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True Education Louis Lamour
Narrator: 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 textbooks, classrooms and grammar drills. Here’s AJ with a quick piece to help you learn to speak fluent English, effortlessly.
AJ Hoge: Hi I’m AJ Hoge and welcome to the Effortless English Show. Today’s topic, True Education. Real education, how do you do it? How do you get or how do you create your own true education? What is true education? What is fake education? We’ll talk about all of those and we’ll be talking about a book I’m reading now by a man named Louis L’Amour. Very, very interesting man. Louis L’Amour was a writer, he wrote I think hundreds of books. Most of his books were about the old West in America, cowboys and Indians and things like that, great stories. He wrote a fantastic book called “The Walking Drum,” one of my favorite books. It’s about the Middle Ages time period. I can’t remember the exact time of that story but it’s about a man in Spain who travels across Europe during the Middle Ages, really interesting book. He’s a good writer. He’s dead now but he was a good writer and a very, very interesting man in his private life.
Speak English powerfully and fluently. Learn advanced English speaking and learn to live your dream life. Learn life success strategies and skills in my VIP program at effortlessenglishclub.com. Join now at effortlessenglishclub.com. True education. Louis L’Amour left school at the age of 15. He quit school at age 15. Louis L’Amour had his first job at age 12, 12 years old he got his first job. Now, Louis L’Amour was young back, like in the 1920s I believe it was, so it’s … long time ago, and he did not have a lot of formal schooling. He left school at age 15, he did not go to university, he never finished high school. And yet, he became a very, very educated man. He became a professional writer, a very, a very, very successful writer. He made lots and lots of money from writing. He wrote a lot of great books, great stories, lived an amazing life, very, very intelligent man, knew so much about literature and politics and history but he also had so much life experience.
He traveled the world. At age 15 he left home, left school, he got a job as a merchant seaman, basically working on ships. So at that young age as a teenager he would work on ships. So he would get a job on a ship and then sail around the world doing work on the ship. And so he got to see the world. He went to Singapore, he went to England, he went all over the world exploring and having amazing experiences at that young, young age. And he did a lot of hard work. Now, he also traveled around the United States a lot.
He was a hobo, described himself as a hobo. He would ride around on the trains for free. He would just jump on a train, not a passenger train … like a, one of the … they’re called freight trains, the trains that move big stuff for business; gasoline and oil and coal and that kind of stuff. So they would hide and they would jump onto the trains right before they left and they would ride the trains for free, the hobos.
So he would ride the trains for free, sometimes he would get buses and then he worked on farms so he would get jobs on farms doing really tough, hard work. He worked on mines, digging in the earth sometimes just to make money. So he did a lot of hard, physical work. He also was a boxer. Not really a professional boxer but an amateur boxer, he did it for fun, did it just to build his body stronger because he enjoyed it. So he did boxing and he had several boxing fights as well. So interesting guy. So here’s a guy you would think, “Okay, Louis L’Amour, this guy is not educated,” right? He dropped out of high school, how could he be educated? He was working these … manual labor we call it, physical labor, physical jobs working on ships, farms, mines. I want to read a quote from the book I’m reading of his. It’s a book about his own life.
So I’m going to read a couple quotes about education because he was self-educated.
That’s what a true education is but [inaudible 00:06:12] read the quotes, then we’ll talk about it. This is from his book. “Education is available to anyone within reach of a library, a post office or even a newsstand. Today, you can buy ‘The dialogues of Plato’
for less than you would spend on a fifth of whiskey. Or Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ for the price of a cheap shirt. You can buy a fair beginning of an education in any bookstore with a good stock of books for less than you would spend on a week’s supply of gasoline.” Okay. Excellent. Now remember, he was writing about the 1920s and 30s, so quite a long time ago, way before the Internet. So he’s saying, even then he said, “You don’t need schools.” He didn’t like school learning. He felt the schools could have blocked education, blocked learning. As we all know, schools do not really educate.
So he said that “Look, anyone can get a fantastic education, anyone can do it if they’re not lazy. And they can do it very cheaply. You can go to the library, full of great books.”
