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35 Things They Should Have Done A Better Job At Teaching Us In School

35 Things They Should Have Done A Better Job At Teaching Us In School

In school we learned, or at least we were taught the required curriculum. This was true for K-12 as well as college. But there are some things which everyone should know how to do that they didn’t focus on as much as they should. My list of 35 things they should have done a better job at teaching us in school consists of money, communication, attitude, philosophy, leadership, entrepreneurship, human relations, and every day things we all need to know.

1.  Never spend more than 70 percent of every dollar you make.

You have to have some kind of guide line/budget and 70 percent is a number that I have found works for people. Sure this number will change the older you get and the more money you make, but by sticking to this percent early in life will set you up for later in life.

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    2.  What to do with the other 30 percent.

    Take 10 percent and donate it. If you get in the habit of donating and giving back you will always do this and it gets you in the habit early in life. Then take the next 10 percent and save it. Take the last 10 percent and invest it. Invest it into something that generates a return.

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      3.  Stay out of debt.

      We all know this but we didn’t talk about it to the depth that we should while in school. Find a way every time to pay with cash, never borrow money.

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        4.  Become Genuinely Interested in other people.

        When you become genuinely interested in others it shows. The other person sees that you care about them and want to know more about them.

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          5.  Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

          Sure we all think that we do this. However, think about the last time you were in a disagreement with someone, maybe it was your spouse or a colleague at work. You were probably more focused on being right than trying to honestly see things from their point of view. When you try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view it shows that you care about them.

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            6.  Listen more than you talk.

            Think about the last conversation you had with someone, who talked a lot. When you let the other person talk more you develop a better relationship with them. Most people love to talk, let them do the talking and just listen, you never know what you will learn.

            listening

              7.  Pay cash if you can.

              Rich people have enough to pay cash. If you can pay cash you can usually negotiate your terms and a better deal.

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                8.  Profits are better than wages.

                Being that I am motivated by money this would have made sense to me. Earning a wage, especially a high wage is great, but when you own something and you can earn a profit from it is better than wages. Whether it is your own company or you have equity in a company, profits are always better than wages.

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                  9.  Get into the habit of spending 30 minutes a day exercising.

                  Sure in school you have gym class. But as you get older you have to make this a priority in your life. Nothing can happen if you don’t have good health.

                  exercise

                    10.  Find a mentor.

                    Talk to people that do what you would like to do and spend lots of time with them learning from them.

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                      11.  Read more books.

                      Never stop reading books. After you get out of school you can read the ones you want to read and not the one you have to read.

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                        12.  Soon, the people in your high school won’t matter.

                        They should tell you that the people you are in high school with will most likely not matter to you 5 years from the last day of high school. Lebron left Cleveland and won two championships.

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                          13.  Pick one area that you can become extraordinary in and never do anything else.

                          Decide early what you want to be great at. Then put all of your eggs in that basket to become the best in it.

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                            14.  Keep a journal.

                            Take notes of the lessons and the wins in your life in a journal and then look back on them for future guidance on how to have more wins and less lessons.

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                              15.  Do whatever you can to get exposed to sales at a young age.

                              The skills you learn as a sales person will prepare you for everything in life. All organizations need people who can sell, so you are always marketable and the skills you learn as a sales person will serve you well in almost any other position you attempt to work in as well.

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                                16.  Don’t ever try to impress others.

                                The only person that matters in life is you and your family. Be the best to yourself and to them. Don’t try to live up to what other people want you to be.

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                                  17.  Time is more valuable than money, you can earn more money, but you can’t earn more time.

                                  We all have 24 hours in a day, use your time wisely and be sure to invest your time into something worthwhile.

                                  time-vs-money

                                    18.  Fail as quickly as you possibly can.

                                    Try as many things as possible early in your life, even if you fail. The more failures you have, the more opportunities you have to find out what you want to do and enjoy doing it.

                                    failure-in-business

                                      19.  While making decisions think about the impact of that decision 1,2,3 or even 5 or 10 years into the future.

                                      All decisions have consequences and costs associated with them. The more you can think about how the decision affects your future, the better decisions you will make in the present.

                                      thinking-about-the-future

                                        20.  Develop your personal brand.

                                        Decide early on who and what you want to be and then live your life accordingly.

                                        Personal-Branding-MarketingThink.com-@GerryMoran

                                          21.  Your network is one of your most valuable possesions.

                                          Meet lots of people and maintain those relationships, you never know when you may need those relationships.  

