Archives For February 2014

Let’s face it, school doesn’t do the best job of setting us up for success in life.  I’m not mad or blaming anyone, but if you’re expecting to succeed based only on what you learn in K-12, or even add in college, don’t expect Bill Gates to call anytime soon.

After I started working at Accenture, these things became readily apparent.  Gone were the days that “being a good student” was enough for success.  My bosses didn’t pass down assignments with clear rules and most of the time even if I did have direction it was quite unclear!  After I read Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto, I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

Gatto says it’s a quasi-conspiracy because the powers that be want to keep us working class people in line.  I don’t quite believe that far yet (who knows, as I continue to grow my hair longer and wear more tie-die, I may move more that direction), but I do believe there are a lot of real world things school does a horrible job of teaching.

Anyway, enough talk, here are the five things I never learned in school:

1. How to Assess Myself
2. Take Action
3. Question Authority
4. Manage Money
5. That I’m More Than a Consumer

1. How to Assess Myself

No, I’m not talking about the kind of assessing of myself that I do after a long hike during tick season (too far?), I’m talking about determining if the work I do every day is really worth a damn.  School teaches us to be dependent on constant feedback and grading from our teachers to assess how well we’ve done; we never get the chance to grade ourselves.

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That’s right, you’ll never be the person you wish to be – I’ll bet you money on it.  It may sound a little mean at first, but it’s only reality, right?

You'll Never be the Person You Wish to be

We thought it’d be cool to be a “Yogi”… until we traveled to SE Asia and realized the only people who do yoga are from Western cultures!

In Self Reliance, Emerson wrote, “The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood shed with them.”

We give up, we settle, and we change.  When I was young, my ambitions were to become President of the United States or at least procure another formidable political position.  As a teenager, my focus went towards the Air Force Academy and flying  jets.  After changing my mind and by not pursuing a path to the Academy, I decided I’d go into the corporate world and someday become a big CEO.

Have I disassembled my bridge to the moon so I could start building my wood shed?  Possibly.  Have I given up the dreams of my youth in pursuit of a more realistic living?  Maybe.  Have I changed since I was a kid?  Definitely.

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Is Getting Rich the Answer?

February 3, 2014 — 6 Comments

You know what I’m talking about when I say that, right?  We always talk about nice it would be to get rich – then we’d be happy, or then we’d finally do what we want, whether it’s quit the job you hate, travel the world, or pursue what makes you happy.  Getting rich must be the answer.

However, as the old saying goes, wish and one hand poop in the other and see which one gets filled first!

After I sent out the post about how Drake’s rich father handles money, another reader emailed me his story.  Basically, he’s rich now because he recently sold a business for millions, and now he’s trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.  Here’s what he said – let’s break down each paragraph:

I have it pretty good and it’s hard to bitch about a job and work environment that you created but it definitely makes me ponder what I would want to do differently next time.  I know these things for certain:  I hate  commuting, but I don’t like  working from home all the time; I hate sitting in front of a computer all day, I like working out at lunch, I like being creative and building a real product, I like selling at first but hate the repetition of doing it over and over again.

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