But if you have a lots of life experience, ah, well then, everything you read you compare and connect to your life experience. It gives you a much better way, a much more intelligent way to judge what you’re reading; is this true or not, is this useful or not.Even better, the best next step would be, if you read something and it sounds good, and you believe it, you think it’s probably true, you think it’s probably good, well then how do you know for sure? You test it in your own life. You test it through experience. So you go out and you try the ideas, or you look at other people who are trying the ideas, and then you then you find out yourself. It’s kind of going back and forth; experience and knowledge.
When you have experiences in life sometimes you’re confused. Things happen. Maybe things that are new for you, and you don’t know the meaning, you don’t know why it’s happening. Maybe some problem, some difficulty. You’re kind of lost. You don’t what to do. Maybe you feel very scared or confused. That’s when book knowledge can be very helpful, because then you go and you read. You have a lot of book knowledge. You’ve read a lot of books. You know that, oh, other people have had similar problems, similar experiences. What did they do? What did they learn?
It will help you be more clear about your own life and your own experiences. So see they help each other, but you must have both. Only one is very dangerous, especially only book knowledge is super dangerous. You need both.
Let’s imagine you’ve decided now to start your self-education. You’re going to create your own education. What should you do in these two categories? What should you do or study? Let’s start with experience. What kind of experiences is best for education, for learning, for becoming an intelligent, successful, happy, interesting person? I’ve got four categories for you. Four categories of experience you should pursue. Try to get a lot of experience in these four areas.
Number one; work. Work is part of life. You want, of course, meaningful work. But especially for young people, sometimes even for older people, they don’t really know what they want to do. They don’t know what kind of work is best for them. So you need to get out there and have a lot of work experience in your life. You need to try different kinds of work, so that you really know what it’s like. It’s easy to imagine different jobs and think that you’ll like them or you won’t like them, but you don’t really know until you try.
For example, a lot of people think doctors, “Oh, being a doctor that would be so great.” Well, if you actually got in and tried it even if you just followed a doctor and volunteered at a doctor’s office, you might realize that, “Wow, it’s actually much harder than I thought and not as fun as I thought.” You might not like it. Or you might love it. You don’t know until you get in there and have some direct experience.
I’d recommend trying some physical labor. Get some jobs doing something physical. It might be digging holes next to the road, construction, building things, even driving a delivery truck and picking up boxes and having to deliver them. Physical labor is a good.
It’s a very useful skill and it’s good to experience it. Some people love it actually. Some people like physical labor. Especially some people like physical labor outdoors, instead of being stuck in an office. You should try that. Even if you know you probably won’t like it you should still experience it so you can appreciate people who do it.
You should also maybe try some office type work. I recommend that everybody try doing at least one sales job in their lifetime, doing sales. That might be raising money for a charity. It might be selling something for a business, whatever. I recommend that everybody do that because sales and persuasion skills are so important in all different parts of life. It’s is a very, very, very good skill to have. Not easy, but it’s a great skill to have. It will also help you to understand business more by having a sales job. So I recommend try a sales job.
Then just do a variety of other jobs. You might do retail, you might do a fast food, you might do counseling, you might do something in the medical area. Try lots of things before you decide exactly what you want to do. Even if you have a career now, it’s still good to try other things, volunteer or get a part-time job sometime that’s very different than what you’re doing now. So work experience, you need a lot of different kinds of work experience for true education.
Next category of experience; travel. Travel opens your mind. It also gives you confidence. When you travel you learn to be more independent, you have to plan things, you have to be ready for the unexpected. You go to new places that you have never been to and you have to learn how to adapt, find your way around, get food, deal with the local people. All of that, good skills, very good skills. Travel is a great experience.
Now, I recommend two kinds of travel. First, travel inside your own country. That’s important. Get to know your own country. That’s part of your background. That’s part of who you are; your country. So get to know your country. Travel around the country, visit lots of different places. A lot of people never do this, but it’s so good to do.
