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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.

    money-saved-in-piggy-bank

      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.

      how-to-live-a-debt-free-life

        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.

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                                                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 July 17, 2019

                                                                        The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                                                                        The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                                                                        What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                                                                        Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                                                                        Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                                                                        According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                                                                        Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                                                                        Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                                                                        Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                                                                        The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                                                                        Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                                                                        So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                                                                        Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                                                                        One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                                                                        Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                                                                        Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                                                                        The Neurology of Ownership

                                                                        Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                                                                        In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                                                                        But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                                                                        This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                                                                        Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                                                                        The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                                                                        So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                                                                        On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                                                                        It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                                                                        On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                                                                        But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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                                                                        Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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