The word autodidact also callled self taught comes from the Greek term autodidaktikos , where auto means “oneself” and didaktos means “teaching”.
In other words, the autodidact is the one who teaches himself, or instructs himself by his own effort.
Most self-taught people are motivated. That is, to seek knowledge without the help of another person, a stimulus, a will is needed.
What is being self-taught?
Being self-taught is having the ability to learn content autonomously, that is, managing your own study process.
In this way, a self-taught person organizes the learning resources that he has at his disposal, as well as his skills and knowledge.
Being self-taught does not mean not having any kind of help, but not having someone you depend on to learn.
In this way, self-taught people can use the resources available on the internet, such as videos or texts that are often taught by someone else.
That is, someone elaborated that material. That’s why we say that even self-taught people need help from other people, even if it’s just that way.
Therefore, what defines who is self-taught is the fact that they do not depend on a school, course or formal institution to learn.
Many of us are self-taught. Who here has never learned to do a task using a YouTube video, for example? Whether learning to play an instrument, sewing a piece of clothing or changing a light bulb, we all have the ability to learn something without the “help” of another person.
Surely you know several people who are self-taught. However, some celebrities who became big names in their professions as self-taught are:
- Abraham Lincoln: As he only studied for just 18 months, he had to read many books to complement his learning. The 16th American president, who came from a poor family, managed to become a lawyer at the age of 25;
- Albert Einstein: one of the world’s best-known autodidacts, the father of the theory of relativity got low grades as a child in subjects such as history and geography . At math and physics he was very good, skills he developed throughout his life;
- Santos Dumont: considered the greatest Brazilian inventor, he acquired an interest in mechanics even as a child, developing studies in the area of construction of equipment for flight. As a teenager he watched birds to study their physical makeup.
Want to know how to be self-taught? Check out our tips!
Take online courses
Several universities, both in Brazil and abroad, offer video classes and short courses on their websites. Some are even free.
YouTube is a great tool for the self-taught, as it brings together an almost infinite amount of subjects that can be learned.
read a lot
Of course, this is not really a tip, since every self-taught person has to read a lot. But do you know where to find material for this?
There are numerous libraries scattered around. Whether in universities or even public ones, they are open to the community and everyone who is interested in learning.
Read books online too. Many sites provide free material on numerous subjects.
To be self-taught requires a lot of organization. Be it time, studies, leisure activities. All your tasks need to be thought out so that you can handle everything.
After all, there is no such thing as a classroom with a teacher waiting for you at the scheduled time and place. If you don’t get organized, when you see it, you’re already busy with something that adds nothing to your knowledge.
This also includes focusing on your goals and knowing why you are acquiring this knowledge.
know what you want
It’s much easier to study and learn topics that interest you, right? So much so that many times it doesn’t even seem like we’re studying, but having fun.
The self-taught routine is very tiring and can be tedious. That way, the ideal is to dedicate yourself to something that you really like.
A little self-knowledge will be essential for you to be successful in this endeavor. After all, how do you know what you like without knowing yourself?
This is practically an innate characteristic of self-taught people. After all, who can learn alone without being curious about a topic?
In this way, it is essential to remain curious and motivated to pursue knowledge. Put the focus on the result, and run after!
Put knowledge into practice
Usually self-taught people like to learn content that can be put into practice.
Learning to play an instrument, for example, is no use reading all the theories in the world and not having access to the instrument to practice your knowledge.
In addition, putting knowledge into practice is another way to maintain interest and motivation in continuing learning.
Another tip is also to do activities related to your studies.
If you are learning a new language , for example, watching movies , listening to music and other activities involving the new language can also help you to remain interested in the subject.
Proactivity is also one of the main characteristics of those who are self-taught. After all, if you don’t have initiative, it’s very difficult for learning to fall directly into your lap, isn’t it?
When we take a higher education course , for example, we receive all the content, dates, times and schedules defined by the professors or by the institution. When we don’t have access to that kind of organization, we need to take initiative to stay organized.
Understand that the responsibility for learning is yours alone
It takes a lot of maturity to be able to handle a self-taught study. That’s because, as we’ve already mentioned, we won’t have professors or the university asking us if we’ve learned or not.
Knowing that you are not limited to what is learned in the classroom or in a book is the first step in seeking to learn through new materials or new methodologies .
Therefore, you must go after these new methods to handle everything since you will not have the help of any institution.
Is it better to be self-taught or go to college?
Actually, that answer depends. What do you want to do with your life?
Of course, if you want to pursue a traditional profession such as engineering , medicine , law , dentistry , among others, you need to go to college. I imagine that no one will accept being operated on by a self-taught doctor, right?
However, there are several professions that today can be exercised by people without any kind of official training. All you need is skill and a willingness to learn!
Even so, some professions that don’t require a college degree can still be a good complement if you study deeper. After all, there are several advantages to being a university student and not everyone wants to miss the chance to go through this phase of life.
Therefore, evaluate what is most worthwhile for you and take advantage of the opportunities that life gives you!