"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Sunday, August 30, 2009


[Extracted & adapted from the 'Optimum Performance Technologies' weblog.]

In the realm of many books covering self-directed learning, I would like to single out two books which I have read on this subject.

They are:

- 'Self University: The Price of Tuition is the Desire to Learn', by Charles Hayes;

- 'Proving You're Qualified: Strategies for Competent People without College Degrees', by Charles Hayles;

After having spent twenty-four years in the corporate world, & following almost two decades in a self-imposed, life-long journey of pursuing personal mastery, I really consider them to be the wisest & most useful books I have ever read on the subject of self-directed learning.

'Self-University' is a heart-warming book. It encourages all of us to think of education as a life-long, self-initiated venture instead of a lifeless, institutionalized affair.

Let me recap the author's catchy metaphor from this book:

"The caterpillar is condemned to crawl, but the butterfly has the potential to soar above with an all-inclusive view of the world. As humans we complete our caterpillar stage when we reach mature physical growth. If we are to soar like the butterflies, we must do so through the development of our minds."

My favourite chapters from ‘Self-University’ are:

- Chapter 3: Self-Knowledge;

- Chapter 4: The Personal Sciences;

- Chapter 5: Motivation;

- Chapter 10: Practicum;

- Chapter 11: Practicum in the Workplace;

'Proving You're Qualified' is a career book for competent people who have learned their jobs, on the job...& yet they are often passed over for promotion for lack of a degree, which has nothing, whatsoever, to do with their performance.

This book offers readers a frank discussion of educational merit and actual performance in a workplace caught in the grip of frightening change. It can help you to better understand the nature of power in hierarchies, to gain insight into methods for fighting credentialism, and to save time and money by utilizing alternate methods of adult continuing education.

My favourite chapters from 'Proving You're Qualified' are:

- Chapter 6: Leverage, Options & Choices;

- Chapter 7: Learning to Live with Change;

- Chapter 8: Me, Inc.;

These three chapters alone are worth the price of the entire book!

The above two books are very thought-provoking. Each chapter of the two books are so compelling that you may feel forced to write comments in the margins of the pages as you go along.

To sum up my book review, these two wonderful books offer an excellent approach to ensuring your career security in the 21st century.

[The author, Charles Hayes, is a lifelong learning advocate, a self-taught philosopher, & an author & publisher. At age 17, he dropped out of high school to join the U.S. Marines. After four years of duty he became a police officer in Dallas, Texas, & later he moved to Alaska, where he has worked for more than 20 years in the oil industry.

In 1987, he founded Autodidactic Press, committed to lifelong learning as the lifeblood of democracy & the key to living life to its fullest.

I reckon the two books which I have reviewed are more or less his anchor books (since they drive home his personal philosophy & fundamental premise:

1) That lifelong learning is fundamental to living a full & interesting life;

2) That the learning necessary to gain competence in a job or career is far, far more important than how or where it is acquired;)

even though he has written a few more other titles.

Readers can visit his corporate website, from which you can access more information as well as the table of contents of each book.]

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