In some villages back in the day, completing primary level of education was deemed to be an end in schooling. In some advanced cases, it would be clearance of the O-level. You would hear them talk of how John ‘finished’ school long ago and it would make you yearn to ‘finish’ school and be free like John. Free from the hustles of waking up in the early morning and of course braving the pangs of corporal punishment which was the order of the day back then. It mattered less how one ‘finished’ school or the value gained from schooling; many looked forward to the last day in school. But, should one really ‘finish’ school?
We have all heard of the line, ‘A students work for C students’, right? I have no problem with that line because I know it holds substantial water. My problem is with those of us who have taken the line quite literally and killed their zeal in pursuit of academic excellence or in any form of reading. So often, I meet people who say, “I don’t want to torture myself with any book. I read enough while in school.” Others give examples of former classmates who did not read as much as they (the people I meet) did back in school yet seem to be doing well in business. I have met many who seem to feel that they wasted time going through the school system which failed to deliver to them the promise of a good future. Some have good examples of great achievers who dropped from the academic school yet made it in life. They keep mentioning Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Joe Lewis, Mark Zuckerberg, Njenga Karume among others.
On this account, many have found themselves discounting the value of learning and buying the idea that one can maneuver through life without learning. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Whereas it is true that formal school does not guarantee brightness in life, it is also true that it gives one a foundation upon which many other things develop from. School equips one with a myriad of life skills that become useful as one scales the ladder of life. Today, you may question the value of algebra in your life but fail to question how you manage to divide your income among your numerous needs. Perhaps the only difference is that these days you do not say ‘let the amount for food be x”. Of course I have my reservations on the practicality of our education system in preparing students for an ever changing world.
To solely attach learning to the academic school is myopic. Learning is a continuous process for all those who dream of excelling in their respective realms of life. It is at this point that I seek to shed some light on the mystery behind school dropouts making it big in the life arena. Achievement is a direct product of action and every action is prone to mistakes. Mistakes come loaded with plenty of learning points for future endeavors; however, this learning only happens to those who make a deliberate choice to learn from mistakes. It happens to those who are not afraid of making mistakes in life. It so happens that A students got As because they made few mistakes in school and they got used to avoiding mistakes. The C (or lower) student on the other hand got used to making mistakes in schools and somehow hardened. So, when life calls for those who can take action, the C students find it easier to jump in, make mistakes as they correct them along the way. The average A student on the other hand begins to analyze the situation and how to minimize mistakes; before long the opportunity is gone. Most A student’s wallow in the sea of inaction due to analysis paralysis.
It is important to clarify that success in life is not a question of whether one is a C or an A student, it’s a question of personal resolution coupled with deliberate action; if anything, we also have C students who have not done much and A students who have excelled. Those who make it seem to have discovered small secrets that matter and learning is one of them. All those who dropped from the academic schools and made it in life made a choice to enroll in another school – the school of life. Whether an A or a Z student, enrolling in the school of life is a must if greatness is to be attained at whatever level. The school of life is that school where people learn useful and focused nuggets of knowledge that help them accomplish their missions in life. In the school of life, there is no dropping out if you want to keep it at the top. In this school, people learn through mentorship, observation and most importantly, reading.
I want to encourage you to join the school of life and become a life student with no intentions of dropping out; whether you are currently in the academic school or not, whether you are an A or Z student. Develop your potential by learning from those who have been there before you, by attending specialized seminars that will help in sharpening your skills in whichever area of your life, by reading self-help books. Learn to invest in yourself while remembering that leaders read. Begin slowly but steadily to nurture your reading culture, give yourself some target and begin with simple books that will encourage you while making notes. It is never a waste of money and/or time to attend a seminar that builds your life skills. Lessons in the school of life are seldom found in the academic school and therefore all men and women of vision need to enroll regardless of their academic standing in society. I urge you to develop a stubborn urge to learn; an insatiable appetite to better yourself every other day. Join the school of life where greatness resides and feel the difference. With this school, YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Motivational Speaker and Author.