[inaudible 00:07:55] even if you go to a bookstore and buy the books, that there are so many great, classic, amazing books that are cheap, super cheap. The great books, like “The Dialogues of Plato.” So he says, “That costs less than like a glass of whiskey, a glass of alcohol.” And that’s even more true now with the Internet, with e-books, with sites like hobo.com, Amazon.com. These great books are even cheaper. They are so cheap.
Less than, less than a glass of whiskey. He says “You can get “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” this huge book, this great book for less than the price of a cheap shirt.
That was in his time, now it’s even cheaper. I just bought that book, $2.99 … an e-book on Amazon.com, two dollars and 99 cents. A new shirt cost what now? 20 dollars or more? I mean it’s unbelievable, how cheap that great book is.
And almost all of the great, classic books are super, super cheap. I mean, and from great classic books from the East and the West, you can get an English translations. I mean “The Dao De Jing,” “The Bhagavad Gita,” “The Three Kingdoms books,” I just bought that about China … classic, classic, classic books. So cheap. Unbelievable. “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” “Plato,” “Aristotle,” “The Odyssey,” “The Iliad,” by Homer.
Cla- … just amazing books. Hemingway’s books, Theroux … on and on and on. All of these great, great, great books about history, about politics, about philosophy and yes even books about science, mathematics … they’re cheap. Cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap. And now, we also have the Internet. So you have podcasts, you have
instructional videos, you have online courses, all of them very inexpensive. I mean my power English course is only $99. Become fluent in English for $99. Compare that to schools around the world, all these English schools. So inexpensive. It’s unbelievable.
And yet, what do people do? They’re so passive, “Uhh … “ they just go to school and get bored, they do what they’re told. They read useless textbooks. Crappy, bad, horrible, boring textbooks. And the other thing about textbooks, they’re boring but a lot of them have lies. A lot of them are propaganda because they are used by government schools.
And every government is teaching propaganda, especially about history. American schools, teaching propaganda. A lot of Marxist propaganda now in American schools.
But it doesn’t matter, every single country in the world, propaganda, especially about your own history. So if you want to get more of the truth and more of a wide view of history, you have to do it yourself. The other problem with textbooks is they’re so shallow, they’re not deep. Shallow is the opposite of deep. So they’re just maybe a few facts, you really don’t understand much when you read a textbook. You have to go much, much deeper.
Like for example, you might read about let’s say, Winston Churchill, the leader of Great Britain during World War II. If you read about him in a textbook, you read a few little facts, maybe you hear about one of his speeches or something, not much. You’re really not learning very much and a lot of it is propaganda. Well instead, you could get biographies about Winston Churchill. I mean, huge books about his whole life, very wellresearched.
You would learn so much about that man, his thinking and the history of
that time period when he was alive and all the things he did. So much deeper when you educate yourself. I get one more quote from Louis L’Amour and then we’ll talk more about how specifically you can create an amazing education for yourself. An education 1000 times better than any university, any school. A million times better, I don’t know, I can’t put a number on it because school education is so bad. It’s just such crap, which means shit basically. Sorry younger listeners but sometimes you got to use those strong words.
Compared to that, a self-education can be incredible. There’s no limit to it and it never ends because you do it your whole life. You do it your whole life until you die. Okay, next quote from Louis L’Amour. Louis L’Amour: “Education should provide the tools for a widening and deepening of life, for increased appreciation of all one sees or experiences. It should equip a person to live life well, to understand what is happening about him. For to live life well one must live with awareness.” Excellent. That’s an excellent description of a true education. So let’s go through that quote again starting sentence by sentence. So the first part, education should provide the tools … so a real true education should give you the tools, the beliefs, the skills, the understanding, the knowledge for a widening and deepening of life. So widening and deepening. So wide, meaning you understand its quantity, the amount, you understand more and more and more. You understand lots and lots of things. And also, a deepening of life. You understand more deeply. Your uderstanding, your wisdom is deeper, deeper, deeper. So both. Both.
