#27: 14 bad habits taught in school that you should unlearn

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We go to school to learn and become better people, but our schools are not always the best places to learn. There are habits they teach that end up standing on our way to success. In this episode, we’ll be addressing bad habits you learnt in school that you should unlearn.

1 | You cannot do everything that is expected of you

You do not have much of choice in school than do everything that you are expected to do. It is believed that if you do everything, you get good grades, and if you don’t do everything, you get bad grades, and you get punished for that. In our world today, you cannot afford to do everything that is expected of you. There are loads of requests coming to you from all directions. How are you supposed to attend to them all?

2 | You should move despite imperfections

In school, you get punished for making mistakes, and we are made to adopt a fixed mindset of perfectionism that significantly hinders our success. Things are changing too fast. You cannot foresee everything in advance anymore and have a perfect plan. You need to learn how to rise above your mistakes and use them as motivation to get you to your success.

3 | The pace of change has accelerated

We live in a world where the pace of change has accelerated. We have to adapt to the change. How do we adapt? We have to be always learning. Make it your mantra to learn at least one new thing every day. Allow yourself time and space to learn a new skill, and you can be assured you are on the road to success. Schools taught us the only way to succeed is by studying and passing our exams, which is not true. Life is about learning and it can be fun.

4 | In school, collaborating is cheating

In school, you are expected to sit for your exams alone. Collaboration during the exams is cheating. Unfortunately, the same culture has found its way into our organizations. People do not want to collaborate. People want to make decisions by themselves when it would do the organization more good if people collaborated. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths are not my strengths, and neither are the weaknesses. The world becomes a better place if we learn to complement another with our strengths.

5 | The teacher shouldn’t be the boss in the classroom

Schools came about in the second industrial revolution when we needed good workers to work in the factories later. In the factories, you had a boss, and you had to follow instructions. To-date, schools are often still organized in that manner. Organizations are moving away from that model of working because it is too slow. Organizations are choosing empowerment over having the classic boss. The boss has become a manager who plays the role of a coach.

Schools should adopt a new way of doing things. The teacher should not be the boss. We should empower the students/ pupils to make decisions for themselves.

6 | Stop creating Silos

Schools are organized in silos; you have mathematics, science, languages, arts, etc. We see all these things separately; just like in the past, a factory was also organized around functions. Today more and more successful organizations are moving away from the classic functional structure where you have sales, marketing, production, HR finance separately, and the most successful ones are moving towards cross-functional teams.

Schools need to adopt holistic learning to solve problems from different angles incorporating everything they know.

7 | IQ is not as important anymore because algorithms, computers and robots have higher IQs than humans

In the past, everything revolved around intelligence. If you were intelligent, it was assumed that you’d be successful. Today there is more to life than just being intelligent. Emotional intelligence and adaptability are more important today than having a high IQ. Remember, it is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it’s the one that is the most adaptable to change.

8 | Do not work hard and only pause when you are done

In school, we learnt that you could only pause when you finished with everything expected of you. In this fast-moving world, we need to learn how to manage our energy. We have to learn to slow down, pause, and manage our energy, even if everything is not finished. Work will never be finished regardless of how hard we work.

9 | Your body is not only there to sustain the head

In school, we don’t learn to do anything with our bodies. On the contrary, we teach our adolescents and our teenagers to be rational, and that emotions only stand in our way. To be successful, you need to learn how to listen to your body and take care of it. When you feel good in your body, you’ll feel good in your head.

10 | Being right is not essential anymore.

Unless, of course, you’re building a bridge or you’re operating on someone.

In school, we are taught that you are either right or wrong. Being right often stands in the way of many relationships. Have you ever seen people fighting in meetings? They fight because both parties are right, but they have different opinions. In the world we live in, it is no longer critical if you are right or wrong. What is important is the interpretation that will serve you best at that moment.

11 | Control and structure are essential.

We teach our teenagers that they need to in control. Unfortunately, today, we cannot control everything anymore. Things are changing so fast. We live in uncertain times look at Corona; you don’t always know the outcomes of what you will put in place. We need to learn how to let go and to accept chaos.  

12 | Please don’t limit yourself to the what and the how. We have to learn the why of things

The most successful people and companies know why they do things. It’s important to know why you do something. Knowing what your values are, what you care about, why you do some things will make all the difference not only for you but also for your customers. Often in school, when pupils/ students ask the question, why do we have to study this? The only answer they get is because it’s in the curriculum. This makes them feel demotivated, and because they do not understand why they need to study something.

13 | Being action-oriented is not enough anymore

In life, when something happens, we put actions in place, and we get particular results. When we don’t get the results we want, we put out other actions in place. Sometimes you’re in this loop, where whatever action you put in place, you don’t get the result you want, and that’s because you need a new mindset, or you need new beliefs or a new interpretation of your world. We should learn to manage our mindset before our actions.

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