This article was originally published in the Official LinkedIn Blog. Click here to see the original post. Also, we would strongly recommend checking out some of the other articles there as it is a great resource!
My brother, Kody, and I didn’t always love to learn, or at least we didn’t know we did. In fact, while we were growing up, we counted down the years until we were free from the classroom. It wasn’t until we took the time to hone in on our passion and purpose that our eyes were opened to a deep love for learning. Since then, we’ve learned to look beyond the brick and mortar of a classroom and enroll in an education of a lifetime.
For us, learning is about tailoring your education to your unique personal makeup, and to always be learning. It’s realizing that each time you meet a mentor, make a cold call, or read a new article, you’re participating in the expansive classroom of life. A few years back, we realized that the current paths we were on weren’t going to take us to our end goal. So halfway through high school, I decided to homeschool in order to fully pursue my passion for filmmaking. Around this time, Kody decided to go after his BA in entrepreneurship through online courses at Liberty University. This allowed him to graduate debt-free, have the flexibility to travel, and the freedom to start his own business. Both being at home, we combined our passions. This led to the birth of our adventure filmmaking and lifestyle brand, The Outbound Life
When no one told us we had to memorize X to get grade Z, we learned the most in our areas of curiosity. This encouraged us to pursue avenues of learning such as leading a weekly think tank of young entrepreneurs called “Outbound Thinking”, and regularly attend leadership conferences such as “The Global Leadership Summit”. We are constantly looking for ways to grow ourselves and push past our limits. Something we often say is that you need to choose your teachers and textbooks wisely. We approach these words with a very holistic definition.
We view “teachers” as those who are steps ahead of us in life and inspire us. We really encourage people to have the audacity to pursue learning from their biggest role models on earth. This is why we’ve made it a priority to pursue and learn directly from some of our biggest inspirations around, including Devin Supertamp (the most followed adventure filmmaker on YouTube) and Chris Burkard (the most followed travel photographer on Instagram). LinkedIn has been a tool we use to break down perceived barriers to engage and interact with these individuals. It gives us unparalleled access to high profile individuals by simply sending an InMail or getting an introduction.
We view our “textbooks” as material that will enrich our lives in practical and applicable ways. Notice we don’t limit this curriculum to written text. While we do make it a habit of reading each day, we primarily read only about subjects that directly correlate with our passions. One day we may read from entrepreneurial and thought leaders such as Simon Sinek or Richard Branson. Other days we will watch TED talks, or listen to podcasts by influencers such as Michael Hyatt or Gary Vaynerchuk.
Had we never embarked on the education of a lifetime, we most likely wouldn’t have started the company The Outbound Life, which has gotten us to where we are today. At the ages of 20 and 23 we are currently leading this movement, where each day young people are embracing the mindset that they have so much more potential than previously imagined. In these last few months alone, we spoke at TEDx Memphis, worked with Southwest Airlines as social media influencers, and helped produce global launch commercials for companies such as DJI (world's leading drone manufacturer) and Manfrotto (leading manufacturer of camera support products). We are constantly blown away by the opportunities that appear in our lives as well as the lives of so many others when learning is viewed not as a burden but instead more as a love affair.
Are you excited about learning these days? If not, it might be time to pursue your curiosity and enroll in the education of a lifetime. #AlwaysBeLearning
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