INFORMATION IS OBSOLETE
Just yesterday, my Australian based phenomenal trainer and coach Duane Alley and I, were in a conversation and I asked about his nephew. He had talked so much about him many years earlier when we trained in the United Kingdom that many of the lessons he taught us were woven around the young chap.
“Oh Innocent, he soon turns 21” he retorted, “and would soon be headed to work at a Club Med Resort somewhere around the world.”
I was intrigued to say the least. “This is highly unusual,” I thought to myself. I will tell you why shortly.
We went on to talk about a couple of things but the sheer fact that this nephew of his had first travelled to Club Med (a resort group – one of which I am currently writing from in Malaysia) at age 14 when he worked with Duane in trainings, and developed a burning desire to one day work for club Med was phenomenal for a few reasons.
Information is not as concrete as people think it is. There is nothing new under the sun that can’t be linked to the past. Anything that sounds or seems new to you, just revealed your level of ignorance to you.
The days are gone when information was so reverenced because only a few (rich and first hand witnesses) could appreciate it’s luxury.
Today, our streets are littered with information and the air is saturated with what’s new. There is no subject matter that cannot be uncovered by the click of a button. As a matter of fact, you are not permitted to remain ignorant about something ‘new’ for more than 30 seconds, with the likes of Google and Wikipedia.
With the miracle of technology and the internet however, one would think that having grand access to information would transcend the mind to modify positively, the life of humanity. Instead this information buzz is being abused and underutilized in an on-going manner. Truly, the abundant availability of a thing seem to cause it to be perceived as common.
Most people no longer appreciate the essence of information, so they learn to just know, thereby wasting this sacred blessing of the universe. Our educational system does not even seem to help much, particularly in Africa. The young people and students of this generation are being ‘schooled instead of educated.’ You see, there is a world of a difference.
Malcolm Forbes once posited that, ‘’education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one, ” and Albert Einstein is quoted by many as having said that, ‘’education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.’’
Schooling teaches the mind to be devoted to a certain doctrine as true besides which there is no law. The same method with which academics is currently being handled. Academics as we see in many places especially in the developing world, involves training the mind of learners to memorize, recall and repeat the exactness of what they have been taught, whereas education would suggest that it is the learner’s ability to find new ideas in a specific sphere and to dream beyond the shores of what is obvious and apparent.
Education is supposed to be a personal journey, but the current educational system seems to be largely spoon feeding the minds of this generation with what to think instead of how to think. There is also a striving to fill learners minds with information overload that tends towards what to do, instead of awakening the learners’ minds to curiosity and wonder.
The problem that is now apparent in our world today is the prevalence and emergence of a lot of what some would call, “educated idiots,” people who only commit facts to memory. These people have gotten so familiar with knowledge that what they learn loses its value to influence change.In fact, people who memorise answer for examination questions.
The one thing that limits the power of knowledge to influence change is the mind. Information would be useless if we only have it for knowing sake. What we do with the information we’re exposed to is what makes the difference, the transformation it brings with it’s application.
Transformation is spurred on by a constant thinking and enlightenment on a particular ideology until illumination is birth. How we process and apply available information to solve problems or answer life’s questions is more important than the information itself.
You know nothing more than what you think about. Thinking validates knowledge. While information is like a spark in the dark, thinking is the wood and sticks, while transformation is the burning flame it eventually produces.
In a nutshell, education is ground zero of every society. And if we keep chasing the facts while ignoring its contextual meaning, we would all become absolute academics with zero intelligence. This is what has birth the obsolescence of mere facts and information.
From my personal experience and that of many men I have read about or met personally, learning emanates and is birth from 7 major sources that i have often talked about. Even though i would not elaborate here, in closing, let me just mention them here in passing.
The 7 sources of learning as I have observed are:
- Home (grooming and conditioning)
- The conventional school system
- Travel (of any kind – local or international)
- Mentoring received on a job from a boss or supervisor and other kinds of mentoring
- Reading that is not school based (extra – curricular)
- Tough times, experience or what some call, “the university of hard knocks”
- Media: a healthy combination of television, radio, documentary, movies, the internet and new (social) media.
I have found that a lot of people have been spurred towards massive success in different spheres of life forms not just one of the above-listed source of education. It for many of them and maybe you reading this, a healthy combination of 2 or more (if not all) of the above mentioned sources.
My trainer’s nephew encountered a lot of learning when he worked with him and boy, they did travel around the world and Duane poured himself into that young man.
A combination of all or some of the above listed inspired him to decide what course he was going to take when he turned 21.
Finally, I remember seeing the shock on my son’s teacher’s face one day, when I told him that I did not send my son to the 1million naira (over 1000 dollars) a term private school which he attends in Lagos, to learn and memorise and excel in physics and chemistry but to build confidence, imagination, curiosity, appropriate values, life skills, leadership skills and the capacity to reason and think for himself.
That is yet, a conversation we need to have another day.
At our training organisation InnocentMINDS, we have endeavoured to ensure that unlike many training and learning experience that people have out there we reach beyond the shorts of information sharing and giving to arouse the imagination and curiosity of the learner.
We design every of our immersion experiences at InnocentMINDS to drive transformational and change experiences that people can have to move them towards massive action and epic outcomes. If you are reading this and have so much as attended only PUSH (our flagship training event) or know someone who has, you must have experienced or heard feedback that attest to this.
If you haven’t been at PUSH ensure you are attending one soon please. It is my 3 day true immersion experience gift to you…
Will you share your own thoughts on learning and education that can drive this conversation forward with me now please?
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Now let me read yours too my friend.
The writer, Innocent USAR is a teacher, master practitioner and trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a set of tool kits he uses in training, coaching, therapy and consulting along with other tools of Neurological Repatterning and Epic Outcomes Metrics (EOM). He travels around Africa with his team at InnocentMINDS Training and Consulting, helping individuals, groups and organisations creative epic outcomes and have easy access to the strategies that gives people and organisations incredible success, fulfilment and happiness.
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