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                                            22.  Check the oil in your car.

                                            Unless you were born with a silver spoon, you will need to know how to ensure your car has enough oil so you can keep it running.

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                                              23.  Learn how to cook on the grill.

                                              Eventually you will want to have people over for a grill out, and then you won’t want to kill anyone with undercooked food.

                                              Summer-grill-party-BBQ-jpg

                                                24.  Learn how to changing a flat tire.

                                                Never get stuck with a flat tire. To change a tire is easy to learn and everyone eventually has a flat tire.

                                                a_man_changing_a_flat_tire_on_a_car_royalty_free_080707-057154-462016

                                                  25.  Don’t be a complainer, ever.

                                                  I have never been around anyone who likes to be around someone who likes to complain. If you want to be a person people want to be around, don’t complain.

                                                  Complaint-Department

                                                    26.  Always do more than you get paid for.

                                                    Never do just what is asked of you, but always do more. This will allow you to be different because most people don’t do this. You will see the benefits in your career and in your income.

                                                    going-beyond-competition

                                                      27.  Ask for what you want.

                                                      Some people just never ask, so they never get anything. Getting into the habit of asking even when you know you won’t get what you are asking for, allows you to create the habit of asking which is the skill that is important.

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                                                        28.  Never post pictures online when you have been drinking.

                                                        This didn’t apply when I was growing up, but it does now more than ever. Put your smart phone away if you have been drinking, nothing good ever happens with your phone while drinking, unless you are calling for a ride.

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                                                          29.  Seek excellence in everything you do.

                                                          Sure we all learned that we should always do the best we can do. But excellence is different, excellence makes you better than average. Don’t be average.

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                                                            30.  Find out what your strengths are.

                                                            I remember teachers saying that I needed to focus on developing some of the areas I was weak in. Identify your strengths and passions as soon as you can and focus on them.

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                                                              31. Give credit to others.

                                                              Nobody likes someone who takes all the credit. Even when you have done something to be recognized for find a way to give credit to someone else who helped you get there.

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                                                                32.  Get to your point across.

                                                                Considering most people have a 9 second attention span, getting your point across in any interaction is critical. Don’t take too much time to make a simple point.

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                                                                  33.  Use people’s names.

                                                                  Use a person’s name whenever you can. At the restaurant, the bank, and anywhere else. This requires you to ask for their name and remember it. Remember that a persons name is the sweetest sound in any language to that person.

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                                                                    34.  Tip correctly.

                                                                    Yes, there are percentages in any business that you should adhere to. My advice is always tip for the service you received. If it was great service, tip more than normal, if it was average service tip an average percentage, and if the service is bad, ask for a manager. You are doing the business a favor by telling them.

                                                                    Tipping-the-USA

                                                                      35.  Know that fear is just an emotion.

                                                                      “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs

                                                                      I think this quote sums it up on how you should approach your fear.

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                                                                        Now that we know these things we have to put our knowledge into action. How are you going to start applying these 35 things they should have done a better job at teaching us in school?

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Why didn’t I learn this? via thingsiwishiwouldhavelearnedinhighschool.com

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                                                                        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                                                        How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

                                                                        How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

                                                                        Regardless of how creative you already consider yourself to be, there’s a good chance you would like to level up your creative abilities.

                                                                        You might want to write a better song, think of better solutions to problems at work or around the home or maybe paint a picture.

                                                                        In any case, the good news is that creativity is not born: it’s made, and each one of us has the potential to be more creative and come up with incredible ideas.

                                                                        “Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

                                                                        The definition of creativity is broad, and reminds us that creativity is not limited to artists or musicians. It does however require that we have some kind of impact on the domain in which we create.

                                                                        Creativity also emphasizes values.

                                                                        “The process of having original ideas that have value” — Ken Robinson

                                                                        This makes up for what Csikszentmihalyi misses out. For instance, we can make a change in the world without adding significant value. Any destructive act, like smashing a window, creates change, but it doesn’t necessarily create valuable change.

                                                                        In short, there isn’t one single definition of creativity It’s up to us to find a definition that feels true and useful. When you know what your standard is, It’s much easier to embrace creativity and start to cultivate it.

                                                                        And in this article, you will learn how to be more creative and take a good look at what goes into the creative skill:

                                                                        1. Cultivate Focus

                                                                        In order to create, there needs to be a focus on creating something, whether it’s a song, a theory, a product, or a sculpture.