And this education is for increased appreciation of all that one sees or experiences. One means a person, one person, a person. So education, another reason for a true education is that it increases your appreciation for your own life experiences. So it helps you appreciate your own life more. Does school do that? No. Does school help you appreciate your life more? I’ve never seen that in a school. Usually the opposite. Usually schools make people bored, bored with their lives. So true education should do the opposite. It should make you feel more appreciation about your life, all of your life experiences. Next sentence, “It should equip a person to live life well.” Here’s the practical part. “It should teach you, give you the skills and knowledge and ability to live life well. Do our schools teach that? Hell no, they don’t. They teach you to live life well?
No, they don’t. They teach you to be a bored slave at a job. That’s what they teach you to be. And that’s all. Obedient, passive, bored and weak. That’s what schools teach.
That’s not a life lived well. I don’t think anyone would say that’s a good way to live a life.
What’s great about this too is, a life lived well. Well that’s very broad, that’s very wide, that’s not just about money. That’s one part yes, you want to have opportunities and success but he’s talking about more than that. It means about being happy, it means about having great relationships, it means having a purpose and meaning in your life.
Wisdom, all of this. Being a good moral person, great character, all of that is a life lived well. So it’s very, very broad and very deep. Wide and deep. Both. We learn almost none of that in schools. And the last part, to live life well, one … you must live life with awareness. You must live life with awareness. You must be more aware and understand what is happening around you. You must understand your life more deeply. That’s what education is for. I’ll give you an example of this. Most of us in life will experience a rejection in a relationship.
Let’s say dating, a boy and a girl, well maybe … well it doesn’t matter, you’re a boy or you’re a girl, you’re a man or a woman, some time in your life you might like someone, you can be in love with them and they will reject you. Or maybe a friendship and you have a friend and then the relationship breaks. Or even like you’re trying to sell something and they reject you. The point is, rejection, that’s part of life. That is part of life. That’s some- … you need to understand rejection. Well a true education will teach you about rejection. If you read a lot of classic books and have a great education that you create, well you’ll read all the great men and women in history, they all experienced rejection of some kind. They all experienced failure. Most of them experienced lots and lots of failures, lots and lots of problems. And so, that education when you’re young or even if you’re older, that education will help you to understand your own life.
So when you have rejection in your life, when you experience failure and problems, you’ll realize, “I’m not alone, this happens to everybody. This is part of life.” And because you have read about all these great men and women, you’ll also have some idea about how to deal with it, how to deal with the rejection and the failure. You’ll have a better mindset, a better attitude about it because you have a great education.
That’s what a true education will do for you, it will help you with this real life problem that we all have and all experience. That’s true education. Do schools teach that? No.
The opposite, usually. They teach us to fear rejection with all the grades and all of that.
They make you feel bad about failing instead of teaching you how to deal with it. That’s what they should be doing, especially with young people. They should not be teaching to fear failure, they should not be teaching to avoid failure, they should not be making people feel bad about failure. The opposite, they should be teaching young people that failure is part of life and here’s how to deal with it, and how to be stronger emotionally, how to learn from it, how to keep going forward. All of these things are super important for life to live life well.
True education gives you that. Fake education at schools does not. So relationships in general, human relationships, social relationships, communication, speaking, influencing people, persuasion … these are all very important to live life well. We don’t get them from schools. Failure, rejections, sadness … we don’t learn how to deal with that from schools. Loss, we lose things and nothing is permanent. Do we learn how to deal with that in schools? No. The good news is, let’s look at the positive side, the great news is you can create this education yourself for very little money. If you’re listening to this now I’m guessing, probably, you have a cell phone. You probably have a smartphone.
You probably have some android phone or an iPhone that was expensive, that’s a lot of money. Well, the price of that phone, for that same price you could buy I mean what …
hundreds of books? At least what, 50 to 100 classic books. By classic I mean books that are old, books that are proven to be great. Classic books, old books are the best in my opinion.
Why are they the best? That’s because we know, we know they are great because they have been tested over years and years, generations even. Even hundreds of years, some of them thousands of years. The wisdom, the knowledge, the teaching in those books has been proven again and again and again so there’s something inside them that’s timeless. Those are the best. And what’s great is those are the cheapest. Those are the cheapest. Some of them are free, lots of them are free. Most of them, especially as ebooks are very, very, very cheap. The best books, the greatest books with the best knowledge, the most wisdom, the most usefulness, the greatest education are usually the cheapest. I mean that’s great news. All you need is the desire, the discipline, the curiosity to do it yourself. Stop waiting for some teacher, who usually knows nothing, to tell you what to do, to tell you what to read. Go find it yourself. Read, read, read, read.
