Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on February 2, 2010

Today: Is it too late for you to further your education?

How many times have you said to yourself, “I could really get ahead if I had a better education?” But you haven’t taken action. If so, I’d like to share a personal story with you.

“I’m too old to go back to school,” said my wife Anne in 2008 when she was 62 and talking about enrolling in college. “I’ll never be able to keep up with those young students.

“They’re young, bright and better educated than me,” she added. “And they have so much more energy. I’ll just embarrass myself.”

Anne hadn’t attended college since the 1970’s and convinced herself her limitations were true, so she wouldn’t even consider enrolling.

Our oldest son Kyle and I tried repeatedly to convince her to return to school but without success. Then one day she and Kyle had a long talk. “You can do it mom,” he said sprinkled throughout their discussion.

Hesitantly, she agreed to explore it. With Anne’s permission Kyle made an appointment with the registrar and other officials at Loyola Marymount University. They interviewed her and afterward she and Kyle walked the campus together.

Her mental barriers began to melt away. The interviews went well and as Anne walked with Kyle, she saw the students and no longer felt inferior to them.

“It was the fear of the unknown,” Kyle remarked, “and the fear of failure. What we did is address all the barriers she put up in her mind. You put yourself in last place in a race you haven’t even run,” he told her.

“You had been a successful adult running a household,” Kyle continued, “and raising children. Yet with all of your experience, you think you’ll have trouble competing with 18-year-olds? I don’t think so.”

And Kyle was right. He convinced his mother to enroll and she took a history course. “When I got into the class,” Anne said, “I realized it wasn’t different then what it had been many years before.”

Yes, she needed to use a computer, but she knew how to do that and everything else was as she had known it and she became a class leader. So what happened?

Five months later she proudly received an A as one of the outstanding students in her class.

And it didn’t stop. Anne just finished a Loyola extension class in December, earning an A- and for next semester she is already enrolled in two extension classes.

But as Anne had originally done, most of us create our own limitations. The mind is very powerful and if we believe we can’t do something, of course we’re right.

We all have limitations but it is amazing how many more we add with a negative attitude. If going back to school would make a big difference in your career or in your self-satisfaction, as Kyle did for Anne, give yourself a pep talk and then visit that school or at least view it on-line.

Before you know it, you’ll overcome your self-created barriers and a new learning experience will uplift your life.

Success Tip of the Week: Attending class isn’t your only option. You can study on-line or take a correspondence course, or even educate yourself through extensive reading.

In the next KazanToday: Valuable business lessons from Sol Price, who was one of the world’s greatest retailers.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!
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