When I was a new graduate from college, with a firm hand on a diploma stating I had a Masters degree in Finance, I was convinced I was now ready to conquer the world. Surely I would have my choice of positions, and could pave my way to wealth, simple by holding that degree. I was done studying. Done reading those boring books forever. Never again would I spend night after night pouring over a book that didn’t have the word “romance” in the title.

So happily I moved down the path of life, and took a banking position. Followed by an accounting position. Followed by an auditing position. And then I began taking a serious look at my life. Was this really what school had taught me? Wasn’t there more to life than simply holding a job? How was I supposed to find my true calling?

I began sitting at my desk contemplating my future. Surely there were others out there like me that began to question their fate. That suddenly decided that their lives simply weren’t working for them anymore, and that a big change was necessary. Or was I alone in this quest?

The funny thing about a quest is once you set your mind to something, it’s easy to find your answers. And the easiest way to find the answers is in writing. Books and magazines became my best friends. I began to read everything and anything; from self-help to business help. I began to get a new type of education. An education from listening to what others had to say about success, life, and the general pursuit of happiness. And I discovered the importance of a great education, not just an institutionalized education.

A great education begins with the desire to learn. As long as that desire exists inside of you, you can literally conquer anything.

Education is one of my favorite topics. Knowledge is the key to success. It can unlock any door you choose. Simply by wanting to learn, and following through with the act of learning, you can become anything you dream. And education is so easily achieved! Literally anyone can receive intense, specialized knowledge if they so desire. Education is not synonymous with formal training. Education is simple the desire to learn. And there are so many ways to learn!

Thomas A. Edison had only three months of formal education during his entire lifetime. Henry Ford had less than a sixth grade education. Bill Gates never completed college. Yet every single one of these people became very successful in their lifetime. Why? Because they had a thirst for knowledge, and learned what was important to them in any way they can. They read. They studied under mentors. They educated themselves with happenings in the world around them. And they NEVER gave up on the formal education of life.

My current education goal? First, to read one non-fiction book a week for the rest of my life. Just by following through on this simple goal, I will have read 52 books by the end of the year, 260 books in 5 years, and over 1300 books in 25 years! Second, to always have at least one mentor that can teach me new ideas. Mentors can be personal friends and acquaintances, or can be high-powered mentors in which you learn through their books and seminars. Both have an important place in your life. Both should be used continuously to change the way you think and act. What an education!

Your Action Step For The Week

Discover The Importance of Education

Commit yourself to education. Begin in the simplest way possible: read! One of the best investments you can ever make for yourself is to go to your local library, and get a library card. Then begin checking out books regularly. If you haven’t been lately, you may be surprised. One of our local libraries now carries multiple copies of the bestsellers, and carries DVD’s, magazines, and CD and tapes for checkout.

How do you find good books? Check your bestseller lists. You can find them in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or even on Amazon. If a book makes these lists, there must be a reason. I monitor these lists every week, and make sure I’ve read the books on both the non-fiction and the business lists. Better yet, watch my On The Nightstand column every week. I monitor the bestseller lists, and choose classics that I enjoy and have helped me in to success!

Build your library! When I find a great book that I enjoy, or that offers a wealth of information, I buy it and add it to my library. Even if you buy 52 books a year, averaging $15 a book, that’s an investment of $780 into your education. That’s less than most college courses! What an investment!

Check out the bestseller list!

Lori Osterberg has created three successful businesses in the past 10 years, and along the way discovered secrets of taking a local small business and turning it into a worldwide success. She now shares this passion with people all over the world, and writes and mentors on using technology to grow your business – and stay small at the same time! Receive her FREE ezine at www.VisionOfSuccess.com.