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The surprising origin of modern education

Almost none knows the TRUTH about how today's system of higher education developed — its RECENT DRIFT — and
why the system is even now becoming obsolete.


STUDENTS all over the world make final decisions about COLLEGE every year THAT WILL VITALLY AFFECT THEIR ENTIRE LIVES!

The WRONG decision may mean failure — unhappiness frustration for LIFE. Girls, as well as men.

If I were a young man or young woman, either already in a university, or now at last ready for college, I would most assuredly give sober and solemn THOUGHT to the things I want to say to you here.

I would want to think seriously about WHY so many college graduates, after having already acquired a bachelor's or master's degree, feel that the university failed to give them what they really NEEDED, if their lives were to be successful, completely satisfying.

I would want to look, searchingly, into the REASONS behind the thousands of FAILURES in life by college graduates — and why even most who do achieve moderate or even rich financial status still find their lives UNHAPPY, far short of the completely gratifying, rewarding sense of satisfaction they had anticipated before entering college.

I would want to find the reasons WHY A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF COLLEGE GRADUATES MAKE FAILURES IN MARRIAGE — failures in child rearing as parents.

I would want to know WHY so many, whose minds have been trained and filled with technical knowledge in specialized fields, still are emotionally immature, morally and spiritually mixed up and confused, still plagued with a feeling of inadequacy, uncertainty, inferiority, insecurity — even frustration.

Yes, WHY?

WHAT IS IT that these millions, who spent four, six or more years in "higher education," find they failed to obtain at college?

It is, plainly and simply, that they were not given the most important knowledge and experience needed for a balanced, well-rounded, happy, abundant life that is really successful!

I have lived an active, dynamic, much-traveled, fast-moving life. And today I look back, with deep and very gratifying satisfaction, on a life of accomplishment that has been full, abundant, interesting, even exciting, but always rewarding. Of course there have been problems to solve, obstacles to hurdle. There have been, too, disappointments and setbacks, for those come to every life. They are the training ground of character.

But I have come in contact with numerous men supposedly "successful" by generally accepted standards — men who headed great and vast enterprises, men whose bank accounts were full, but their lives empty!

I have known scores of multimillionaires — nearly all of them unhappy! Most certainly I do not consider poverty a criterion of success, but after knowing so many hundreds who became financially affluent, neither do I consider acquisition of MONEY a proof of success. There is more to life than earning a living, though that is one of the necessary requirements.

And I have known wives of financially "successful" husbands — career women — some who reached the top of the social ladder. They, too, were unhappy, discontented.

When I was only 22, I was sent throughout the United States as the "idea man" of a national magazine — interviewing businessmen, studying, analyzing merchandising and general business conditions, learning why one man makes a success, another a failure, in the management of his business.

All my life since, I have studied the CAUSES of success and of failure in life — the REASONS for so much unhappiness.

And when, more than 30 years ago, it became my privilege and responsibility to found an institution in the field of higher education — Ambassador College — I talked about these problems with a number of educators of good rank in this business of education. I discussed with them the facts that I had found so many college graduates to be actual failures in life, not knowing how to live it, even though many were financially "successful."

Said Dr. Packer, chancellor of higher education for the State of Oregon: "Mr. Armstrong, I envy your great opportunity. We know there are serious evils in our educational system. We know it is gripped tightly in the clutch of a vicious materialism. Those of us at the head of some of these large and vast educational organizations are also in the clutch of that system — even though we see the evils, we are powerless to change them. But, you, Mr. Armstrong, are not bound by these fetters of tradition. You are FREE to start anew — to RECAPTURE THE TRUE VALUES — while retaining all that has proven good in educational experience."

Dr. Packer by those words set the motto of Ambassador College — RECAPTURE TRUE VALUES!

What, after all, is basically, criminally, WRONG?

First, above all else, people are groping in the dark, not knowing THE TRUE VALUES!

The millions of even the supposedly "successful" are spending lifetimes of precious hours and strenuous efforts toward wrong GOALS, false VALUES, that fail to pay off! It's like devoting the energies of a lifetime chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow — groping, open-mouthed, for the mirage on a blistering hot desert.

Do you want to struggle through life in that manner, only to end up frustrated, disillusioned, too late to start all over again?

Life is a pretty serious thing. You only live it ONCE!

The basic, most necessary things you need to learn are the real meaning and PURPOSE of life — WHY we are alive, the TRUE VALUES, distinguished from the false (few, if any, of the greatest educators and wealthiest millionaires have ever learned this), and THE WAY — the HOW — that brings peace, happiness, abundant wellbeing.

There is a CAUSE for every effect. There are REASONS for unhappy, frustrated lives — among those who are "successful" financially, socially, politically, or in usual channels of life. There is a REASON for lack of PEACE in the world: Most heads of government do not know the WAY to peace! If they did, would we not have a little of it?

Just training the intellect is NOT ENOUGH!

Technical training in a line of specialization is NOT ENOUGH!

Millions have obtained that kind of education — but it has led to unhappy and unsuccessful lives! It has not prepared these "educated" for living!


Laws of Success

There is a CAUSE for every result.

If your life is to be TRULY successful, you must find and apply the CAUSE of that satisfying happiness.

There are definite laws that determine success or failure — happiness or unhappiness.

The very first law of success is to have and diligently pursue the RIGHT GOAL! The second is EDUCATION — preparation for that right goal.

I have known scores and scores of people who had success in achieving their goal. They applied diligently the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth of the seven laws for REAL success. Well, perhaps many rather neglected the third law, which is good health. To have good health you must know the laws of good physical health — the physical laws of body and mind that regulate physical health. And you must apply them.

The fourth law I call DRIVE. Initiative, self-propulsion, prodding the self, driving on, instead of letting down. The fifth is RESOURCEFULNESS — the ability and confident determination to think the way through, over, around or past every problem, obstacle or difficulty that comes in one's path. And life will be full of these. They stop and defeat the irresolute, the shiftless, the unthinking, those lacking resourcefulness. The sixth is perseverance — stick-to-it-iveness — refusal to give up or quit. (And if you want to know what the seventh one is, send for your free copy of the full-color booklet titled The Seven Laws of Success)

Yes, those regarded as successful in the world have practiced these rules — and they have attained their goals. But that has not always been real success, because their GOALS were not right goals.

Many businessmen fail because they are in the wrong business — the proverbial "square pegs in the round holes."

But, in the main, the MILLIONS supposedly SUCCESSFUL have never known REAL success. Some of these ended up suicides! Nearly all have been unhappy. Many, if not most, have been failures in their home and family life — failures as parents. It is they, not their teen children, who are the "delinquents."

And WHY?

Again, they did not know the TRUE VALUES. They chose the wrong goals. They worked hard to achieve a wrong goal that left them disillusioned, frustrated, unhappy.

This thing we call civilization is, simply, the WAY OF LIFE that is lived by the people. It is the system, the customs, the manner of life in human contacts and associations and organizations and ways. It is, in short, THIS WORLD.

And this world is emphatically NOT a happy, truly successful world!

In the brief span of a lifetime the world has passed with accelerating speed through the age of invention, the machine age, the age of science and technology, the nuclear age, and, now, the space age. The sudden acceleration in scientific development is evidenced by the astonishing fact that 90 percent of all scientists who ever lived are living today.