Also international travel. International travel gives you a different viewpoint about your own country, about your own culture. Opens your mind so much. It’s a very, very important part of education. And as part of that English, English speaking and listening.
As you know English is the key to international travel. So, yes, you’re doing a good job learning English. So you’re learning English that’s great. Get out there and use it. Visit to some other countries.
Next category of experience; health. Health. We all have a body. you need to learn how to take care of your body. This is part of having a happy life, part of being successful. If you’re unhealthy and your energy lower you will be less successful, and you’ll probably be less happy too. So you need to learn how to cook and eat healthy food. You need to learn how to exercise for fitness. You need to do it. You need that experience.
I believe also that every human being needs to learn self-defense, fighting. You need to be able to defend yourself against an attack, against violence. That’s part of being human. Unfortunately in life, it’s always possible that someone might attack us. Part of being human is to learn how to fight, to learn how to defend yourself.
How you do that? Well, there’s different martial arts I recommend. You could do jujitsu is an excellent one. Wrestling’s a good one, boxing. I like something called target focused training and fast defense are both really good systems, judo. Those I believe are the best for real world self-defense not just sport. That kind of experience also is important.
Finally, the last kind of life experience I believe you need for a true great education is meditation or prayer training and practice, some kind of faith training and practice. That depends on your background, your family, your culture, all of that. Also being aware of and connected to something beyond just yourself, that’s part of a true education. Very important.
Okay, so that’s one half. The other half; book knowledge. Those are the experiences you should seek out as many experiences in those categories as possible. At the same time you need to be reading, reading, reading books. Reading is really the fundamental skill for learning, for knowledge I should say. Experience also, but for knowledge it’s reading, number one. If you can read, you can learn almost anything.
What should you read? Which areas should you study? You know that what they teach you in school, but I’m going to give you maybe some different ones. Number one, book knowledge; you should read about religion and philosophy. Religion and philosophy.
Why? Because religion and philosophy focus on the biggest questions of humanity. The questions we have asked ourselves for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. The big ones. Why are we here? Where do we come from? What is the nature of reality? What is the nature of life and death? These are big, big questions. You should read about these.
Even if you’re not religious, you should still read the amazing wisdom of religious books, because too many people who are not religious they have a very small idea of religion.
They have a kind of view of, “Oh yeah, people believe in God and there’s this magic guy in the sky,” but that’s really a very childish view of it. I think most intelligent adults actually do not think that way. There are books and books and books about this topic that are very sophisticated, and I believe completely compatible with science as well.
It’s not a matter of believing or not believing, it’s part of an education. These big questions, some of the greatest thinkers of humanity have been religious, and you are not educated unless you read about those.
I include philosophy in the same category, the great philosophers. Now, I would start with your own culture and your own background. If you are religious, if you’re Christian, then I think you should focus first on reading as much as you can about Christian thought going back over 2,000 years. If you’re Muslim than the same thing; read about Muslim thought, again, going back 1,000 years, more than 1,000 years. There’s a rich diversity of thought within those religions. Same is true if you’re Buddhist or Hindu or whatever.
If you’re not religious, in your country you probably have a tradition though. Even if you live in the United States, if you’re not religious, the United States still has a Christian tradition. So I recommend doing that. I’m not Christian but I still have read quite a bit about Christian thought, and much of it very, very good, even for someone who’s not a Christian.
Same with philosophy. Then you want branch out. Once you cover your country, then you want to go maybe to your part of the world and eventually international. So for the western part of the world, philosophy, the roots of philosophy are Greek. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, especially those three. Then continuing into some of the Roman philosophers and other Greek philosophers too.
You don’t have to read all of it, but just read a bunch of it. Read as much as you can.
Again, these are some of the greatest thinkers of all history, of all time, of all humanity.
Learn from them.
Of course in the east too, you’ve got Lao Tzu, the Tao Te Ching, Sun Tzu, again another Daoist, Confucius. God, there’s too many … The Bhagavad-Gita, the Ranashards in India.
On and on and on and on, so many great ones. You can also, of course, focus on modern philosophers as well, more recent. Although in my opinion, they’re not as good.
