I wouldn’t consider myself the smartest person in the world...

By Paul Smith

Dec 02

Many people are brighter than me.

But a lot of these people never realise their true potential. And I think that’s down to a lack of education outside the classroom. A lot of people have a high level of knowledge in a narrow subject field.

Specialists are, ironically, usually incapable of adapting. The world we live in today demands flexibility in order to achieve.

I’m undoubtedly privileged to be in the position I am today, but not lucky. The lifestyle I currently enjoy is down to hard work, dedication and books; lots and lots of books…

Both of my parents were teachers. Books and learning were very important to them and, as a result, me. Until age 11 my environment was all about education.

I'd read multiple books per week, and eventually multiple books per day.

Growing up, we didn’t have a TV in the house. No one on the street did. The internet was just an idea. And as for smartphones? They were simply science fiction.

As far as entertainment stretched, my options were to play out with friends, ride my bike or read.

Perhaps it’s down to all those books and the absorption of various knowledge that I tend to spot lessons everywhere. I always have, throughout my life.

I’ll go into specifics in future newsletters but one of the key lessons I’ve learned so far is that the hardest thing to do in your life is decide you want to do something.

My most important value is the belief I'm going to be roughly right most of the time, rather than being exactly wrong. Because anyone who wants to be exactly right will never do anything.

I'm an engineer. So I know through experience and training that you can never prove anything, you can only disprove it. I also know that the only perfectly safe way to do anything, is to not do it.

For a long period of my life, I’d wanted to write a book. But I’d never felt I had anything to write about.

With Serviced Accommodation, I finally had that feeling in my gut. I also knew who I wanted to write for: people who needed the belief they could achieve their dreams too.
Starting up Touchstone, I’ve seen first hand how quality education, supported by a mentorship programme led by experts, can turn people’s lives around for the better.

I want Touchstone to change as many people’s lives as possible. To give people the information and support to turn that into knowledge. Information won’t change your life, but knowledge can.

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