The Flaw In The Education System That Made Me A 16-Year-Old Dropout
People don’t struggle in their jobs because they don’t know how to do the work.
Think about it...they’ve studied it rigorously and most are in the top 5% of knowledge on the subject globally.
Then why do they still struggle?
It's really because they don't know how to work the people.
Confused? Let me explain what I mean.
But, before that, I want to tell you why I’m writing this in the first place.
The Hype around Dropping-out
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of internet influencers talking about why our educational system is flawed and why school isn’t the best option for you.
They talk about the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and even Quentin Tarantino to show you that you don’t need an education to be successful.
And they do raise some good points; like the fact that it’s not the best use of your time, that most of the things you learn aren’t useful in real life and so on.
But most of them never really talked about the fundamental reason why school might not be good for you — the reason that forced me to drop out.
Yes, I agree that schools can teach you how stuff works. Schools can create super-intelligent people and experts in their respective fields.
There’s no arguing about that.
But the problem is, our world isn’t run by billions of independent experts working alone in their tiny bubbles.
Instead, it’s run by institutions, corporations and organisations where people have to work with other people to achieve a common goal.
When was the last time you heard of a world-changing innovation which was fully executed by a single person?
Understanding this concept alone can give you better clarity on how the world economy works, why some people are successful and why school might not be the best option for you.
The Era of Lone Geniuses is Long Gone
Steve Jobs is considered as one of the pioneers of modern technology.
If you were to ask the common man to name one person who was responsible for our amazing smartphones, our well-designed computers, our tablets that replaced paper, the answer is obviously going to be Steve Jobs.
(Image Courtesy: Wired.com)
And they’re right to a certain extent.
So, was Jobs a brilliant scientist?
Okay, he must have been a good engineer, at least?
Not at all!
He must have some educational background that justifies his impact on the world?
Jobs dropped out of college because he believed that schools and colleges were “useless places” and none of the things he did at Apple was because of his academic knowledge.
So, what gives? How did he go on to create the world’s most valuable company? How did people like him change the world?
Well, we revere people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, not because they invented something all by themselves, but because they brought together like-minded creators to solve problems that are bigger than themselves.
And this skill, the skill of working with people determines your level of success in today’s world.
It does not apply only to CEOs and business owners, it applies to all of us, no matter our profession.
Like it or not, that’s the world we live in right now.
Even if you are great at what you do, you can’t do everything yourself.
You’re going to have to work with, maybe even lead, people who’re trained in different subjects or perhaps different disciplines of the same subject.
It doesn’t matter where you work or what your job title is, you will have to work with other people.
Even if you are self-employed or run a single-person business, you still have customers or contractors or freelancers to deal with.
There’s no running away from it. And there lies the issue.
Why I Dropped Out of School at 16
Schools create people who have knowledge on a particular subject but have no idea how to manage people, how to work in a team, how to co-operate and how to share ideas.
You spend most of your schooling phase listening to lectures and working on your homework by yourself.
If you learn well, you’ll pass. If your classmate doesn’t, then that’s his problem. It has nothing to do with your result.
But in the real world, that’s not how it works.
If you go down, so do your team and the people who depend on you.
In the same way, if you win, your organization also wins.
If you never take the time to learn how to work with the people around you, don’t be surprised if you struggle in your job.
Another interesting thing to notice is that the same attitude can be seen in the very people embedded in this problem — bad teachers.
Bad teachers, typically, are those who are knowledgeable on their topic but get frustrated at kids who’re learning it for the first time.
They don’t know how to inspire or motivate their students and therefore create a workforce that embodies the same philosophy.
When I realised that these important life skills for success, managing and working with people, wouldn’t be taught at school, I made my decision to quit and get into the real world to gain these skills as early as I can.
And that’s the reason why I really dropped out.
How to Build Something Great With Your Life
If you dream of creating something meaningful in this world, you need to learn to inspire, empathise and collaborate with people.
The amazing things you can create with a team of passionate people are going to be bigger than the sum of its parts.
But learning these people skills requires time and patience.
You can’t learn these skills in the classroom.
They can’t be taught by those who don’t know them.
You can develop these skills only if you get out into the real world and start practising them.
So get out there, meet people, find opportunities together, solve problems together, create an impact in the world and learn the valuable lessons that no classroom can ever teach you!