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Why Education is Better Than School

Why Education is Better Than School

Many people describe school as the best days of their lives. They remember the fun and the friendships – but how much do they remember about what they were taught?

At its core, school is intended to transfer knowledge and prepare young people to participate in society. Now, while there’s no doubt that schooling intends well, I’m not convinced it delivers on its promise.

Let me explain.

Since we were small, we were told that going to school is important and essential. You probably heard similar lines to me: “don’t miss school”, “attend your classes”, “do your homework”, “listen to your teacher”…

With this endless pressure from parents and teachers, it’s no wonder that dropping out from school has always been seen as a bad thing. Failing to graduate from school is classed by almost everyone as a disaster and often leads to difficulties in finding work.

However, as you’ll see in a moment, some of the most creative and successful people in the world dropped out of school.

The Better Alternative

While school appears to be important, it should never be confused with education.

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    Education is more than school.

    If you put aside your preconceived notions of education, you’ll see that education is simply the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits.

    Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but – and this is key – learners may also educate themselves.

    School is a specific place, but education can take place anywhere, at any time and with anyone – including yourself.

    Education can occur in any setting. And any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.

    In short, education is a limitless form of learning.

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    As I mentioned in the introduction, some highly successful people were school drop-outs. However, they certainly weren’t dumb or uneducated. Instead of school, they learned on their own through self-study and life experiences.

      For example, Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, failed to finished high school. (He dropped out at age 16.) You may already know that story, but did you know that Branson also suffered from dyslexia and had poor academic performance? No doubt his teachers wrote him of as failure. Today, however, Branson is worth an estimated $4 billion![1]

      Clearly, education can be above and beyond school.

      At school, you learn theories, but you often lack opportunities to apply the knowledge. And without the latter, have you really learned something?

      To succeed at school, you need to be obedient, and whether you’re good or not very much depends on your teachers’ expectations. It ends up becoming an aim of fulfilling other people’s expectations instead of really learning what’s useful for living a happy, healthy and productive life.

      School and reality are often at odds with each other. To succeed in life, you need to think out of the box instead of simply doing what everyone else’s doing.

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        There are many aspects to take care of aside from the school subjects, for example, how to form and maintain positive relationships, how to work smart, and how to lead a meaningful life etc. These are things that you’re unlikely to learn at school. But if you keep educating yourself in different ways (from experience and from non-school subjects/books), you’ll keep learning and applying your new knowledge.

        How to Utilize the Better Alternative

        Hopefully, I’ve given you an insight into why education can be better than school. Now, it’s time to give you some tips on how take advantage of this.

        Firstly, don’t limit learning to school

        If you want to progress in life, don’t rely on learning from a standard institute/place/educator. Instead, explore ways to learn and apply knowledge that is actually useful in your life. This can actively contribute to what you want to have and achieve the most. This ‘extracurricular’ learning could be through books, videos, courses, conferences or life experiences.

        Read outside your interests

        If you stick to what you already know and have an interest in, you’re unlikely to experience significant personal growth. Instead, look for ways of learning outside of your normal circle. For example, if you currently work as a writer – start learning a musical instrument. You’ll be amazed at just how much this helps your writing, and you’ll have a brand-new hobby to enjoy!

        Talk to smart people

        Have you noticed how successful people tend to hang around with other successful people? It’s no coincidence. High achievers are always networking with others and learning from them too. You can do the same. Lift your self-confidence a little higher, and start spending time with creative, positive and successful people. Once you do this, in a short time you’ll start to pick up on their ideas, their mindset and their action-orientated way of living. Let their success rub off on you.

        Question things and think beyond the obvious

        Break though your mental conditioning and start to think for yourself. Do this, and you’ll immediately begin questioning things you’ve been taught when you were younger. A new, super-sharp perspective on life will open you up to ideas and goals that could be the trigger-point for success and fortune.

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        If you take a look back at recent history, the great achievers all did something differently. Counted among those individuals would be: Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.

        Education is not only about learning and consuming

        Learning should not be a one-way street. In fact, experience shows, that you’ll learn much more through teaching, tutoring and mentoring others. Even if you don’t think you have a high level of skill – there’ll always be someone less skilled than you who would love to learn from you. My suggestion is to actively seek out opportunities to share your skills and knowledge. These are likely to be win-win situations.[2][3][4][5][6]

        Keep learning. Keep experiencing. Keep applying yourself.

        When you put yourself onto a never-ending road of learning, you’ll discover so many things about life and yourself that you’d never have thought possible. You’ll also easily out perform your peers – even if they previously achieved much more than you in the way of school grades.

        Education is bigger than school. It’s a way to keep learning, growing and enjoying.

        So, what will it be? Are you going to rely on your past academic achievements, or will you take control of your life right now by learning and developing through everything you encounter?

        I recommend the latter.

        Featured photo credit: Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

        More by this author

        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

        100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier 10 Best New Products That People Don’t Know About Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow

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        1 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 2 Can You Stop Depression from Damaging Your Brain? 3 How to Practice Mindful Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts 4 10 Personal Development Goals for Success and Happiness 5 10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

        Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

        People who have low self esteem are always hard on themselves. Sometimes they even cannot truly accept compliments because they would second guess people’s intentions.

          In this article, we’ll look into the symptoms of a low esteem person and what you can do if you find yourself having self-esteem issues.

          Symptoms of a Low Self-Esteem Person

          Common Symptoms

          • Unable to trust your own opinion
          • Always overthinking
          • Afraid to take challenges, being worried you wouldn’t overcome them
          • Hard on yourself but lenient with others
          • Frequent anxiety and emotional turmoil

          Lesser-Known Symptoms

          Being a workaholic

          At work expectations are set clearly. Even if there’s pressure in the workplace, compared to relationships or the social world where so much is unknown and uncontrollable, work is more straightforward.