That is the one master skill of education. The one master skill of learning is just reading.
That’s it. Reading, reading, reading, reading, reading.
I guess now with the Internet you could also add listening. Because you can learn lots and lots and lots also from listening, listening to podcasts, videos. Not stupid videos about someone’s cat, those cute things, I mean those are okay to laugh at but there’s so much great stuff out there for education. I mean, even for math and science, hard science you’ve got things like Khan Academy. I think MIT offers tons of free classes online. There’s other great stuff out there that’s not cheap but it- … I mean that’s not free, but it’s inexpensive, under $100. There’s so much, there’s no excuse. No excuse. So if you want to know my opinion, what you should do to create a great education, put your energy into self-education, not into schools. Schools are a waste of your energy, a waste of your time. True education has to come from you and it mostly comes from reading books. Simply that. Reading, reading, reading and … and/or, listening. Listening to good stuff, interesting things.
If you’re learning English oh yes, listening to my podcast, this is self-education. You’re using one of my courses, that’s self-education. Well you’re doing that with English already with me, why not with everything else? You can do that with history, politics, literature, economics, science, anything that is important to you. Philosophy, religion, all of it is available to you. The greatest thinkers from all of history available to you. What a great opp- … I mean so amazing, what an opportunity. Forget … okay if you’re older like me or you’re out of school, well you can … even if you had a bad education, like me, you can create your own. Never too late. In fact, you should always be learning. Your whole, whole life. Louis L’Amour was like that. He was learning and reading and getting educated his whole life. Doesn’t matter, if you’re 80 years old, start or continue.
And if you’re still in school, If you’re 18 or 22 or something or younger, well no excuse.
Stop complaining about school. Let me tell you what I did. When I was in school, I was kind of a … kind of a rebellious student I guess, nothing bad, I never yelled at my teachers. I wasn’t loud, I didn’t do stuff like that but I’ll tell you what I did do in high school, I read books in class. So I already realized when I was that age, 15 years old, I realized this is kind of nonsense … this, “I’m not learning much here and it’s … “ So what I would do is I would just find my own books. I would bring my own book, I would sit in the back of the class and I would read quietly my own books. I didn’t bother anybody, I didn’t create any problems. I just read, read, read my own books. And I still got good grades because most of the stuff was really easy. So that’s what you can do if you’re in school. Just read your own books if your parents are forcing you to go.
But once you become old enough, get out there. Get out there and create your own education. Now this is connected to a twitter question. I’m just going to read this twitter question. It says, “Do you think … what do you think is the best country to go study abroad?” And it says, “Not the USA.” Definitely not the USA, USA college and universities are terrible as I said, don’t go, waste of money. Honestly, I don’t recommend study abroad anymore. I don’t recommend it at all. If you must get a college degree, if you think you must, for jobs, okay I understand I did it too, I get it. But that’s not education, just realize that. You’re doing it to get this paper so you can get a job and make a little more money or something. Fine. I understand that, you need to do it, do it. But don’t waste money going to another country. It’s very expensive to go to another country. I mean you have the cost of the college or university plus you have the cost of living there, your housing cost, your food costs, traveling to that other country.
It can be expensive, so why not just go to a college or university near your home and do it as quickly as you can. Take extra classes, and just get it done as fast as possible. Then, then if you want to see the world, and I do recommend that, if you want the experience of travel then go travel. Find a way to do it like Louis L’Amour. He worked really hard jobs. See that’s the other half of Louis L’Amour’s education, he did both. He was reading, reading, reading so it was all of this knowledge from books. Book learning, from great books. But also at the same time, life experience. He got out there, he lived, he explored, he worked hard, tough jobs. He met lots and lots and lots of different people and heard lots of stories. He loved listening to stories from old people. He traveled all over America and the world so you got to have both. You got to have the experience too.
It’s not enough just to do the book learning because then you have no life, you have no experience. You can’t judge the wisdom of the books. You don’t know if it really is true or not or useful for you or not. So you got to have the life experience too. This is the problem with colleges and universities. They’re like little … I don’t know, like little walled areas, you don’t get much experience in college or universities. It’s fun, I admit that.
