To Excel You Must Learn These 6 Crucial Lessons That School Can Never Teach

Frame your diploma and then get busy educating yourself to succeed.

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By Peter Voogd

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Be proud of yourself for continuing your education past traditional schooling. Learning, studying and investing in yourself doesn't stop when you become successful, that's when it really starts. The sooner you learn that all the skills you need to learn to thrive will occur after you leave the confines of educational conformity, the sooner you will succeed. Here are six game-changing ideas that you can't learn in the classroom.

1. A powerful "why." Realize that no matter where you are right now, you can always take it up a notch. Are you really giving your all daily? Your possibilities are endless when you find compelling reasons. The goal is to create a "why'' so strong that it pulls you through any challenge, past all doubters and over even your own limitations. We're in an economy that now welcomes the entrepreneur. It's become easier to realize your ideal future. It just takes compelling reasons, clear intentions and the right guidance.

Related: The Smartest Long-Term Investment is You

2. Focus on strengths, delegate weaknesses. Anybody who tells you to focus on your weaknesses hasn't experienced consistent peak performance. The idols you and I respect, along with all well-known achievers, prospered by deliberately focusing on their strengths. If you're not sure what your strengths are, start asking people around you. Your strengths are where you get results and maybe isn't always what you love. The goal is the be so good at your strengths that it propels you to stand out. Everybody loves doing what they're good at, and your creativity will flourish if you love what you do. Focusing on too many things causes you to be average in many versus exceptional in a few.

3. Habits always trump inspiration. Inspiration is needed to create consistent action, but your habits are ultimately going to define your success or failure. It's been said that only 5 percent of the people at seminars and conferences actually use what they've learned. Why is that? Because inspiration is very short term. It feels good in the moment but doesn't last past the activity producing it.

In our Game Changers Academy we focus on shifting habits, gaining better perspective and interrupting bad thought patterns instead of just inspiration. The biggest inspiration of all is seeing progress and results, which comes from new habits. When you begin the formation of a new habit, stick to it and see the lasting change in your new-found life.

Related: How Making Employees Lifelong Learners Can Help Your Company Succeed

4. Mastery vs. information overload. Mastery is the highest form of accomplishment. The only way to become successful is to master the fundamentals and skills needed to reach your goals and dreams. We have so much information available to us, it's easy to become overwhelmed. When overwhelmed, we seek distractions.

Instead of reading 50 books this year, master and implement three. The immature learner wants to get as much information as they can as fast as they can, but you'll find them broke, stressed and lacking real progress. The mature mind is very deliberate with what they study. The achievers focus on listening to something until they've adopted it into their daily agenda, and seen their results improve. Jim Collins says it perfectly, "If you have more than three priorities, you don't have any."

Make the list of what must you start saying no to.

5. The real education. Jim Rohn said "if you work hard on your job you can make a living, but if you work on yourself you can make a fortune." Entrepreneurs understand, at a level most don't, that Rohn wasn't kidding. Investing in yourself is at the top of the list of ways to solidify an exceptional future, for nations as well as individuals. Apple said it bluntly "We shouldn't be criticized for using Chinese workers, the U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need."

Ouch! When I say develop yourself, grow and improve your skills, I don't mean school. Weird, but true, school sometimes distracts you from the things that actually matter in advancing your career and life. Warren Buffett said, "The best education you can get is investing in yourself, and that doesn't mean college or university."

6. Create something meaningful. Few companies nowadays have a compelling story or vision. The companies that are attracting top-tier talent -- Google, Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Zappos -- have a mission bigger than themselves.

I challenge you to start a movement. What can you create that helps other people? I will tell you from experience, life becomes much more fulfilling when you become involved in a movement or a cause greater than yourself. A meaningful mission isn't optional anymore. Movements are thriving while well-put-together plans are failing left and right.

As long as you have strong enough reasons, there has never been a better time in the history of our economy to create your ideal life. Understand that the only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Get clear on exactly what you want this year. Figure out the type of person you need be on an everyday basis to reach the goals you've set for yourself. Do everything you can to find a community of like-minded people to encourage you along the way. They are the ones who won't let you give up during the toughest of times.

Related: The 3 Percent Solution for Personal Development

Peter Voogd

Leading Authority for Young Entrepreneurs

Peter Voogd is the author of the best selling book 6 Months to 6 Figures, as well as the founder of The Game Changers Academy. He's a leading authority on Gen y leadership who has trainedand inspired well over 4,500 entrepreneurs with his true story of going from dead broke to a six figure income within six months. His podcasts, videos, websites and social media reaches more than 200,000 people monthly.

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