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The 3 Things Elon Musk Knows About School That All Students Should Copy

The 3 Things Elon Musk Knows About School That All Students Should Copy

Elon Musk (the real-life Tony Stark) has become a technological icon of our era, and he represents the pinnacle of both big thinking and the successful execution of game-changing ideas. So we shouldn’t be at all surprised that recently, he decided to disrupt traditional education, in his own backyard.

Now, we can’t all go out and design our own school, and hire our own personalized teachers, but here are 3 things we can all emulate, as students, when it comes to educating ourselves:

1. School should focus on problems, not subjects

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    “It’s important to teach problem solving, or teach to the problem and not the tools.” ~Elon Musk

    As Socrates discovered long ago, true discovery happens when we present ourselves with intelligent questions, rather than adhere to pre-determined answers- and this couldn’t be more true for students.

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    As Elon recognized, teaching students by giving them answers to problems that they haven’t yet had a chance to explore (or even understand) destroys creativity, narrows the mind, and leads to boredom.

    This is why he’s designed a “problem focus” into his Ad Astra school’s principles. I call this the Goldilocks Principle:

    Give yourself a question or set of answers that are too easy and you’ll get bored.

    Give yourself a problem that’s too complex or difficult, and you’ll get overwhelmed.

    But give yourself a tough problem- one that you can see yourself ultimately solving- and you’ll unlock endless motivation to find the answer.

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    2. Schools should be student-paced

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      “Some people love English or languages. Some people love math. Some people love music. Different abilities, different times… It makes more sense to cater the education to match their aptitudes and abilities.” ~ Elon Musk

      The complexities of the human mind make it such that students don’t fit into a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all mold when it comes to learning. This is why you can have one student in class who is disengaged because they’re light years ahead, and one student in class who’s disengaged because they have no idea what’s going on.

      But that DOESN’T mean that their potential for learning is any different – and in order to make the most of that potential, a student’s education should ideally be individualized and paced in a way that takes advantage of their current interests and ability level.

      Without a huge bankroll, though, this can seem difficult to execute within the context of traditional grade school and college education…

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      But with the advent of YouTube, MOOCs, and other flexible learning arrangements, try to think of some ways you could customize your learning experience to fit your interests.

      Super interested in Quantum Physics? Take a dive down that rabbit hole.

      Not so thrilled with 19th century British history? Nothing wrong with just doing the bare minimum and moving on…

      3 . Schools should be so interesting that students WANT to come every day

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        “The kids really love going to school.” ~ Elon Musk

        Instead of watching the drudging droves of unsatisfied children walking into school each morning, imagine a world where kids ASK their parents to take them to school, and sprint into class, brimming with energy for the day’s activities…

        Well this is what Elon hopes to maintain at his school, and it’s a model we should try to emulate. Just think of how much FASTER you learn playing your favorite game or sport, than listening to a boring lecture in a class you don’t care about.

        And it turns out, from a psychological perspective, the first two component’s of the Ad Astra model, contribute to this level of educational enjoyment. The more you can (1) focus on interesting problems to solve, and (2) cater the process to your interests, the more exiting you’ll find learning, and the more productive you’ll be.

        Featured photo credit: Heisenberg Media via flickr.com

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        7 Reasons You Won’t Start Studying Until It’s Too Late, And What To Do About It The 3 Things Elon Musk Knows About School That All Students Should Copy 10 Ways for Students to Crush It Next Semester 20 Funny Things Everyone Can Do Every Day to Get Smarter 10 counterintuitive quotes on learning that will make you a better student

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

        10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

        Being demotivated is arguably one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel as though you have no direction and, despite the fact that you are not getting any enjoyment out of getting nowhere, you feel no urgency or drive to make the effort to change your situation.

        While this may seem like a bleak situation, fret not! Motivation is like money; even if you have none of it at the moment, you can always get some more!

        If you’re reading this, you have most likely run into a wall of demotivation. If this is the case, let’s dive right into the reasons why you may be experiencing this and what actions you can take to get out of it.

        1. You Are Working Without Purpose

        The biggest reason why someone may be feeling demotivated is that they are living their lives without goals or intent.

        If you’re living a life without purpose, you are bound to go through the motions without any sense of direction, feeling as though you are doing things simply for the sake of doing things rather than to work towards something that you want.

        Sounds familiar?

        Fortunately enough, demotivation that is caused by a lack of life purpose can be easily fixed. All you have to do to work on this demotivational factor is to figure out what it is you are looking for out of life and to establish specific, bite-sized, achievable goals that can help you to get there.

        With a life plan you are passionate about, you’ll feel motivated in all aspects of your life quite quickly once more.

        This article can help you find your purpose to work: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

        2. Your Lack of Motivation Stems From Fear

        When we fear progress, we refuse to move forward, becoming stuck at a certain point in our lives that allows us to only achieve so much on a daily basis. Whether this is an obstacle you have created for yourself in your professional life or your personal life, it becomes more difficult to break free of this cycle as each day passes. This, in turn, manifests into discontent and demotivation.

        So, what can you do about this fear when it affects your motivation levels?

        The first thing to do is to take note of the fact that you are putting off progress because you are afraid of a certain outcome.

        Next, it is important to ask yourself what you are afraid of hearing in relation to your situation and whether or not that fear should really be stopping you from moving forward.

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        Finally, you need to start chipping away at that fear step-by-step until you face it head on and conquer it.[1]

        True that life can be scary at moments. But is there anything scarier than missing out on opportunities and not living your life to the fullest?

        3. You’re Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons

        Our body knows how to react in any given situation and the lack of motivation that has you down may be a direct result of what you are doing.

        Ask yourself, is everything I do done for the right reasons?

