The gigantic horrible lie about education
In public education there’s an idea that there are certain things everyone is supposed to know in Kindergarten. Then there’s some other things all the kids are supposed to learn in first grade and some more things in 2nd grade and so on.
Then when you finally graduate from high school, you know all the stuff you’re “supposed to know.”
How’s that plan been working for you, anyway?
What capability does a high school kid possess on the day he crosses the stage with his diploma at his graduation ceremony?
Generally, he possesses the ability to get a $7 per hour job at Wal-Mart or TGI Friday’s.
Wow. What a milestone that is, after 13 years of academic achievement. Really inspires you to do what the principal was droning about at the graduation ceremony – strive to be a student for the rest of your life.
No wonder most people spend the next 40 years of their colorless existence watching re-runs of 3rd Rock from the Sun.
OK, so here’s the problem with the “this is the list of things everybody should know” theory:
It turns living, breathing, unique human beings into commoditized, dehumanized hunks of flesh. 140 pounds of human capital. Where your highest aspiration is to get a few more right answers on the test than everyone else in the class. Where everyone knows how to do all the same things and compete with 100 other people for the same dumb job.
If the very thought of that makes you want to run out of the room screaming, good. It’s a sign the beast hasn’t gouged every last ounce of self-respect out of your soul.
Rage against the machine.
When you watched Morpheus offer Neo the red pill and the blue pill and Neo took the red pill, you said to yourself, he’s right baby, you better believe he’s right. I know, cuz I took the red pill myself, and yessiree Bob, the rabbit hole goes deep….
Imagine, incubating your children in a dark cavernous mindfarm where their curiosity and ambition are snuffed out for the purpose of nourishing some bulbous impersonal machine.
Most people, after 13 to 17 years in the educational meat grinder, are firmly convinced that 5% of their class is an elite group that’s superior to everyone else, and the rest of us are doomed to fight over the scraps. Life on the wrong side of the 80/20 tracks. That’s Just The Way It Is, mourns the Bruce Hornsby song.
I don’t look at it that way. It’s a lie.
This is how it really is:
If you apply ANY test to ANY group of people, it’s gonna shake down to 80/20. Doesn’t matter if it’s history or math or Pokemon or soccer or belly dancing or model trains, 20% of the people have 80% of the capability.
But the top girl in math is rarely the top girl in belly dancing and the top soccer player is rarely the #1 guy in Pokemon.
When people are empowered to pursue their own uniqueness, almost all of them are a genius at something.
So the most important thing your kid can know is: He has the potential to be a genius at something. He needs to believe he’s got something special inside.
Here’s what I believe:
There are 6 billion people in the world and every single one is a diamond in some stage of being polished. Life is either going to polish you up or grind you down. And the difference between the two lies in how much hope you have, how much faith you have in the fact that you do carry something special on the inside, that’s waiting to get out. Many give up, not knowing they were only 10 minutes from triumph.
Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to discover your uniqueness.
The other day we got an email from a guy who’d read a recent Renaissance Club members newsletter which was describing how mediocre most businesses and employees are.
He said, “I’m in the bottom 60% of my industry and in all honesty, I think 40% of the vendors in my industry do better work than me and provide a better service than me. So why should I market myself? All I’ll be doing is spreading around more mediocrity.”
He went on to say he didn’t think he could be good at anything.
How sad. The antidote to mediocrity is inspiration. If he can’t do that business with excellence, surely there is SOME business he can do with excellence. Yes, he should find something he CAN do well. There is always something. Who taught him that he’s got no choice but to be a member of the bottom 60%? He didn’t get that from me, that’s for sure.
One more thing:
There’s a set of elitist snobs who would like us to believe the world is overpopulated. There’s not enough water, not enough food, not enough air, not enough land. All those useless homo sapiens, taking up too much space in the biosphere.
Of course I don’t see any of those elitist snobs volunteering to move themselves out of the way.
There’s an entire media machine that only tells you the bad news, neglects to tell you the good news, and fills your head with traumas that have no relevance to your life what-so-ever.
They do that because they like to manipulate people, and fearful, hopeless droids are a lot easier to manipulate than leaders who know where they’re going.
Here’s what I believe:
I believe there’s always enough water, always enough food, always enough air, always enough land. The real resource is ingenuity and ingenuity comes from people. Have you ever considered… the world might actually be ‘overcrowded’ because there’s not enough people?
Not enough geniuses. Not enough problem solvers. Not enough innovators and inventors. Not enough coal being polished into diamond.
PREDICTION: By the time the world has 10 billion people, a handful of geniuses will have been born by then who in turn will have figured out how to feed 12 billion people. There’ll be enough food left over for 2 billion.
Time to go make some more geniuses. Hey mom and dad, why doncha pull yourselves away from your computer for a few minutes and get busy? You might enjoy the break from the usual routine.
OK, so anyway, here you are running your online business. Doing whatever it is that you do.
And you wonder, what is THE formula? What is THE secret?
There is no “THE” formula. There is no “THE” secret.
There is only YOUR formula, YOUR secret. YOUR Unique Selling Proposition. Which is your singular collection of talents and passions and ways to contribute to our burgeoninng planet of under-utilized geniuses.
For some people reading this blog post, I have a major role to play. For some people, the skills I teach are the exact skills you need to learn and the best thing you could do is buy every product and join coaching program I’ve got.
If everything you’ve bought from me so far has helped you, maybe you’re one of those people.
For others, I’m just one voice along the way who sent them forward with a little encouragement and inspiration. And a little more mojo to go find THEIR right path to success.
If whatever you’ve bought from me so far has been off the mark, maybe I’m not the right guy for you. I send you on to greener pastures with a blessing.
Whichever person you are, I want you to remember every single day of your life that you’ve got skills, inclinations, aspirations, sparks of genius inside. Only YOU can do the things that YOU are destined to do.
Never let some elitist snob keep you from doing ‘em.
P.S.: I wrote a very popular article called “Escaping The Institutional Straitjacket.” If you’re an elitist snob, it will offend you. If you’re a scrapping entrepreneur like me, you just might think it’s a kick.