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      All content by Charly Mann unless otherwise noted.


I am a Autodidact

by Charly Mann

Learning is my favorite pastime. It often takes up my entire day. For me it is invigorating, absorbing, inspiring, enlightening and a captivating experience. It also helps me to continue to be more creative and enthusiastic about life.

When I was young I noticed that my father was adept at discussing almost any topic from rock music (which he rarely listened to), to politics, religion, mathematics, philosophy, and literature. He loved to have in-depth conversations with everyone he came in contact with from a homeless man who asked him for money on the street who he took along with him to dinner at a restaurant, to Nobel Prize winners, and noted politicians. He was a voracious reader from childhood, and had mastered advanced physics and calculus by the time he was fifteen. Even though I have never been as intelligent as my father, I assumed his behavior was not abnormal, and I suppose I innately developed this same inner passion for learning a great deal on an array of unrelated subjects. For most of my life my biggest problem has been that there were too many subjects I was interested in. An example of this can be more than 38 businesses I have started and others job I have had, which include clothing designer and manufacturer, record producer and record label owner, computer programming college professor, designer of ultra-modern homes, author of three books including one on happiness, producer and director of a weekly live television show, founder of the first video rental chain, and a blog on bird identification.

Almost everything I have learned has been self-taught. Because I dropped out of college after one semester, but continued my love for learning, my father labeled me an autodidact when I was 19. An autodidact is someone with insatiable curiosity who learns not only from reading a lot, but also from his or her own experiences. They are true do-it-yourselfers and many enjoy starting businesses that no one else has ever attempted. Steven Jobs, Walt Disney, John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Richard Branson are all examples of autodidacts with little or no college education that exemplify this.

The common characteristic of autodidacts is a high degree of inquisitiveness, which results in a very open mind. Even though an autodidact may have strong views on a subject, they are always interested in ideas from others who have a lot of experience and knowledge on the topic.

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wmarkhay      7:22 AM Sun 2/19/2017

Hah, I'm similar, but the less successful, self-immolating version, Charly. Equally competent on the math/science and verbal spectra, aptitude tests providing no guidance since they pretty much said "can do anything." But the self-immolation part comes from "over-challenge propensity." I inherited a basically very timid, shy personality from my dad. So what do I do with my can-do-anything aptitude? Go into sales... cars, insurance, investments... probably the very thing I'm personality-wise least suited for! And much more talented mentally than athletically, but man, do I love getting this semi-dysfunctional physical body playing all the sports I love. Of course, maybe there's an achievement thing behind some of this... probably more satisfaction in achieving at something difficult than something that comes easily.

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Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
Charly Mann

About Me

Ever since I was very young I have been intrigued with how one could live happily ever after like the characters I read about in fairy tales. As a child I noticed most of the adults I was exposed to were often anxious and angry, and only a very few seemed to be calm and happy. By the time I was a teenager I was scouring philosophy and psychology books looking for instructions on how to have a marvelous life. I also began questioning scores of adults I would encounter about their philosophy on life and what they thought one needed to do to be perfectly contented. In 1967, at the age of 17, I started a daily journal that compiled all the information I acquired that day on the subject. Today that journal includes three dozen large notebooks and more than 3,400 pages on my hard drive.

I have had a marvelous life thus far - most of it incredibly happy, healthy, and successful. Since 1968 I have also tracked how happy and successful I was in the previous year. Through the end of 2013, each year has been significantly better than the year before. I believe much of this can be attributed on what I learned and implemented in my own life about achieving good health, success, and happiness. As I mature and learn more my methodology for making my life great has changed a lot. I achieved enormous financial success before I was 25, which contributed greatly to my enjoyment of life for almost a decade, but even before I was 30 I found that there were things far more important than wealth that made my life great and I keep discovering more. I have had financial independence since I was very young, but almost all the joys and pleasure I now derive from life are free or cost very little.

On Uplifting Visions I share insights that I have gained from my own experience, observation, and a life of research on attaining happiness, health, and success.

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