                                                                        You could also call this “drive” – it’s the initial spark that drives the solution to a problem, or the will to get on your laptop and start typing.

                                                                        However, it’s worth noting there are different stages to the creative process: the divergent stage and the convergent stage.

                                                                        In the divergent stage, we want a broad focus – we want to be willing to let in lots of different inputs, ideas and insights. This is the time for brainstorming all possible ideas and solutions.

                                                                        In the convergent stage, we start to narrow our focus, like a camera lens. At this stage, we start to drill down to a handful of ideas or solutions, discriminating throughout the process.

                                                                        How to cultivate focus?

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                                                                        Take a 20 Minute Walk

                                                                        Walking away and getting your heart rate up is the best free tool you have in regaining your focus.

                                                                        I know it might seem counterintuitive to take a break right when you’re at your busiest, and especially when you’re drowning in your massive to do list, but the effects it will have on your clarity and ability to focus are undeniable.

                                                                        Walking is physiologically proven to release stress, and clear your mind. In fact, most of my most brilliant ideas (and some pretty terrible ones too) have occurred on my daily walks.

                                                                        If you give this technique a try, what you’ll find is that you’re much more productive than you were before you took a breather.

                                                                        Over time, if you do these walks daily, you’ll quickly find that your to-do list starts to feel a lot less significant, and a lot more doable. It’s all about keeping razor focused, and that’s what short daily walks will gift you.

                                                                        2. Build a Structure

                                                                        When I wake up in the morning, I start the day with a structure in mind. I know that 15 minutes will be dedicated to meditation, 30 minutes to coffee and reading, 20 minutes to yoga and so on.

                                                                        The structure of this morning routine might be boring, but the act of each task in itself has the potential to be, on some level, “creative.”

                                                                        The point of structure is that it gives you the space to make time for something you want to do. It helps you carve out the time to do your creative work. Once you begin that thing in itself, you are free to go about it however you’d like.

                                                                        Without structure, we can lose focus and can feel overwhelmed with possibility. If you’ve ever looked at a blank page and felt too overwhelmed with possibility to make a mark on it, you’ll know what I mean. How much easier it gets when you are given some guidelines or a deadline?

                                                                        The trick is finding the right amount of structure for you and your creative needs. Too little structure and we feel overwhelmed. Too much structure, and we risk feeling limited and stifled.

                                                                        Again, it’s worth thinking about creating in those two stages: divergent (less structure) and convergent (more structure.)

                                                                        How to build a structure?

                                                                        Create a Morning Routine

                                                                        Your morning routine doesn’t have to be rigid or so arduous you dread waking up. In fact, it should feel like the opposite. When you get a routine that works for you, you’ll look forward to starting the day.

                                                                        We all have different needs and preferences which can shape our ideal routine. In the book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, you can be inspired over 160 different creators’ daily routines, from Charles Darwin to Pablo Picasso.

                                                                        Experiment with any that take your fancy, and see how you feel with a bit more structure to start your day.

                                                                        You can also take a look at this article about morning routine for inspirations: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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                                                                        3. Find Motivation

                                                                        There is a theory that suggests: people will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself — not by external pressures. This is also known as intrinsic motivation; a drive that comes from within.

                                                                        Think of a time when you did some of your best work — chances are you were totally absorbed in what you were doing, to the exclusion of everything else. You were completely focused on the work itself, barely noticing time flying by.

                                                                        Now think of a time when you felt under pressure to perform. Maybe it was an exam, or a commission for an important client, or maybe your boss had told you “there’s a lot riding on this.”

                                                                        Notice the difference? In the first memory, you were driven by intrinsic motivation, which made it relatively easy, even enjoyable, to be highly creative.

                                                                        In the second memory however, extrinsic motivation was breathing down your neck, distracting you by whispering about the rewards for success and the horrible consequences of failure: likely making it harder to focus on the task at hand.

                                                                        For this reason, intrinsic motivation, if you can find it, is what separates the good from great creative work.

                                                                        This isn’t to say only internal motivators help. I personally get motivated by luring myself to work with a good cappuccino at my favourite cafe. That will get me ready to write or edit or whatever I’ve been avoiding.

                                                                        How to find motivation?

                                                                        Connect to Your “Why”

                                                                        Your “Why” is your fuel: the thing that drives you forward, that gives you a reason to do what you’re doing.

                                                                        ‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ — Friedrich Nietzche

                                                                        When you have a reason to do something, a purpose or a goal that matters to you, you can connect your daily actions to it. Then, each act becomes infused with meaning and you find that intrinsic motivation comes naturally.