        Say, for example, that you are currently working a job that pays well but isn’t truly fulfilling. You know you are working for the financial stability and this keeps you there but it is not truly what you want to do. This slowly wears you down and, because the position provides no purpose for you, you don’t have any real motivation to continue on with the position.

        This concept is applicable to all areas of life and, if you feel unmotivated, it is quite possible that you are doing things for the wrong reasons instead of doing things that fulfill you.

        4. You’re Taking on Too Much and Dealing With Overwhelm

        It’s great to be ambitious and it is also perfectly fine to take on quite a bit of work and achieve as much as you can during the day. However, when you take on too much, you stretch yourself too thin and become burnt out rather quickly.

        If you’re too overwhelmed by the many projects you are pursuing, you are less likely to want to do them. If you fall behind, you lose further motivation and you wind up not enjoying the tasks you are supposed to accomplish and lose the drive to see them through.

        The key to staying motivated with anything is to take as much on as possible without making it unenjoyable. Being able to get through your day without feeling stressed and pressed for time goes a long way in helping you to keep your purpose and motivation intact.

        If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important that you learn better time-management skills and more about your limitations in order to craft a better schedule for yourself immediately.[2]

        5. You May Be Dealing with Symptoms of a Mental Illness

        Although mental illness symptoms are easy to spot for some, others can deal with a mental illness without ever suspecting it.

        For example, there are plenty of professionals who deal with dysthymia for years, which is a low-grade form of depression that leaves the individual able to engage in their day but still provides the classic symptoms of fatigue and lack of motivation.

        You may also be dealing with full-blown depression, which can result in hopelessness and a lack of enjoyment in daily activities. It also carries more severe consequences if left untreated.

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        If you believe that you may be dealing with a mental illness, it is important that you seek for mental health assistance immediately to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and learn how to properly cope with the condition.

        You are worth it!

        6. Your Goals Are Too Big to Take on

        Having goals is necessary to leading a purposeful life. However, it may be your goals that are actually at the source of your current motivation problem.

        Do your goals look like this:

        I want to launch my website and fill it with 100 blogs by the end of this year.

        Rather than this:

        I want to launch my website by the end of next month and write one blog each week for my new website.

        The difference between the two goals is that one is far too large and vague while the other one is achievable and specific.

        Think about your to-do list. Is it filled with endless tasks that seem impossible to tackle or is it filled with small steps that foster achievement and excite you when you finish them?

        If your goals are too large and you are expecting too much from yourself, you are not going to motivated to chip away at that goal on a consistent basis. Smaller steps are much easier to accomplish and will keep you motivated to achieve the larger end goal.

        Break it down and keep it simple! Learn how to set achievable and specific goals here: How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life

        7. You’re Engaging in Self-Sabotage

        Perhaps you feel that you don’t have the skills to see it through. Perhaps you think others don’t think you’re capable of achievement and are purposely sabotaging yourself and prevent yourself from moving forward.

        In either case, your lack of motivation may be due to your desire to stunt your growth rather than to unleash and prove your greatness to the world.

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        Why do you feel that you aren’t capable of what it is you seek to do? If it is the other way around, why do you feel as though others don’t think that you are capable?

        Sit down and write down a list of your accomplishments, skills, and strengths. Once you see it written down, you can easily begin to see your own value.

        Whether it is to prove someone wrong, to prove yourself right, or to simply shine, breaking through self-doubt or self-sabotage can help you to regain your motivation that is lost under these circumstances.

        Learn how to overcome your self doubt in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

        8. You Believe That You Should’ve Accomplished More by Now

        With the exception of a rare few, a lot of people put pressure on themselves and put themselves down because they think that they haven’t accomplished enough out of all of the time that they have been alive.

        It can be easy to get into this state of mind. But the past is the past and the only thing you are in control of is the future.

        When you allow yourself to indulge in the past, you fall into the habit of giving up and going through the motions. This habit strips you of motivation and prevents you from making any progress whatsoever.

        As the old saying goes,

        “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

        You can’t expect to meet your life goals instantly. Instead, work hard each day and measure your progress. Each step forward is a step in the right direction.

        Don’t give up!

        9. You Have a Habit of NOT Doing Anything

        It can be hard to hear but some people are just one of those individuals who do absolutely nothing on a daily basis.

        They have plenty of tasks and potential but they choose to not do it simply because they don’t feel like it. And when they finally sit down to take responsibility and move forward, they wonder why they feel demotivated and have such difficulty getting things done.

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        The truth is that getting your life together is hard. You are going to have to do a lot of things you don’t enjoy to get back on track and live the life you want.

        Sit down, show up, and do what you must in order to get to where you want.[3]

        Lifehack’s CEO has some unique advice on this: How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

        10. You’re Settling and Refusing to Push Your Limits

        On the opposite spectrum of overwhelm is underwhelm. Underwhelm begins to set in when you are settling on accomplishing less rather than pushing your limits and doing what you know you are perfectly capable of handling.

        This choice to not do what you are able to and push your limits can cause a lack of motivation as you are consciously deciding to settle for less and stay in mediocrity rather than moving forward and accomplishing more.

        It’s something that we all do when we start to feel a little lazy or tired but it is up to you to hold yourself accountable.

        If you can make it happen, it is up to you to make sure that you follow through.

        Still doubt if it’s better to push your limits? This will change your mind: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

        The Bottom Line

        Even the best of us become demotivated but it is necessary that we get back our drive to push forward and live our best lives.

        Using these 10 points, you are guaranteed to find the reasons behind your lack of motivation and the next steps you need to take to recover that drive and passion.

        Featured photo credit: S O C I A L . C U T via unsplash.com

        Reference

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