Did school actually equip you with everything you ever needed to know, or did it leave some gaps?
If you’re really honest with yourself, I’m sure you would agree that you didn’t get everything you needed from school. You might have skimmed the surface of a lot of important topics, but fundamentally, what you got was an education in four subjects: English or Language, Math, Science and History or Social Studies.
It is important to gain an understanding of these subjects to a certain degree – and some careers do require advanced knowledge in these areas – but you don’t necessarily need an expertise in these four subjects to live a productive, successful and healthy life.
I believe there are more important things to be learning. There is a cost associated with the education you’re not getting.
What education gave you
I’m not here to bash education (I believe that teachers should be paid a lot more than they are), and I’m sure that it did give you a foundation. I can immediately think of a few ways in which it benefited me:
- I took typing class in either grade 10 or 11, which helped me with the fundamentals, and I continued to get better at it thanks to this class.
- I took four different English courses in high school, and for the most part, I enjoyed those. I was already interested in writing, but I continued to strengthen that passion throughout grade 10, 11 and 12.
- I took as many art classes I possibly could, because I was an artist before I was ever a musician, and I found it to be fulfilling.
I think you can see how those things still connect to what I do today. If I were to really reflect on my experience, I could probably think of other things that have helped me.
What did you take away from your schooling? What stands out in your mind? What still benefits you today?
Regardless of your answers, I believe there are still some glaring omissions from the education system.
What education didn’t give you
In a broader sense, there are basically two things that school probably didn’t teach you to any significant extent. They are:
- Personal development
Now I do realize that most of us had some kind of Life Skills class. It probably wasn’t in-depth enough to really be of great help, but to say that there was no education on these topics is not the entire truth.
Some of you may have taken business or even entrepreneurship classes in college or university, and they may have taken you a little further into these subjects than high school ever did. You still have to ask yourself: how often do I use the skills I learned from those classes today?
Personal development: not sexy
Why am I such a big advocate of personal development?
I believe that people skills are more important than technical skills. I believe who you know is more important than what you know. I believe that creating your own victories will mean wins for others too.
Individuals with people skills tend to progress a lot faster in practically every realm. They open up more opportunities for themselves. They add more value to others.
Certainly, reading books and listening to audios may not seem terribly sexy. I don’t find personal development to be a dry subject myself, and I’m sure if you gave it a chance, you would find that it isn’t either.
There are a lot of other reasons why personal development is important, and a lot of reasons why they don’t teach it in school. What it comes down to is that your personal potential hinges on the challenges you rise above.
Entrepreneurship: too difficult to define
When I talk about my business education, I am usually referring to my real-life experiences. It’s good to know the theory, and sure, there are a lot of great principles and philosophies to learn from out there, but when it comes right down to it, entrepreneurship is really hard to teach.
Entrepreneurship has to be experienced. In other words, you have to deliberately look for opportunities to hone the businessperson within you. You have to start, build, buy, and sell businesses. You have to seek out training programs and engage in them. You have to become focused on assets over income and develop a long-term mindset.
Why do I think entrepreneurship is so valuable? Because it requires application. You have to go out into the world, build real relationships, spend real money, and make real negotiations. It necessitates action, and not just knowledge and theory.
Personal development and entrepreneurship actually go together like bread and butter. Personal development supports your ability to become a better businessperson. Entrepreneurship supports your personal growth, because it puts you in a situation where you have to practice what you study.
In other words, there is a meaningful convergence between the two subjects.
In today’s world, there is very little security in employment. Jobs aren’t evil, of course, but if you want to do more with your life, you have to choose yourself. If you want to do more than “just get by” or move beyond the status quo, it has to be a conscious choice on your part.
I know that I would have benefited from a greater understanding in personal development and entrepreneurship earlier in life. However, I am grateful that the teachers, the tools and the circumstances showed up at the right time in my life. I am grateful that I am still in a personal development program, and that I continue to strive to be better than I am.
What do you think? What is the education system lacking? What do you think is good about it? Let us know in the comments section below!
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.