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Why I started my education afresh after university. Shocking!

A year before getting married, I relocated to a different part of town and joined a church in that new location. I then joined the youth fellowship and along the line got elected to lead the fellowship; I soon reckoned that I really needed to learn ‘Leadership’ otherwise it was going to be very difficult leading the highly heterogeneous group it was; comprising people with vastly different orientations, some highly educated graduates and others having little or no formal education, and inbetween.

It is worth noting that I had been a student leader throughout school; primary school I moved through cupboard monitor, class captain to school prefect; secondary school I became a house captain, and during university years I moved through group leader, publicity secretary, projects leader, and organising secretary for the graduate (postgraduate) students association – GRASAG. However, through all those stages not once was I (or were we) taken through the principles of good or true and effective leadership, and not once had I read any book on leadership; let me confess that I once came across a book titled ‘How to lead’ but there was no desire to read it because, as is the case with most people, I thought I was okay in my leadership; that attitude of: “what could possibly be different in that book that I didn’t already know, and what would I even lose not knowing what was in the book.” In that sense I was suffering from the number one problem the educated middle class suffer from: unconscious incompetence, i.e. not knowing what one does not know and thus being comfortable and confident while ignorant. Possibly, the closest to a semblance of leadership training I had (or we had) were character studies from the Bible; woefully insufficient. Sad!

So I headed to my favourite bookshop and got leadership books; while there, some general self-help books caught my attention so I got them as well. I read those books diligently and that was the beginning of an unforgettable experience; it was as though I was receiving education afresh! I can boldly say that the education I received from reading those books was as valuable as the education I had received in my 6 years of university education, and in some cases even more valuable! 

Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools is often not education. And the results may well be that it reduces productive capacity rather than to increase it

The shock

One of the most shocking discoveries (that actually marked a major turning point in my life and career; there are other turning points) was Harvard University’s sad finding about Education that points to the fact that formal education is able to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. Interestingly, it had been corroborated by other research carried out under the auspices of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Indeed a lot (if not most; I’m inclined to say 80%) of what you learn in school will have little or no direct use in your life and work, so you will necessarily have to learn completely new knowledge, skills, and attitude for life and work after you graduate. In other words, of all the knowledge, skills and attitudes you need in your life and work in order to be effective and truly fulfilled, only a little of that (about 20%) will be part of what you learn in school.

In essence, education and schooling are not the same thing! And as Prof Sir William Arthur Lewis succinctly puts it… “Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools is often not education. And the results may well be that it reduces productive capacity rather than to increase it.” Sadly! And most of the problems you face (or are likely to face) in life stem from this. Typically, most people are not truly fulfilled in life, to the extent that most of the ailments people report to the hospitals with are not pathogenic; i.e. they are not the effects of disease-causing organisms, but largely by-products of the lack of true fulfillment in life. And others. (You may click here to see the true meaning of education.)

Ideally, the religious organisations should be filling in the gap, and providing that needed complementary education, especially since they have access to people right from the cradle to the grave and wield such a great influence on them (much more than what schools could ever dream of) but our religious organisations have not taken the bull by the horn, and are failing abysmally (see ‘What the Church refuses to teach about Christianity‘ for more about that; you may click here). For this reason the onus is on you and I to seek the much needed complementary education on our own, and also help our people to do same. So for instance, during my school years from nursery and primary levels all the way through 6 years of university education, we were never taught how to use the right methods and techniques to study effectively nor how to manage our time effectively in order to get more things done in a relatively shorter time without burning out, etc. And for all these more than 40 years that I have been active in church we were never taught those essential life skills either; I had to fall on numerous self-help books, seminars and complementary education videos (in all, more than 1,000) to train myself on those essential life skills, and several other very critical life skills that all the pillars of culture (including school, church and the other religious organisations) are ignoring.

The quest

I began to ponder and wonder… Why hadn’t anybody drawn our attention to this fact that formal education harnesses so little? And why hadn’t anybody drawn our attention to self-help books while in school (as part of our education) and emphasised their equal importance as the mainstream courses that we were being taught?