Colleges and universities are fun, you get to party and play around and you got no responsibility, you just go to your classes and then you have … in your free time you can just do little clubs and activities, it’s all nice and fun, sure, but it’s not much in terms of experience. You’re not experiencing any hardship or toughness. You’re just meeting the same kinds of people, other college students.
So yes, I mean I enjoyed it too, I did have fun but when I look back, it’s the experiences I had after college; traveling and working and all of these kinds of things that were kind of tough in some times, usually, but that’s where I learned the most and got the most wisdom. Combining that and then of course reading, reading, reading. I also have been reading and reading and reading lots and lots of books. So no, don’t study abroad. If you’re going to college do it as cheap as possible. I would recommend actually, what I recommend is that after high school, whenever you leave school, don’t go to college immediately. I talked about this in a previous show. Go work, get out in the real world for a few years. Don’t immediately go to college or university and stay in that idiotic school environment. I mean come on, get out there and experience the real world.
What are you afraid of? Gets jobs, travel. If you can’t travel internationally, travel around your own country. Work tough jobs. Work bad jobs. It’s still interesting, you’re young.
Get some experience in life. Get out there. Meet lots of different kinds of people, not just students your exact same age. Meet and talk to older people, people who seem very old to you and middle-aged people, people who are a few years older than you and people younger than you. Try physical, tough jobs. Try different kinds of mental, mentally tough jobs, creative jobs, try lots of different things before you go to school.
And so many people that go from high school, secondary school and they go
immediately to college, I did it too so, you know, speaking from experience, it was a mistake. They go to college and they just pick something to study but they have no idea about life, they have no experience. A lot of students they don’t know, “What should I study? I don’t know.” Other students they just do what their parents tell them they should do. “Well, my parents are pushing me to be a doctor so I’ll do that.” Well that’s stupid.
The truth is you can’t make a good decision about that when you’re 20 or 18. You can’t make a good decision. You’re not ready. You don’t have enough life experience. Get out there and live. I mean, unless you have lived. But if you’ve been in school until you’re 18 you’re not ready to make that important decision about what career should you have for your whole life.
You’re not ready, so don’t go to college yet, don’t go to university yet, go work. Work in a fast food restaurant, be a cook. Whatever, it doesn’t matter. It might suck but you’ll get some life experience. And during that same time, start to finally educate yourself. Read, read, read, read as many books as you can, especially those old classic books. Louis L’Amour, he educated himself with those great books while he was working those tough jobs. While he was working on a ship in the middle of the ocean, well in his free time he read books. While he was working on a farm, hard, hard physical work, well in his free time he read books. While he was a miner, digging in the dirt … I mean, hard work, and again in his free time he read books. While he was traveling around the world and around America, he read books.
He educated himself, made himself into an incredibly educated man. And that’s really my last point, especially now. I mean maybe, I don’t know, maybe 100 years ago, I don’t know … I wasn’t alive then. Maybe 100 years ago, 200 years ago, maybe universities were places where you got a good education, I don’t know. I know that they probably were much better than now. But now it’s just a bunch of garbage. Garbage, garbage, garbage. I’ll tell you, look I have two masters degrees and a bachelors degree and I can tell you 99% of the classes were garbage. Yes, nonsense. The classic books, that is where the wisdom and knowledge is. Biography is about great men and women. So much out there, you got to do it yourself.
Now when you do this, when you create your own great education, you will be so much more educated than everyone else around you because everyone else is kind of stupid from schools. They only have school learning. They’re not very smart actually. So just by doing this yourself, you will be so far head, so much more educated, so much smarter, so much wiser and therefore, eventually, so much more successful with a life well-lived than 99.99% of other people. That is the true way you live a great life. Get out there and you get as many experiences as you can and at the same time you create your own education through reading, reading, reading great books and also listening, listening, listening to greet people. So do it. What are you waiting for? Do it. Do it. Do it. Go to effortlessenglishclub.com, effortlessenglishclub.com, join my VIP program; 10 days for one dollar. See you next time, bye for now.
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