Nourish Your Brain: 5 Best Places to Learn on the Internet

One of the most challenging mindset limitations I have overcome has been my lack of a college degree. I dropped out of Central Michigan University after three years with no focus or major. I labeled myself as the college dropout and for years I let this label define me. I unwittingly factored in outside influence and the negative connotations of  "college dropout". Deceptively, my ego made me believe I was inferior and kept me from doing things outside my comfort zone. I was missing opportunities because, in my mind, they were out of my reach. I gave into my limited thinking and used my college dropout label as an excuse. 

The truth is there are successful people (Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg) who, like 30% of college students, dropped out early. Similarly there are great thinkers and innovators (Richard Branson, Frank Lloyd Wright) that have never stepped foot in a college or university.

 We have been led to believe that a proper education leads to comfort, security, and fulfillment. And while this may be true in some cases, college isn't for everyone. Do we want to perpetuate a culture where a degree is the ultimate ticket to success? Especially in times where degrees aren't necessarily helping grads land a job and student debt is becoming an increasing problem.

 Learning should be a positive experience and one that you feel comfortable with personally and financially. The point I'm trying to make is that there are alternatives to traditional 4-year colleges. Fortunately there are now options to explore before you make the choice and, if you’re like me, when you're faced with overcoming dropout status. 

So, start nourishing your brain. Here are my top five places to learn on the internet. Most sites are free, so there are no excuses!

People use the internet for finding their wedding dress IQ? Huh? I'm speechless from how oxymoronic that is, considering with the same click you can learn from some of MIT's best professors. MIT is sharing some of their online coursework, and it's free!

Khan Academy is also free and you can learn alongside your children. It's a good starting point to get into a non-traditional mindset of learning outside the classroom. It's come to a point in our society where we shouldn't be solely relying on public education. 

Saylor Academy offers several courses that earn you transferable credits to certain accredited schools that they affiliate with. They offer core classes you might take in a traditional college or university as well as career oriented courses. 

Alison offers free courses to expand workplace skills from business and IT to health and personal development. This site is great if you are looking to grow your knowledge base whether you want to advance in your current job, look for a new job or start your own business. 

SkillShare has been one of my favorite places to learn. They charge a small monthly fee for access to all their courses. You can also take some courses for free if you’re not up for the premium membership. This site has course-work taught by successful working professionals. Most of the classes are brief and to the point so you're getting good content in a timely manner.

Self-education is becoming more prevalent lately as people start realizing they want more than the 9-5 grind. Learning new skills is a great way to get yourself motivated to branch out, start your own business and get into an independent mindset. 

The take away from this post: Don't let labels negatively affect your mindset. It doesn't matter where you are in life, you can always learn and grow. 

Change Your Mindset: Overcome Limited Thinking

Blindly pawing at existence isn't sexy. I've come to realize that we've let the reckless torture of conformity plan our lives for us. It's become inherent to accept things in our lives that other people have decided for us. 

I had been foolishly carrying around a limited mindset I had collected since grade school. I was sad, frail minded and silent. I felt inferior and useless. I often felt shame and ridicule. I was bound by fear, hiding from everything. I made myself small and invisible. And I brought that terrified little girl into every facet of my life because I didn't know any better. I didn't know I had a choice to be something different. I just assumed I had to live that way and there was nothing I could do to change it. 

My perception of the world was askew. Once I stopped being the victim of circumstance, I found my voice. Through an everlasting purgatory of self-doubt,  I found a way out of my limited thought patterns by changing my mindset.

When I learned that the only limits we have are the ones we place on ourselves, my life started to lucidly change. They only exist because we maintain them. We can blame any number of things, parents, society, school, etc. but the truth is we take them on because we believe them. The moment we take responsibility for our surroundings and the outcomes in our lives, is the moment we can start to take charge of our thoughts. 

It wasn't until two years ago that I found the path that felt right for me. It all stemmed from one line of a text I received:  "the map is not the territory". It was the most alluring six words I had ever read. It made me want to uncover and discover all the things my mind could do. As I tried to wrap my head around the meaning, it gave me a distinct feeling of premonition. I started researching it and I haven't stopped for two years. I've done more studying and learning in that time than I did all through high school and three years of college.  

I found that the phrase is associated with NLP, neuro-linguistic programming. It essentially means my reality is not your reality. We all have different maps and trying to understand that is crucial to how we interact with each other. There is more to be said about NLP and it's benefits which I'll leave for a future post. 

My research eventually led me to mindvalleyacademy.com after stumbling upon a youtube video featuring the founder, Vishen Lakhiani. In one of my favorite videos he describes what he calls Brules or bullshit rules, which is the limited mindset playing out. You can check it out here.  I found his Consciousness Engineering course to be distinctly helpful in targeting exactly where you pick up negative thought patterns and then he teaches hacks to remove them. This site is where I started to learn that there are practical things I could do to improve my thinking. 

One of my biggest influences through this journey has been Carl Harvey from thebiglife.com. He has a radiant personality and his positivity is contagious. He does a weekly show and has tons of free content to help you reach your personal and professional goals. If you're struggling to see results in your life and you need to step up your spiritual growth game this is the place to start. The insight you'll get is amazing.

Both of these sites have helped me develop positive mindsets and gave me realistic ways to dissolve limited thinking. These particular people resonated with me because they were genuine in wanting to help people with self empowerment, personal and spiritual growth and abundance mindsets. 

This was just the beginning of the knowledge I started to uncover. In my next post I'll share resources for independent learning. 

The take away from this post : The fool knows nothing of his own mind. Get to know yours.