And if what the mainstream educational system teaches is able to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life, how can we harness the remaining 78 percent and get more people to be truly or fully effective and truly great?

Racing thoughts with lots of whys and hows.

Well, it was better late than never, so the book corners (or sections) became my favourite places in the supermarkets; there was a time I went to the supermarket supposedly to buy baby stuff for our little girl and I ended up buying books rather than some of the baby stuff I was there to buy; it was that crazy! Within a couple of years, I bought and read more than 100 self-help books, in addition to the Hebrew-Greek-enabled Bible. I read a lot of them 3 to 5 times, underlining key portions and making notes as though I was going to write exams. And the researching (and learning) has continued since; especially focusing on human and organisational performance-improvement techniques and strategies. On the average I was sleeping for only 4 hours a day; it’s been that intensive!

A few more surprises

For the first time I became aware of the statistically proven fact that of all the people that go to work, only 18 percent truly feel good about going to work, the remaining 82 percent wish that they did not have to go to work; that means if you randomly select 100 people and ask about their work life, 82 of them (i.e. a whopping 82 percent of people) will not be enjoying their work life, and so I needed to take steps to be part of the few who would truly enjoy working life. I came across the 4 popular, very surprising and easily avoidable habits that make life difficult, and so many valuable principles for living a meaningful and a truly fulfilling life, no matter the sphere of life or endeavour one finds himself or herself in; truly amazing principles!

I encountered the 5 stages of leadership for the first time, and I became conscious of the fact that I had mostly performed at the low stages, just like most leaders and that there were tried and tested leadership principles for growing from one stage of leadership to the higher stages where ‘magic’ happens, and that being either laissez-faire, or democratic leader, or otherwise autocratic leader was like being a half leader and not a full leader. For the first time, I encountered principles for managing emotions effectively, and with that I could avoid stress and also get people around to be more productive and more fulfilled. I encountered very powerful time-management techniques; truly revolutionary techniques to get more done in a week than most people get done in a month; life became more interesting! For the first time I encountered the 8-step creative thinking process, and with that I could come up with amazing ideas, and powerful or creative solutions to problems or difficulties around me. That is why I agree with Brian Sher that, indeed, “When you know the right things, the boundaries around your life suddenly disappear!” Life became so much more interesting and amazingly more meaningful for me. Indeed life can be so much easier, less stressful, and more fulfilling than you may think.

Particularly on the issue of learning to manage emotions effectively, I was so happy when the World Economic Forum (in 2016) ranked Emotional Intelligence (EI) as one of the top 10 skills employees needed by 2020 to succeed in the workplace; at the same time I was sad because the World Economic Forum (WEF) was very late, in that, EI did not suddenly become important, it had always been important since time immemorial and I knew that the very moment I chanced upon that almost 10 years earlier. There are a lot of other principles or skills that are so important but that which may not find its way on the World Economic Forum list anytime soon, if at all. I share most of them in Zing4Life! 

The conviction and resolute response

I came to the firm conviction that… “The greatest tragedy in life is that majority of people have accepted to be less than they were born to be and are thus accomplishing far less than their true capabilities.” Hitherto, I had gotten to understand what it meant to say that… ‘Ignorance is a significant part of the problems of Africa!’ And the problems persist because, as already stated, the mainstream education is predominantly partial education; it is able to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. Note that the mainstream education will largely remain this way for a very long time; it will continue to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. And the religious organisations which could have served to complement the formal education system, are also not teaching those principles and neither are they drawing their members’ (or followers’) attention to this very necessary complementary education.

4 habits that are making your life difficult or otherwise may soon make your life difficult, but which your parent, teacher, or pastor would dare not talk about. How to escape them and get to live a stress-free life of purpose faster

I felt that my greatest contribution towards the development of humanity, especially Ghana (and Africa) was to share my findings; I was thus moved to collate the best and most effective principles, techniques and strategies that can harness the true (or hidden) potential of any individual (or group of individuals) no matter the person’s background and current circumstances. i.e. irrespective of a person’s age, gender, looks, financial resources, educational background, etc! I call that Zing4Life! And Purpose Compass sets the tone.

