Last year I wrote a book on goal setting. I am now in the process of editing that book. As I edit, I will post excerpts here on my blog. This is from chapter one:
School did not help
Most of us are the product of a failed school system. The school system does not teach us how to set goals.
Instead, the school system sets goals for us. Committees at the Federal level, and at the State level set the goals for students.
Teachers at the local level implement the goals of the Federal government. Rarely are meaningful decisions made at the local level.
This works against us. With others setting goals for us, we never learn to set our own.
Were we to learn to set goals at a young age, we could use the skill for the rest of our lives.
The school system also works against us in other ways.
School teaches us to avoid mistakes. We are encouraged, sometimes pressured to get good grades. We are punished for low grades.
School teaches us to avoid standing out. Peer pressure reminds us to fit in. Go with the crowd. Keep your head down. Don’t make waves.
School teaches us to avoid risk. The teachers are watching. Our peers are watching. Do not mess up.
After school, we enter what most people call the “real world.”
In the “real world,” we find everyone playing an entirely different game.
The real world does not care about grades. Quite the opposite. As long as we learn from them, the real world rewards us for making mistakes.
School teaches us to avoid risk. The real world often rewards risk-takers. As long as we are not breaking any laws, taking risks is a good thing.
School teaches us to avoid standing out. In the real world, we are often rewarded when we stand out.
Essentially, the real world is the opposite of school. What works in school rarely works in the real world.
School slows us down.
I have taught in school for decades. From extensive experience, I know that the most unmotivated, disruptive students set the pace for everyone else.
For years, I denied this. I worked against it. My efforts were in vain.
No matter how hard I tried to move everyone forward, the most unmotivated, disruptive students held the rest of the class back.
Fortunately, goal setting is personal.
You can set your own goals, and you can go at your own pace. No unmotivated, disruptive students will hold you back.
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