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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

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        Last Updated on November 13, 2020

        10 Habits To Cultivate To Attract Positivity in Life

        10 Habits To Cultivate To Attract Positivity in Life

        If you want to attract positivity in life, you have to become that which you seek—positive. Positivity doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Instead, it means that you find the good no matter what. You wake up thinking each morning is a miracle, and you interact with everyone with love and light.

        Positivity means having an optimistic attitude. When you have this, you step forward in confidence in anything you do. You see possibilities, not problems. You see opportunities, not obstacles.

        Positivity has its benefits, too. According to Mayo Clinic, it largely has to do with stress management, reduction of depression, and increasing life span. You will cope better, be more prone to live healthier, and come out stronger from any situation.[1]

        But sometimes, it is easy to find yourself feeling negative if things don’t go your way. Positivity doesn’t downplay the hardships of life. Instead, it helps you build resilience and bring up others around you. When you are positive, you are saying “yes” to life and receiving so much more than you would have otherwise.

        Positivity in life starts in your mind. Think positive thoughts, and you will attract positive energy. Breathe in the possibilities and positivity, and breathe out the limitations you perceive you have. Then, you will find yourself a new person.

        Here are 10 ways you can attract positivity in your life.

        1. Give

        Giving makes you happy and healthy, according to the Greater Good Magazine. It is also highly contagious![2] What you give, you get back.

        There are many ways you can give. You can support someone, reach out, listen, be kind, choose to show up for something you believe in, care about a cause, make a difference in some way, donate, teach, change a life, give a compliment, lead others, spread awareness, and motivate others to do good.

        Giving is about anything that you can do to make someone’s life easier or reduce an ailment experienced by many. By giving in any way, you can find positivity everywhere because you are taking part in creating it. Change the world.

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        2. Believe in Yourself

        If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Start to see your good qualities and attributes, even making a list of them.

        What about yourself do you want to change? What has improved? If you can see any progress or make goals about yourself, you have the ability to do anything. If you underestimate yourself, you will play small. But if you see the potential in yourself, you will become positive—and others will see it, too.

        If you can’t believe it, act as if you do. Stand tall anyway. Good will come to you eventually because you’re ready to receive it.

        3. Forgive

        Holding onto resentment can be very detrimental to feeling positive. It’s very unhealthy to remain unforgiving. Yet, forgiving does not mean “allowing.” Instead, it means learning to “release.”

        You do not hold onto the negative feelings anymore, so you can heal. And you also can forgive yourself for anything in your life that you hold onto. Blaming yourself is a part of being human. Everyone does it and engages in negative self-talk. But if you forgive yourself, you can learn to start over.

        Some days, you will be able to forgive yourself and others. Other days, not so much. It can come and go in waves. However, it’s your intention that matters. If you intend to forgive, you may receive healing.

        Even if you can’t always muster it, just having the intention is enough. You will feel better afterward. So, if you can’t forgive, remind yourself to just intend it. You may feel forgiving eventually.

        4. Gratitude

        Some people would do anything to have what you have. Your younger self may be relieved at the point you have gotten yourself into.

        Gratitude is a mindset, and it can bring positivity to your life. Make a list of what you have. What around you can you feel appreciation for? Can you recognize the good despite the bad? That can make you stronger.

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        When you can set down the burdens and look at the beauty of things, you will have a new mindset—one of positivity. That is something no one can take from you. So, just be here—be present, and be still.

        Practice mindfulness. Notice what you normally neglect. Then, things will feel okay again.

        5. Let Go of Expectations

        What expectations are you holding onto about yourself and your life? Are you living in a “should” mindset? Are you constantly thinking about what you should be doing and where you should be versus appreciating where you are right now?

        This does not mean lowering your expectations. It just means letting go of expectations—expecting the best but not needing it to look a certain way. In this, you find freedom from negative thinking and fear-based living.

        When you can set yourself free in that way, you can let go and let yourself live. Maybe things don’t always work out. Expect setbacks sometimes. But know that that’s part of learning and growth. Stay open, and positivity will flow through you.