                                                                        The trick is to remember your “why” and connect with it on a regular basis.

                                                                        Think about how you want to feel on a daily basis. What would you like to accomplish in the next year? What would you like for yourself in the next five years? How about in your lifetime?

                                                                        Ultimately, the tasks you face on a daily basis, or at least some of them, will connect to a greater purpose if you follow this path and you will find you feel more motivated to create and less resistance.

                                                                        If you aren’t sure where to start looking for motivation, this will help: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                                                                        4. Be an Expert in a Chosen Domain

                                                                        Research has shown that just as expertise in one domain does not predict expertise in other unrelated domains; creativity in one domain does not predict creativity in other unrelated domains.[1]

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                                                                        So just because you can paint a pretty picture, doesn’t mean you can creatively solve a mathematical problem.

                                                                        If you’ve taken one of those tests like the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which will ask you to think of a bazillion uses for a pencil, and scored well, unfortunately this is only an indicator of divergent thinking skills. It is not a predictor for creativity all round.

                                                                        The good news is, you can train your creativity in your chosen domain. Much like a muscle, you can isolate exercises to strengthen it.

                                                                        Of course you can still do a total body workout – or atotal creativity workout – but it means your creativity-training exercises need to come from a wide variety of domains; not just thinking up uses for a pencil.

                                                                        How to become an expert?

                                                                        Make a Mastery Training Plan

                                                                        Following our physical workout analogy, it’s worth applying the habits of great athletes to your chosen creative domain. For example:

                                                                        1. Decide what area/s you want to work on

                                                                        Much like a tennis player who decides they need to improve their serving technique, you can decide what area within your creative domain you want to improve at. Get specific.

                                                                        2. Decide how much time you can dedicate

                                                                        Most of us don’t have all day to train like a pro tennis player might, but you can likely squeeze 20 to 30 minutes in a day, if you want to. Whatever the time you can allow is, decide to dedicate yourself to it.

                                                                        3. Review your progress

                                                                        Finally, in order to check your progress, you can take regular reviews. Decide what your metrics are, and take time each week to check in with yourself.

                                                                        How many days did you practice? How did you compare to the previous week? This kind of review can help you stay on track, and actually creates more intrinsic motivation as you see yourself develop.

                                                                        5. Create a Conducive Environment

                                                                        A psychologist in 1943 proposed that behaviour is:[2]

                                                                        “a function of both the person as well as the physical environment they are in.”

                                                                        I would suggest that the act of creating is a behaviour and that, even though it begins as an internal process, it’s very much affected by and even dependent on the environment we are in.

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                                                                        I started noticing how environment affects me when I worked in an office. Over time, I realized that the more people who were in or who were talking, the more distracted I was. If I got to the office early before my coworkers arrived, I was twice as effective.

                                                                        I was even more effective if I was at home. Now that I work from home, I know I’m even more effective when in certain coffee shops. Ideally, places that have high ceilings, gentle lighting, some barely noticeable background music – and excellent coffee.

                                                                        It’s these little variations in our environment that can really shape our creative output.

                                                                        If you’re an introvert, you probably do your best work alone. If you’re an extrovert, you probably do your best work in the company of others.

                                                                        This isn’t to say you should find one way of doing things and stick to it: in fact, varying your environment from time to time is a great way to stoke the creative fire too, which we’ll touch on more later.

                                                                        How to create a conducive environment?

                                                                        Add or Subtract Stimuli

                                                                        Novelty in our environment has been shown to stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases our desire to seek out reward.[3]

                                                                        If you’re looking for creative motivation, adding some novelty into your environment can be just what you need.

                                                                        On the other hand, some people are highly sensitive and when it comes to having too much stimulation in their environment, they find it difficult to focus.

                                                                        Experiment with working in different environments. Note how you feel. Note whether you do better creative work or have more interesting ideas when you’re alone or with others.

                                                                        Try listening to music, people chatting or try being in complete silence. Try a dimly lit room, try working in bright sunlight.

                                                                        In each case, note how you feel before, during and afterwards and rate the quality of your work.

                                                                        The Bottom Line

                                                                        Creativity is not one particular skill or talent one can have. It comes in as many broad and unique flavors as there are people on this earth.

                                                                        To be more creative, take little steps each day. Acknowledge where and when you feel most inspired, motivated and original and spend more energy in those areas.

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                                                                        Featured photo credit: Sticker Mule via unsplash.com

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