#051: How to be Irrelevant

My biggest frustration was how my school’s testing system created a mental association of PAIN with learning.

School royally screwed up the concept of knowledge for me.

What a shame, when knowledge is power.

Traditional Schools vs. Schools

In the real world, to create value, we define a problem, define a solution, and do it.

My relationship with knowledge started off with pain because of how I acquired information through text books and teachers talking at me.

Then after learning in classes and homework assignments, instead of applying it in the real world (like the expectations of a real job), we would “apply it” by taking an exam. Who followed the rules best?

Could schools be causing mental health problems?

I feared looking at my grades since tests gave me anxiety. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had PTSD during those years. Wait, I did a bit of searching and look what I found.

Could schools be creating psychological problems? Social anxiety?

Below is data from YouGov.com stating depression and anxiety being top health problems among students.

Mental health types-01.png


It didn’t help that I started my days early to stand outside in -10F to catch a bus to get to school. I would sit passively in classes listening to a teacher who’s a non-practitioner sharing theories on things I may never use in the real world.

I would just countdown the hours so I could go home for the day.

PEW research cites top social social concerns are being bullied, anxiety, depression and being kidnapped.

PEW RESEARCH: Various social anxieties for school children.

PEW RESEARCH: Various social anxieties for school children.

Looking back at my life, I didn’t truly value knowledge in my early years because of the pain. I never understood its true power. How it can open doors for you. How one idea can start a new journey for you.

Everyone says go to college, but is that the best use of time if it doesn’t teach you the skills you need right now?

In a Forbes article written by entrepreneur Neil Patel, he states that his biggest regret was going to college because they never taught him an entrepreneur’s greatest asset, critical thinking.

I found the people with wisdom were the ones who are able to handle highly stressful situations and transmute them into simple repeatable steps they can manage. Which comes from critical thinking. Pattern recognition. Making mistakes.

Hindsight is 2020.

Now connecting the dots looking backwards it all makes sense.

I remember telling my parents, I just wanted to go out in the world and do something. School may not be designed for everyone. Speed of implementation or experience is my cheat code for accelerated learning.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
— Walt Disney

What if schools became workshops. Learn 1 new idea, then go out in the world and test it. For example: Instead of learning theories on how to ride a bike and taking a test, go out and actually ride the bike! Come back to the class and talk about it.

Accelerated learning.

Fast forward to today…

There’s no way the old school paradigm will be able to keep up with the emerging global market.

Curated specific knowledge on any subject is one Google away.

Success is not a good teacher, failure makes you humble.
— Shah Rukh Khan
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
— Henry Ford

What if we don’t unlearn what school taught us?

If we don’t deprogram, we may become fearful of learning new skills and miss out on opportunities making us irrelevant to the marketplace.

Since humans have on average 75,000 thoughts per day it is getting harder to retain information because if we don’t apply the information right way, another idea will take the place of it in our mind.

If we don’t apply the experience on what we learn right away, we could potentially forget and have the idea replaced with something new.

Plan to make a voyage on the 1 brilliant idea. Attempt it. …and through the speed of implementing it, create small wins to build confidence. Learn from the little wins as progress and repeat the process until perfection.

Assume there’s nothing else that matters and accept the chaos around you. Knowledge is gained by practice. Wisdom comes from the knowledge applied.

We shy away from hard work, but wisdom comes from that experience which could immediately the trajectory of life.

Go for it.

@helloswat