How To Get A Harvard-Quality Education For Free

Matt Lillywhite

If you want to be successful and learn loads of new things, you need to go to college.

At least, that’s what I was told. During every day of high school, teachers and friends said I’d never amount to anything unless I got into student debt and went to college. They’d say, “It’s just how life goes. Going to college is what you need to do if you want to make something of yourself.”

Everywhere I went, people said that going to a college (such as Harvard or Yale) was a necessary part of life. But I grew up in a low-income household. Naturally, the idea of getting into massive amounts of debt intimidated me. So I decided not to go.

Due to the immense amount of knowledge on the internet, I decided to educate myself. I learned new things about the world every day and quickly found myself acquiring loads of extremely useful skills.

Contrary to what a lot of people in society might say, going to a college like Harvard isn’t a prerequisite for success. At least, not anymore. Because once you know how to efficiently learn new things, you can educate yourself and accomplish pretty much anything you desire.

Here’s how to start.

Get Rid Of Any Limiting Beliefs.

This is a concept that took me a long time to get my head around. But once I did, it became a lot easier to recognize and fulfill my unlimited potential. Quoting an article published by Forbes:

“The stories we tell ourselves mean we hold back through fear. We play it safe. We end up living only half a life. This is where stress and internal conflict come in, as we feel pulled back from the edge of our calling. When we change our stories to create a new truth about who we really are, then we start to feel happy and fulfilled.”

If you want to learn Spanish, it’s possible to be conversationally fluent within six months. Similarly, you can become extremely knowledgeable in physics or economics — as long as you put in the necessary work.

Don’t tell yourself that you can’t learn anything. Because as long as something isn’t impossible, it’s within the realm of possibility. You just need to figure out how to exponentially increase the probability of making your goals a reality.

Find Methods Of Learning That Work For You.

I hated high school. My teachers often taught topics in a way that was extremely hard to understand. I found it difficult to learn anything of genuine value.

I spent countless hours getting frustrated at my inability to learn. And for a long time, I thought I was stupid. But once I started studying different learning techniques, it quickly became a lot easier to learn anything more efficiently.

What works for someone else may not work for you. Which is why it’s vital to experiment with a variety of different learning techniques. For example, you could try flashcards, group discussions, and creating games or puzzles about the content of whatever you’re trying to learn.

Learning new things is supposed to be fun and engaging. Find methods that genuinely work for you, and don’t worry about the ones which don’t.

Apply The 80/20 Rule To Everything You Learn.

Whenever you want to learn something new, ask yourself the following question: “What would this look like if it were easy?”

A lot of people might consider studying the Spanish dictionary if they want to start learning the language. However, that strategy is extremely time-consuming.

Instead, a more efficient method is to focus on everyday vocabulary. Because once you can understand the most frequently used words, it becomes much easier to connect the dots. For example, the Spanish language has approximately 150,000 words, but only 750 words are used daily by native speakers.

Once you find ways to make learning more efficient, you’ll make a lot more progress than you ever thought possible.

Treat Yourself Whenever You Make Progress.

Create targets and a list of things you want to achieve. Then, reward yourself whenever you hit a milestone. As Kyle Brost writes in Thrive Global:

“The most important aspect of reward-setting is finding rewards that are meaningful — to you. If you reward your progress with something that you don’t want or care about, it’s not going to have the desired effect. It won’t make you feel good and say, “Yes… I’m going to keep going!”

Once you have a motive to learn new things, it’s much easier to remain motivated. For example, I’ll often go on a day trip to Niagara Falls or somewhere else that I like visiting whenever I achieve my language learning goals.

Learning is like a road trip. First, understand where you are right now. Second, figure out where you want to go. And while you’re driving to your destination, make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

If you want to be successful and learn loads of new things, you don’t need to go to college. In fact, you can learn pretty much anything you desire from the comfort of your own home. To recap:

  • Get rid of any limiting beliefs.
  • Find methods of learning that work for you.
  • Apply the 80/20 rule to everything you learn.
  • Measure your progress.

If you can do all of that consistently, you’ll find it a lot easier to learn more efficiently in a way that works for you. So what are you waiting for?

Start now.

Photo via Unsplash

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