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They are blunting your axe

Society can be structured into seven spheres of influence called the pillars of culture; viz: Family, Religion, School, Arts & Entertainment, News, Business, and Government; together I refer to them as the super education system.

Abraham Lincoln says, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” It makes a lot of sense!

And Nelson Mandela says, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I so much agree!

It is obvious why the government, and our parents ensure that we go to school in our early years and continue through to tertiary levels. So, your education is your most powerful axe; but how sharp is it? Spoiler alert… usually not!

Of all the pillars of culture, the one we defer to most is the school system, followed by religion. And they are the ones mostly responsible for blunting your axe; directly and indirectly. Relax, I will explain.

We have already established that you have the inborn ability or potential to develop a theory, company, product and / or service that will significantly improve or positively transform the lives of at least 1 billion people within 10 years, and thus generate wealth beyond what you could possibly spend in a lifetime.

Ideally, formal education or schooling should guide you with the sure steps that can help you to achieve that, and more. Sadly, formal education or schooling does not do that, and that formal education or schooling alone cannot do that! And this applies to most – if not all – formal schools across the globe. It is one truth that is hidden from most people.

This strange fact about formal education or schooling sounds unbelievable to most people when they hear it at first, but soon admit to it when they are patient and open-minded enough to hear the details. Personally, I only got to know about it a couple of years after my six years of university education, and I was really outraged!

I chanced upon that weird fact about formal education, in a special report, essentially per adventure; well, one could also say: by some divine orchestration…

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 at all, and in-between.

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!

One of the most shocking discoveries – that marked a major turning point in my life and career – was Harvard University’s sad finding about education that points to the fact that formal education or mainstream schooling is able to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. And greatness here includes true/sustained happiness.

There is every reason to suspect that this percentage contribution is much lower in Africa, my motherland.

Why had anybody not drawn our attention to this fact that formal education harnesses so little? And why had anybody not 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? Did they even know?

Well, I guess it was not part of the duties of our teachers; they had been employed and were being paid to teach specific subjects. Which they were preoccupied with. And were not under any obligation to draw our attention to the shortcomings of formal education, even if they themselves happened to know. They would likely attract the wrath of their employers if they drew students’ attention to such shortcomings.

It is still the case, to a very large extent.

So, what is total education or true education? And how is it that the formal schools are not measuring up to that?

Education is a noun for the process of educing or bringing out a person’s hidden potential. In its truest sense, the term education has been derived from a couple of Latin words which basically mean: to nourish, to train or mould, and more deeply: to lead out, to draw out or to bring out (as in bringing out something that is within).

Functionally, the deep meaning, as in educing or bringing out what is within, should be preferred any day! Anything other than that is partial education – or more of informing – and not true education or full education.

Generally, every person has immense inborn potential; a genius within. So, you are a genius within! Again, that is the case even if you have neither ever been told, never felt so within you, nor demonstrated so in anyway over the period. (Please read all that again). Now, it is the process of education in its proper sense that will develop, draw out, or bring out the genius within, and make the person extremely effective and productive (or truly great) as implied by the Latin words from which the term education was derived. Ordinarily, this kind of education is beyond the scope of the formal education system we have in place; because largely, the traditional education system – especially the objectives – have not changed significantly from that for which it was designed in the twentieth century. It has been designed to quickly supply specific manpower to industry – people who are able to follow instructions without errors and do so without questioning and without much talking. And not necessarily to bring out the genius that is within people.

So indeed, formal education or mainstream schooling is able to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. Remember that greatness here includes true/sustained happiness.

Particularly, Harvard University noted that although aptitude[1] is responsible for only 15 percent of success in life, and attitude accounts for 85 percent, 90 percent of the time and money spent on formal education is spent developing the aptitude, whereas only 10 percent of the time and finances is spent developing the attitude.

Research done under the auspices of other institutions – including Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching – corroborates this.

And it does not matter how high you climb the academic ladder. Because then, you will be learning more and more about less and less. I need to explain this a little more so that it does not get misconstrued…

Take it that you want to become a psychologist, so first you go to the University for a bachelor’s degree in psychology, this will involve general principles in Psychology applicable to every sphere of human endeavour. When you decide to go higher, you will be required to narrow down to an area of interest, say Child Psychology, and study more about that in a master’s degree programme; essentially getting to know more in a much smaller area of the field of Psychology. When you decide to go higher still, you will be required to narrow down further to a smaller area of interest within Child Psychology, say Psychology of Children with Autism, and study more about that in a doctorate degree programme; essentially getting to know more in a much smaller area within the field of Psychology.

Besides, the world is changing faster than we can document in our academic textbooks; so technically, the textbooks are obsolete by the time they are produced.

So, there is big void in the existing school system. 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. And even then, you will be taught rules some of which will inadvertently hinder your progress in your professional life, though schoolteachers would grade you highly for adhering to those rules so taught.

You can save yourself through Personal Development.


