Virtually everyone wants to be recognized as being excellent at most of the things they do in life. But only a few actually achieve that goal. Ever wonder why?
I believe it’s in our programming. And make no mistake, you and I have all been programmed by others, for their benefit, whether by parents, teachers, employers, media or friends. Here’s what has happened, followed by ideas for changing the programming.
The Previous Economic Boom-The Industrial Revolution
As the industrial revolution began, factories started springing up to make new products using new methods that increased production, lowered costs and increased profits.
In order for this system to work, people had to be lured off their farms and into the cities and factories.
The factories needed people who would conform and obey without thinking or questioning. People who would just mindlessly put two pieces together over and over again in a dingy place all day, for a full 72 hour work week (eventually reduced to 40 hours).
Obedient Workers are Created, Not Born
In order to meet that demand for workers, the public school system was developed to teach children to become useful (robots) for the factories. School was designed to “process” children into conforming, obedient workers.
Innovative, thinking students are classified as disruptive and given demeaning labels.
The students who could remember the facts and figures from textbooks and repeat them for no obviously necessary reason were considered to be the bright, gifted, talented students.
Selling the Plan
A propaganda “machine” was a necessary part of this indoctrination system that masquerades as education. The propaganda spreads the idea that if you conform and do well in our school, you will be able to get a “good” job in a factory/corporation, with regular paychecks (security controlled by the whims of the corporation).
The Sales Program Is Half True
They didn’t give a comparison to what a student who didn’t comply and used his or her imagination to make a living could make. They failed to teach how small the regular pay for a factory job is, as compared to a student’s actual earning potential.
This system has been billed as education, promoted as a good thing and has successfully led the entire industrialized world down the thorny path of average performance in return for approximately 20% of the revenue a worker generates for his or her company.
The acceptable word education is used to describe a system whose function demonstrates that it is, in fact, indoctrination, including religious, relationship and political indoctrination. What do you expect from the state?
Where’s the Value?
If an employee can generate 3-5 TIMES his/her wages for the company, imagine what that person could do for himself. If an employee is not 3-5 times more valuable than his or her pay, job loss is the most likely result.
This system teaches us all to be the same. It teaches us what to think, rather than how to think logically and systematically. It teaches us that personal excellence is found in being average.
The Average Problem
Have you ever thought about what it means to be average? Let’s look at that idea for a moment.
You already know that an average is calculated by taking a list of figures, let’s say test scores, adding them up, then dividing the total by the number of entries that were added together.
Let’s say that Jane scored 100 on a test, and Jim scored 50 on the same test. Those figures add up to 150, then you divide them by the number of entries, or 2. 150 divided by two gives us an average score of 75.
What does that calculation do to the facts and abilities that are represented by the test scores?
The average of the two scores diminishes the effort of the high performer and elevates the effort of the low performer. Neither has a value of 75! (If this were an evaluation of the value of your customers, you would be off by 25%…in both directions). Inaccurate figures make it hard to make accurate decisions.
If this were a test given in school to measure a student’s level of indoctrination in preparation for service to a corporation, Jane would be the clear choice.
Obviously, she studied, memorized and successfully regurgitated the information presented in a textbook, facilitated by a processor. Jim, on the other hand, has shown that he does not conform well, and may be “doomed” to follow in the foot steps of Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, or other dropouts who have actually made enormous contributions to society and the world.
On the issue of averaging, I would like to point out that in the simple example given above, neither student performed at the average. Again the “excellence” of one is diminished, while the “failure” of another is elevated.
Average is just another word for mediocrity. It is rare that any person or thing that is averaged actually performs at that average level.
What Do Averages Mean to You, In Your World?
Do you rely on averages in your work? If so, I would like to suggest that you consider making a comparison and evaluating customers, products, inventory, employees; anything you need to evaluate the value of by using the 80/20 principle (20% of inputs create 80% of results).
The 80/20 principle reveals that Jane’s performance above is actually not just double Jim’s performance, but about 10-20 TIMES better, if you are looking for an indoctrinated clone.
If you are looking creative ability, Jim may well be the better choice in the 21st century, a time when creativity trumps blind obedience for value, progress and effectiveness.
Just scoring low doesn’t make Jim a candidate for anything, but it might be a sign of strong innovative creativity. That would obviously need to be investigated.
The Slow Behemoth
Since schools are run by the government, and since government is always slow to progress, our children are still being indoctrinated to perform in the 20th century work environment. Many workers are being challenged by the need to be creative due to job loss, while having little to no training or guidance in the creative realm.
The Times, They Are a Changin’
The new awareness and ability of the everyday people to exchange ideas, along with the diminishing industrial complex of this new century has dramatically changed the skills and abilities that are necessary for individuals and businesses to succeed both now and into the future.
Education Trumps Schooling
Unfortunately the old method of schooling is now actually setting young people up for failure. This is made obvious by the number of young adults who graduate from that system to extreme difficulty finding a job, while being deep in debt for the time they spent in school. Their personal advancement is severely hindered by a ball and chain of debt for something that didn’t deliver what was promised.
For many grads, debt is causing them to delay marriage, having children or buying a home. They are trying to succeed with one proverbial hand tied behind their backs.
New Century Offers New Options
If you are concerned that your child may be in the process of being indoctrinated to fit into an obsolete career environment, you will benefit by checking out Ashley Logsdon’s blog on how to actually educate your
children. Ashley is a very devoted mom and teacher of her children.
Her kids are some of the best mannered and smartest kids I’ve ever met. Her 9 year old daughter says “The world is my school.”
Ashley’s mother, Joanne Miller also has a site that can help young ladies and their daughters learn how to turn a house into a peaceful home, with strong family ties.
Nature’s Law for Saving Time and Money
For an in depth look into the 80/20 principle, I recommend that you check out Perry Marshall’s book 80/20 Sales and Marketing.
Perry uses sales and marketing to illustrate the truths of the 80/20 principle. When you understand how 80/20 works and the information it reveals, you can apply it to almost anything.
Use it to identify your best customers and their potential to your business. Also for inventory, products, sales and even your thinking. You can also check out Perry’s blog here.
“Success is not something you pursue; it is something that you attract.” – Jim Rohn
Success is attracted by excellence in adding value to human experience.
What will you choose; excellence or average?
I know that some folk will consider this post to be controversial. It is. But it is not an attempt to bash schools, and especially not the people “on the ground” who run them.
As I see it, they are also caught up in a system that has appeared to work well for over a century. Most educators are dedicated people trying to make a positive impact on the world through teaching children. I know some are also advocates for changing the system.
The problem I see is that no one seems to be asking what is the cost of the economic advantage gained by this old system. And few people seem to be asking why do we educate the way we do.
Seth Godin did a TED X talk entitled Stop Stealing Dreams on this subject back in 2012. He suggests that we all ask the question “What is school for?” I strongly recommend watching that 16 minute video.
His talk expanded my knowledge of the facts about what is happening and motivated me to address this subject.
Until we all start talking about it and actually address the issues, our children will continue to forgo their dreams, in return for a mediocre existence. With our help and guidance, they will do better than that.
“Always challenge the status quo.” – Bob Carpenter