I have this funny quirk, which sometimes works against me and sometimes in my favour.
I hate feeling like I’m wasting money. Like, really hate it.
I love to spend money on good things, when I can afford to. That gives me great pleasure. But in some areas, I hate the idea that I’d be paying someone else to do something that I could do for myself for free if I just knew how.
Take language study. I could probably hire a German tutor for a pretty reasonable price. But I never have. Every time I think about it, I end up wondering how much German I could learn for free on my own without any difficulty. Surely I should learn that much on my own before I start paying someone for lessons? And so that’s what I’ve been doing for the last three years.
I find I think similarly about martial arts. There’s a part of me that has some interest in learning a bit about martial arts. But there’s a part of me that really wants to learn it for myself, teach it to myself as much as possible, before taking lessons. So I find I go through these phases of reading and watching videos, trying to grow in understanding.
In some ways, I’m an autodidact not through necessity or on principle, but just because I don’t want to use my money foolishly. I’m happy to spend my money — but I want to try to figure out as much as I can for myself first.
That’s what helped me learn to be an autodidact of the sort I am now. And to me, that all by itself has been truly invaluable.