[1] Knowledge and skillset

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They are blunting your axe

About the Author

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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 |

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They are blunting your axe

Course Content

Expand All
SECTION ONE: 2 POWERFUL FACTORS THAT CLEARLY DEFINE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND DISTINGUISHES IT FROM ALL OTHERS; BUT WHICH MANY ARE OBLIVIOUS AND THUS MISS THE ESSENCE
SECTION TWO: 5 SHOCKING REASONS WHY PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT RESOLUTION
SECTION THREE: QUICK GUIDE TO YOUR DREAM WEALTH AND FINANCIAL FREEDOM
SECTION FOUR: 7 CRITICAL STEPS FOR THE FASTEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE JOURNEY IN PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
SECTION FIVE: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER ACTION

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Typical Course Page

A typical course or workshop page looks like illustrated below; it has course title, display picture, author info, help buttons, course preamble, course content (also called course outline), enrollment panel, etc…

The Course Content usually comes after a brief intro or preamble to the course. Note however, that the course intro or preamble could be included in the Course Content itself, in which case there may not be a separate preamble before the course content.

Where they occur, topics are subsets or sub-components of lessons. There could be quizzes for various topics, and/or lessons. And/or a final quiz for the overall course. These main course content components are hyperlinks or clickable links. They could further be separated into different sections, with section headings which are not hyperlinks or clickable links, but just labels.

To access a particular lesson or topic (or quiz, where applicable) you usually have to click it. When you do it should open to a page where the actual material or presentation (be it a lesson, a topic, or quiz) can then be seen, along with associated navigation buttons to help you navigate through the entire course.

Please take particular note of the enrollment panel which comes immediately after the Course Content or Course Outline. You may use that to enrol. More about that further below; you may scroll further down.

Though not illustrated in the above screenshot, a brief profile of the author, trainer or instructor is usually further below the page; usually after the social buttons and a repeat of the course title for relational appreciation.

Typical Lesson Page

A typical lesson page looks like illustrated below; it has lesson title, display picture, author info, progress bar, lesson preamble, lesson content, navigation buttons, etc…

For emphasis, do note that topics for a lesson (and quizzes, where applicable) are usually listed under Lesson Content as hyperlinks or clickable links; possibly after a preamble for the Lesson. Possibly, because a Lesson may or may not have a preamble.

Again, to access a topic (or quiz, where applicable) you usually need to click it. And it should open to a page where the actual material or presentation (be it a topic, or quiz) can then be seen, along with associated buttons to help you navigate through the entire lesson (and course).

Typical Topic Page

Of special interest is the “Mark Complete” button. Whenever you are sufficiently done with or have completed a sub-topic or a lesson that does not have sub-topics, you need to tell the system so, for the purpose of tracking your progress. You therefore have to click the “Mark Complete” button.

Please note that when in a sub-topic you cannot move directly to the next lesson; you will have to click back to the parent lesson before moving to the next lesson from there.

Note also that you are required to enroll into a course before you can take take the full course. More about enrollment further below.

Access to Lessons and Topics

It is important to note that in certain situations, especially when you have not logged in, or when you have logged in but have not enrolled into that particular course or workshop, the links may not work as expected but rather show a notice that says: “You don’t currently have access to this content” (white on a blue background). In that case you have to log in first, which requires that you must have registered already or otherwise you have to register and enroll; you may click here for more about Registration.

Sometimes you may see a ‘SAMPLE LESSON’ label by a lesson, similar to as shown below…

Any lesson labelled this way can be viewed even when you have not enrolled or even logged in; when you click on any such lesson it will open so that you can preview it.

Now, on the issue of enrollment, if you logged in, and a progress bar similar to the one below was on the course page, usually above the course preamble, then you are already enrolled…

If so please close this window, and then click the applicable lesson, topic, or quiz under the ‘Course Content’ on the course page to proceed with the course. 

If you have logged in and still seeing the notice that says: “You don’t currently have access to this contentthen you need to enroll into that course in order to gain full access; see below…

How to enroll

If there was no progress bar on the course page, then you should find the Enrollment Panel with a ‘NOT ENROLLED’ indicator similar to the one above; usually located below the Course Content or Course Outline on the main course page, and not the popup course outline. As earlier illustrated further above. Please take particular note.

In that case you have to click the ‘Login To Enroll‘ button (for free courses) or the ‘Take this Course‘ button (for paid courses) or similar text beneath the ‘Get Started’ inscription; on the course page. Most free courses still require that you should first login with your username and password. If you don’t have a password for this community website, please register; General (Entry) level registration is FREE! And takes just 2 minutes, in 2 steps. You may click the “Register” button below:

After clicking the said applicable button or text as indicated above, the ‘NOT ENROLLED’ indicator should disappear, and the progress bar should appear on the course page. That indicates that you are now enrolled. You can then click the applicable lesson, topic, or quiz under the ‘Course Content’ on the course page to proceed with the course.

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So in the diagram, how many squares did you make out in total; how many squares are there?

Well, most people get or give 16 as their answer. Some get 17 and a few get 21; and that’s at least better than the ‘16’ answer majority of people give. Just about 1 percent of people surveyed get the best answer; which is…

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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