Next category after religion and philosophy; classic literature. Classic literature. This again is old books, old books and old stories, but the classics. Again, I would first focus on your own country. Every country has some classic literature, classic stories or books.
Learn those. In America it would be writers such as Thoreau, Emerson, John Stuart Mill, later would be Hemingway, etc. Mark Twain as well I’d put in there for Americans. After you read a bunch from your own country, also read from other countries, classic literature.
Next category I was say would be biographies, biographies of great men and women.
You can learn so much from the biographies of great men and women; the biographies and the autobiographies. Autobiography means they wrote it themselves. Biography means someone else wrote about them. I like autobiographies more because I know it’s coming directly from them. You can learn so much because you’ll realize all these great men and great women of history they had a lot of the same problems that we have now, that maybe you have in your own life, some of the same doubts, some of the same fears that you have, same struggles, same failures.
It really gives you more confidence when you realize, “Well, they did it. I’m not alone.
Me too. It seems like it’s a general human thing all these problems.” You could also learn solutions to some of these problems. When you start to see a pattern a lot of the great men and the great women in history solved certain problems in a similar way. It’ll give you great confidence and wisdom. Biographies.
This is also true of history, history and historical fiction. Again, read about the history of your own country. Not textbooks. Again, I like it when it’s a book usually it’s a little bit older, especially books that were written long ago about that time period. Historical fiction, which is just fiction like novels, but they’re set in a time period a long time ago. A lot of the people who write historical fiction they do a lot of research to make the books realistic. So you can really learn a lot and get a feeling for what the life might have been like 100 years ago, or 1,000 years ago or 2,000 years ago.
Another category of book learning would be basic math, including accounting and statistics. You can do more than that. You can go on to do geometry and calculus or whatever, but for the average person for just a basic education, we all need basic math, including accounting and statistics. What do most of us use math for each and every day? Usually it’s financial, right, money. That’s why accounting, people need to understand accounting, basic accounting. You don’t need to become an accountant, but you do need to have a basic understanding of assets and liabilities and of course cash flow and your basic math as well.
You also need to understand statistics, because in the media statistics are used to lie.
They lie to you about statistics, using statistics all the time. If you take a statistics course, if you learn some of the basics, you’ll start to realize a little bit of how they are lying to you. It’s very easy to manipulate, to use statistics to create propaganda. So it’s good to understand the basic ideas of statistics.
You should read about science, the core sciences. Again, you don’t need to be the master of these sciences, unless you love science and you want to be a scientist then of course go into the advanced stuff. But just read about the basics of biology, physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, all of that.
Finally, again, for language I would recommend English. Learning to read in English as well. You’re learning speaking and listening with me, also learn reading. Why? Because it opens up so many books to you. Most great books are translated into English because English is the international language everywhere. In science, in academics, in business, most books, even foreign language books, they are translated into English. So with English you have access to the largest amount, the largest number of great books.
English is really the most efficient, the most effective language for learning and knowledge.
Okay so that’s it. That’s my curriculum for the best self-education, the best independent education. Now, that might seem like a lot. “Oh my God AJ, that’s so much.” Well look, this is lifelong. This is something you will do for your whole life.
Now I believe a seven year old child, seven or eight years old could start with this curriculum. Easier stuff, of course at that age, but they could start doing some of these.
A seven or eight year old should start working. A seven or eight year old could even start like a little business, like selling lemonade, or shoveling driveways, or cleaning someone’s house for a little extra money. But still they can learn about basic business that way. Young kids, don’t make them work like a slave but they shouldn’t be lazy. They should start to get a taste of work early. Remember Louie L’Amour started working at the age of 12 full-time. I guess it was part-time because he was going to school.
Travel, again, at a young age, because at around seven, eight years old that’s a good age to start traveling with your kids. When you travel get books about the location so that your child or children can start learning about that area, the history of that place, or the geography or whatever.