Different! The author in a consumable number of pages, coaches with pictures, diagrams, questions and answers in addition to home-driving examples, to provoke the reader to think and live above a “normal” life.
Patience Asare
Finance Professional
Purpose Compass is a unique go-to manual that helped me in my thinking and made me exceptionally excellent at anything I do. It is the best self help book I have read. The author presents simple and consistent steps for his readers to gain practical guidance in becoming uniquely excellent, and to gain a truly fulfilling life.

I recommend this wonderful book to all leaders, parents, teachers and the youth.
Franklyn Fosu
IT Professional
I read Purpose Compass and I must say it’s a thought-provoking piece of work. It has inspired me greatly and I’m on that road to utilising my mind to achieve my maximum potential
Yram Adrakpanya
Administrator
All high school leavers must get this book before entering the tertiary education system, on the way to actualising maximum potential. Dave, thumbs up!
Abena Serwah
Acquaculture Professional
4 habits that are making your life difficult or otherwise may soon make your life difficult, but which your parent, teacher, or pastor would dare not talk about. How to escape them and get to live a stress-free life of purpose faster

Makes for an ideal gift – indeed a priceless one – to give to yourself, and your people: family, friends, mentees, team, staff / workers, students / pupils, congregation, countrymen, etc.

More?

For more about Purpose Compass you may click here. And for more about Zing4Life! you may click here.

Please scroll down for a brief about the author, and / or comment(s) on this publication.
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Why I started my education afresh after university. Shocking!

About the Author

David K Egyir

David K Egyir

EGYIR is passionate about helping serious people like you to escape the most dangerous — common but avoidable — problem most people (rich, poor, educated, uneducated, religious, and non-religious alike) face in life. Also, he designs and builds beautiful, cost-effective and functional buildings, and graphics. And he helps executives, marketers, and business owners to make effective presentations; what you may call winning presentations. He is an Architect, a Designer, and a Life Coach. And an Entrepreneur. Especially as a life-coach, he has been popularly adjudged the best coach for excelling in education, increasing wealth, eliminating stress, and enjoying true fulfillment in life! Egyir understands life thoroughly and shares amazingly liberating insights from a uniquely empowering perspective. He has a firm conviction that, “The greatest tragedy in life is that majority of people have accepted to be less than they were born to be and are thus accomplishing far less than their true capabilities.” To that end, he authored (wrote) Purpose Compass, the exceptional life-coaching book that reveals 4 habits that are currently making your life difficult, or otherwise may soon make your life difficult, but which your parent, teacher, or pastor would dare not talk about; how to escape them and get to live a stress-free life of purpose faster! And 13 other equally amazing books that constitute the Zing4Life! Series. Egyir is also lead promoter of the electronic, trendy and amazing Smart Business Card, the only business card you’ll ever need, for the executive in you! He is a husband, and a father of two. Positionally, he is the Lead Founder and CEO of Seers, Associate of Arthro Synergeio, Lay Preacher of The Methodist Church Ghana, Global Lead Advocate of Zing4Life! and Volunteer Mentor with iMentor Ghana. To see more about him you may click here. #WeAreSeers | To get in touch with Egyir or to follow him on social media you may click here. #EgyirGuidesDaily | To support his writing & life-coaching social ministry you may click here. #SeersFoundation | To be part of Egyir's live sessions online at 20.30 GMT on Sundays you may click here. #TimeWithSeers |

Why I started my education afresh after university. Shocking!

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Lessons…

One: Sometimes you need someone to show you the obvious, and oftentimes… the not so obvious! Credit to ZigZiglar

Two: Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools is often not education. And the results may well be that it reduces productive capacity rather than to increase it. Credit to Prof Sir William Arthur Lewis

Three: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Credit to Prophet Hosea

Four: The illiterates of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn! Credit to Alvin Toffler

Five: The greatest obstacle to progress is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge. Credit to Daniel Boorstin

Six: When you know the right things, the boundaries around your life suddenly disappear. Credit to Brian Sher