        6. Look for the Silver Lining

        Is there something good that has come out of a difficult situation? Can you see the stars in the night sky? If you can, reach for them. That light has to do with gratitude and also persistence in seeing the positive in things.

        You just have to believe that there is always good in this world. You may not see it right away, but it is there. Look for the silver lining. Instead of thinking, “This negative thing exists in my life.” think, “I am the positive person this situation needs.” Then, you will change it all around. You are the silver lining.

        7. Surround Yourself With Positivity

        If you’re surrounded with positivity, you too will start to let it seep in and become positive! Positivity in life involves being surrounded by positive people and things.

        Is there anything in your life that is holding you back? Maybe it’s a toxic situation or relationship. Maybe it’s your own mental traps where you fall into a rabbit hole of negative thinking. Whatever is spiraling out of control, if you fear you cannot change the situation, it’s time to change yourself.

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        Step outside of yourself and your life for a moment. Do you see the possibility of looking outside the box or even destroying the box? If you decide that you will not allow certain things in your life anymore, you will let in the right things. Surround yourself with positivity, and you’ll become the person you are meant to be.

        8. Stay Healthy

        It’s time to evaluate your daily habits. Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating healthily? Are you getting exercise? What about your mental health? Are you talking to someone about your feelings? Are you doing some sort of cathartic activity to let out negative energy? The list goes on.

        Staying healthy starts with taking care of yourself. Self-care shouldn’t be a chore. So, find activities you enjoy doing. In negative situations, do what is called “radical self-care.” This means spending time with yourself doing what you love as much as you can.

        Sometimes, you need to separate yourself and find some joy. Instead of spending your time scrolling through social media, go outside and breathe in the fresh air. You never know what can happen once you make a positive choice.

        Little things have a ripple effect to turn into big things. All it needs to start is with one action. Face what you can and cannot control, and do what you can because all your choices matter.

        If you feel sluggish, eat more veggies and do some cardio. If you feel lonely, make plans with someone. You see, there is always something that you can do to stay healthy.

        9. Smile

        Smiling activates the amygdala, and that releases neurotransmitters that make you happy![3] This is something that can change your life. You cannot have positivity in life if you can’t even do a simple smile.

        Just by smiling, you “trick” your brain into thinking happy thoughts. When you smile at someone else, they are more likely to smile too—also making them happier. Smiling doesn’t just spread positivity, it also makes you more attractive to people and therefore, more social.

        It seems like such a small thing because it is, but it has a big effect. You can draw in the right thoughts and the right people just by smiling. Who knew you had such power?

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        10. Think Positive

        Of course, the way to feel positive is to think positively. Thoughts inform feelings. You have primary emotions or natural reactions to an event. Then, you have secondary emotions that stem from a belief about the event that happened.

        For example, if you fail a test, you may think, “This makes me a failure.” But it’s just a setback. True resilience is utilizing positive reframing to tell yourself that you are not defined by what happens to you.

        Often, people blame themselves for bad situations. If you had been robbed, would you blame yourself or the other person? The obvious answer is the other person. Yet, you tend to also blame yourself. You may think, “If only I had been smarter or somewhere else, this would have never happened.” This creates a buildup of negative emotion.

        Just by releasing the wrong thoughts, you can burst the positive ones. That’s why thought is so important. This is also a practice done in cognitive behavioral therapy.[4]

        How realistic are your thoughts about a situation? Is there evidence for your thoughts? What is a new thought or belief that would be more realistic?

        By challenging your thoughts, you can become more positive. Once you learn to manage your thought patterns, you can start to see something important: No matter what happens, you have the choice to think positively.

        Conclusion

        Positivity in life keeps you focused, motivated, and happy. It stops negative thoughts from taking over, and it leads you to be all that you can be.

        Maybe now you can give yourself permission to be positive. After all, it’s a choice that is up to you. You decide what you do with this one life. Are you going to live it facing down or looking up at the sky?

        More Tips to Maintain Positivity in Life

        Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Mayo Clinic: Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress
        [2] Greater Good Magazine: 5 Ways Giving Is Good for You
        [3] Ladders: The science behind why smiling can literally make you happier
        [4] Psychology Today: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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