For health, again, at a young age children should start learning how to help with meals, help with cooking, understand what is healthy, what’s not healthy and why. They should also be exercising, and moving, and playing and being very active. That’s a good age for a child to start learning self-defense, the basics of fighting and protecting themselves.
Seven, eight, that’s also good age to introduce them to the very simple meditation or prayer, possibly even earlier. Likewise, at seven or eight they can read. So you can start getting them to read stories. Now, at that age just let them read what they love. But they can learn a lot of history reading adventure books about history, for example. Just cool fun books that are in different time periods. That will get them excited and interested in history. They can read cool children’s books that are biographies about famous people.
I remember I read one when I was young about Wyatt Earp, famous cowboy. There’s a couple movies about him. It got very interested in cowboys and the old west, and Wyatt Earp and all that. Very, very, very interesting. I still have that memory of Wyatt Earp. I’m still interested in it, because it was such an early memory.
Those historical biographies are great as well. Of course, you can start teaching them basic math at that age, and have them just read and explore science. It can all be very fun at the young age, but then as you keep getting older everything gets more advanced. Even if you’re … I’m 49. I’m still doing all this stuff. I’m still trying to learn both life experience and book knowledge, because life is more enjoyable when you’re learning. Also you become more successful at anything you want to do the more you learn.
Lifelong learning is the key. So if you’re 70 or 80, still learning, still learning, still getting life experience, still book knowledge as well. You have a whole lifetime for this curriculum. My curriculum is a lifetime curriculum.
Let’s go to GAB today. GAB. GAB. GAB. Let’s GAB. GAB is a free-speech alternative to twitter. As I said, twitter is an evil company. Lots of censorship happening on twitter.
The cultural Marxist, the leftists own twitter. They’re blocking people, getting rid of people, censoring people. I don’t like twitter anymore. Still using them for now, but I am also using GAB, because GAB believes in free speech. It’s an alternative to twitter.
Eventually I will probably move to GAB 100% and stop twitter, but maybe later this year.
Right now GAB has a waiting list so that’s why I’m not doing GAB full-time yet.
Let’s go to GAB because I have a question on GAB. My GAB is gab.ai and then my name, AJ Hoge. So gab.ai/ajhoge. gab.ai/ajhoge. This question is from Olga. It’s kind of an interesting one. “Hi AJ. I have to do a project about the best way to learn English. This is for school. Can I talk about you and show them one of your seven rules on YouTube?” Yes, of course, no problem. The next question is what’s funny. “Is it a good idea to say the truth about learning English at school to my teacher, and how should I do it?”
That’s a good question. Probably you should be careful. I’m not sure Olga’s age, so I don’t know if this is university, or high school or younger, but still it doesn’t really matter. When you’re in school you have to play game. School’s a game. It’s all a game.
The game to get your little grades, a game to get the paper, the diploma, the Masters degree, the PhD, whatever you’re playing a little game to get what you want.
Unfortunately when you play that game the teachers have a lot of power. If they don’t like you they can give you bad grades. They can be harder on you. They can make everything more tough for you.
So in this situation it would depend on the teacher. If you think the teacher’s very open and you have a very good relationship with the teacher, maybe you could say the truth about learning English and grammar rules and all of that. But, if your teacher uses old methods, if your teacher is using textbooks and teaching grammar rules then I would be careful. I think you want to be very careful. I would not be 100% direct just because you need the grade. It’s just practical. They have power over you. It’s not an even equal relationship.
I would say just be careful. You might talk about some things, just be kind of soft in the way you do it. Maybe don’t directly challenge the teacher’s methods, because if you criticize them a lot of teachers will be very negative. They’re not great. They’re not very open. So be careful is my answer. You got to be careful.
Remember that true education happens outside of school. Inside school it’s just a game of power and control. You have to play it sometimes to get what you want. I understand that. I did it too. But never forget it’s a game, so play the game to win, to get what you want and then get your true education outside of school.
Okay. That is today’s Effortless English show. Join my VIP program at effortlessenglishclub.com. effortlessenglishclub.com. Create your own true education curriculum. Do it now. Learn and live.
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