          It’s easier to meet the expectations and perform well at work. Therefore, some people with low self-esteem would shift their focus to work and put all their energies there.

          Overachieving or underachieving

          Many of us have already heard that people with low self-esteem tend to be under-achievers as they’re too afraid to take new challenges and not confident enough to fully utilize their talents.

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          However, there’s another extreme. Some of them are too anxious of failure and being rejected, so they will try their very best to be outstanding to prove their worth.

          Causes of Low Self-Esteem

          Most of the time it stems from our childhood. Here’re some negative early experiences that lead to low self-esteem:[1]

          • Frequent punishment
          • Frequent neglect
          • Chronic abuse
          • Harsh parental standards
          • Being bullied/boycotted
          • Being on the receiving end of someone else’s stress or despair
          • Lack of praise, warmth and affection
          • Staying in a family or group where other members are prejudiced towards

          Childhood is when we form our “Bottom Line” and “Rules for Living” which affects the way we think, that’s why all the negative early experiences can have a very long-lasting effect on our adulthood.

          How “Bottom Line” Affects Your Self-Esteem

          “Bottom Line” is how you usually feel about something, based on your early experience. For example, “how you felt when you first left home becomes the emotional bottom line for when you leave other things in your life.”, according to therapist Robert Taibbi [2].

          When we talk about self-esteem, the bottom line is about how people around you treat you, as we grow up taking the voices of people who are significant to us. Did they say you’re adorable, or you’re always not good enough? Did they neglect you that made you feel worthless?

          That largely affects the way you view yourself and hence affect your self-esteem.

          How “Bottom Line” Determines Your “Rules for Living

          Based on the “Bottom Line”, we would form our “Rules for Living”, which are the strategies for dealing with life. For example, if you have the belief that you are always inferior to others, your Rules for Living would be “better not to speak up and to keep a low profile”.

          How Low Self-Esteem Affects Every Aspect of Your Life

          So what are the consequences of having low self-esteem?

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          It Makes You Confuse Love with Low Self-Esteem

          Having a low self-esteem, you expect people to treat you badly.

          When people are being just quite nice to you, you feel overjoyed and have unrealistically good feelings for them. This can be easily mistaken as love and also scare people away who might be just interested in being friends with you (at first).

          It Makes You Have a Lower Hand in the Relationship

          As you think your partner is too good for you, you bear things that you shouldn’t stand for.

          Sometimes you even confuse love with self-esteem. Are you giving in really because you love him/her so much or you just dare not to speak up and bargain?

          It Makes Your Employers Feel That You’re Not Talented

          People with low esteem sometimes are actually gifted. But they don’t know how to show it and “sell” themselves.

          During meeting, they keep quiet, during presentation they speak weakly, during daily conversation they say “sorry” and “maybe” too often…As a result, employers and other colleagues perceive people with low esteem as people without much talents.

          It Can Lead to Depression

          Over time, low self-esteem can lead to depression according to a study done by University of Basel researchers.[3] Psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen added that low self-esteem is “a key factor in both the development and maintenance of depression”.

          How to Improve Self-Esteem

          As we can see, low self-esteem is a deeply rooted issue and leads to lots of consequences. To solve it, it’s not an easy task, but it’s possible. The key is, to use the right ways.

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          1. Ignore All Those “Positivity” Advice

          Very often, we hear people say “Stay positive”, “Hey cheer up!”. People with depression know all these do not help. It just makes them feel worse.

          Same for low self-esteem, simply telling people “To me you’re wonderful!”, “You’re actually awesome”, “Why don’t you appreciate yourself more?”, or even worse “Hey you should be more confident” does not improve their self-esteem. Instead, they would feel inadequate or even guilty of their behavior.

          2. Focus Elsewhere

          “Healthy self esteem needs to emerge subtly.”[4]

          Same as happiness, you don’t immediately feel happier when you tell yourself to be happier. You need some concrete ways to do so like pursuing a goal that truly matters to you, like spending quality time with your loved ones.

          When you want to improve your self-esteem, don’t try too hard on thinking of ways to do so. There’s no direct way to improve it. It should be a by-product of our overall life’s satisfaction.

          According to psychologist Abraham Maslow,[5] to live a fulfilling life, you should take care the 5 levels of human basic needs. To help you understand more about this psychological model we made a video to explain it:

          Or you can refer to the graph below:

          5 Levels of Human Basic Needs

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            To focus elsewhere, we’ve summarized the above items and put them into this list for you:

            • Deep connection with loved ones
            • A healthy body
            • Sense of control
            • A meaningful life purpose
            • Recognition and respect from others
            • Sense of security
            • Creativity

            As you gradually equip yourself with the skills to fulfil the above needs, you’ll forget about self-esteem and suddenly you’ll find that you just feel proud of yourself when you know so much that others don’t.

            Resources to Help Increase Your Self Esteem

            To help you gradually build your self-esteem, here’s a list of the best self-help books that can help you fulfil the goals:

            1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
            2. Outliers: The Story of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
            3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
            4. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
            5. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health
            6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Busines
            7. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
            8. Thinking, Fast and Slow
            9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
            10. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

            The Bottom Line

            If you find yourself having low self-esteem, don’t be hopeless. Have faith in yourself that you can regain self-esteem and become a confident and successful person.

            How?

            Understand the root causes of your low self-esteem and overcome these causes with the advice in this article.

            Featured photo credit: Joe Gardner via unsplash.com

            Reference

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