How to get ahead by schooling yourself

Mark Johnson
3 min readFeb 18, 2021

I recently had my 44th birthday, and if you know me and wished me a Happy Birthday, I want to thank you, I appreciate it. What I find with getting older is that sometimes things seem to cycle back through, one day seems to blur into the next, and life can seem to take on a dull outlook.

Realizing this happens to lots of people, I sought out a book that has helped me. This book is Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. I read this book a while back in hopes of finding some new ways of being creative. It is a small pocket-sized book with a ton of great ideas. I encourage people to read it and check out my Youtube book review from when I first read it here.

Today though, I will talk about one aspect from the book that has been key in keeping me going: “ Schooling yourself” Austin Kleon puts it this way…

“School is one thing. Education is another. The two don’t always overlap. Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.

You have to be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up — Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else; that’s how you’ll get ahead.

Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don’t ask a question before you Google it. You’ll either find the answer, or you’ll come up with a better question.

Always be reading. Go to the library. There’s magic in being surrounded by books. Get lost in the stacks. Read bibliographies. It’s not the book you start with; it’s the book that book leads you to.

Collect books, even if you don’t plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library.

Don’t worry about doing research.

Just search.”

My point is that sometimes rather than always looking to improve ourselves, we get comfortable and don’t question the things we know to help inspire new ideas or School ourselves to the world around us. We need to get curious about life. Sometimes the answer to one question may lead to a solution to a yet to be asked problem.

I am talking about educating yourself and learning how to do that, which starts with curiosity. Austin gives some great ways to get lost in the search, be it Google or a library. Being my 44th year on this planet, I’m going to pledge this year to be excited about being more curious and asking questions. I can say the book reading will continue as I enjoy reading tremendously already. So yeah, Google and I are going to be good friends.

To finalize this, you have one effortless step you can take to improve your overall life and put yourself in a better headspace by jazzing up your curiosity and Schooling yourself. So until the next time, have a blessed day, and I will see on the flip side …Let’s GO!!!



Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a University of Chico graduate, a lover of the creative arts, avid photographer, with an undying entrepreneurial spirit.