Here’s what we should’ve been taught in school!
Life has pretty similar path for most of us, we are born, our parents take care of us, we get educated, we figure out a way to sustain ourselves, we form a family, we have our own kids, we grow old and then we die. Such a great note to start this article on isn’t it?
In it we’re going to focus on the education part, since it takes a bulk of your life – most people spend 12 years or more in the educational system – assuming an 80 year average lifespan, that’s over 15% of your life.
The goal of the entire thing should be to make you self-sufficient and a positive part of our socio-economic system.
Unfortunately, at least in the last couple of decades, it doesn’t do that good of a job. It’s pretty decent, but from an efficiency and effectiveness perspective, it could definitely do better.
We took a look at the subjects taught in school and made a list of things we wished we would’ve learned while we were getting “educated” and prepared for life.
As always, if you don’t feel like reading, here’s a video version of this article:
Here are 15 Things you should’ve been taught in school but weren’t! – from our humble perspective.
Number 1: How money works
Wouldn’t you love to learn in school how money works? Why some people earn more than others, how to increase your salary, how to save money or how to invest it?
Even today, in most households money is still a taboo subject, despite it being the fuel of our society.
Your parents are barely figuring it out for themselves and most of your teachers lack a fundamental understanding of money.
There are so many aspects of finance which would’ve been really useful to learn in school in order for everyone to be more efficient in their lives, like how to balance a checkbook, how to save for retirement, why some people are better off pursuing businesses while other will be happier working in a company.
Even if you had an introductory course to economics, we’re not sure how much of the knowledge that was provided to you is directly applicable to your everyday life. It’s such a shame.
Number 2: Mental health & Physical health
Mental illness is a BIG issue today. 1 in 5 people is struggling with a form of mental issue. From ADHD to anxiety, to depression, you never learn about these in school. Mental health is a 100 Billion dollar industry in the US alone, because we are never taught how to take care of ourselves.
Despite standards of living going up, we see more and more successful people burning out or suffering from depression to a point where they just want to quit society. The number of college students who reported feeling depressed to the point where it negatively impacted their ability to function is 1 in 3 and almost 8% of students reported that they have taught about suicide at least once in college.
Those numbers are insane and us not addressing these type of mental health issues is leading to a very unstable society. The rise of pharmaceutical companies capitalizing on this trend should also be a big pointer at how big the issue is.
And that’s just the mental part of things, you never learn how to take care of your yourself and your body. Understanding how your body functions, what it needs to run more efficiently and First Aid classes is something we believe should be mandatory everywhere.
Number 3: Dating and Romantic Relationships
You’re going to spend the majority of your life in a romantic relationship with someone.. How about we learn how to pick the right one?
This new generation is growing up with tinder, nudes and netflix & chill as viable “dating” options. Thus they will never be able to develop emotional intelligence and the ability to prospect a viable partner until way later in life. That’s why we see so many men suffering from Peter Pan syndrome.
It’s completely acceptable in today’s society to be 35 and act as a kid. Social media is putting an emphasis on the external image we portray, but it’s her mindset, character and passion that will raise your children, not her looks.
The problem begins when you are finally ready to move onto the next level and have no idea what you’re supposed to do. Relationships are not easy, they demand effort and a completely different set of skills in order for them to grow & evolve properly.
Dating and relationships is a crucial part of living that it’s gonna be tricky to teach on a large scale. This type of teaching curriculum should be updated alongside technology, the last thing we would want is to have an old Mr. Garrison trying to explain how dating should be done.
Number 4: TAXES & Bills
Benjamin Franklin used to say: in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
We might actually cure death before we find a way to work without taxation. Taxes & Bills are a necessary part of life and you’ll have to deal with it a lot more frequently than you will have to use geometry actually, so it would make sense that by the time you finish your education to have the slightest idea of what you’re doing.
How to budget, so that you can keep the lights on, what the hell are Deductibles and how you can use them to balance your life from a financial perspective, all very valuable skills that you have to sort out for yourself.
The bigger issue is, that the lack of understanding of how taxes work could result in serious problems if not managed properly.
Number 5: How to make friends and be more sociable
This is another thing we left to chance, just put a bunch of kids in the same room and they’ll figure it out. It sorta worked out ok, but what do you do once you get older? Have you noticed how hard it is to make new friends after you’ve finished school?
This is a serious issue, because one of the main requirements for being a successful individual is your ability to connect and network with other people, so much so that many believe that:
Your Net worth is directly correlated to your Network!
There are techniques and behaviors which are super valuable and we had to search them out for ourselves in order to figure them out. Once we did acquire those skills, suddenly it wasn’t that difficult to make better friends and connect with people we’ve never met before.
The best resource right now on the topic is a book called: How to win friends and influence people, which has been around for so long because the advice there is timeless. The audio version is fairly expensive at $32, but if you go to alux.com/freebook and sign up you can get it for free. You’re welcome!
Number 6: Debt, Interest and Mortgages
Unless you’ve been following this channel for a while or are financially educated, you probably have no idea about the differences between good debt and bad debt. Most people finish school with zero introductions to how debt, interest and mortgages work.
Why is it so important to learn about these things? Because at some point in your life you will want to buy a house for yourself, maybe a car or even save some money for rainy days or retirement. How do you even buy a home? What’s that process like? Most people have to ask around or figure out the process as they go along.
The problem with the current educational system – especially in the US – is that you are put into colossal debt without first being educated on how to manage it, it almost like they want you hooked on debt. Starting off your professional life with close to 100,000 dollars in debt and zero knowledge on how to manage and strategize the repayment is setting up the youth for failure. Most kids today are beginning their professional lives with a financial handicap.
Even after you repay it, you are crushed by the skyrocketing prices in cost of living and real-estate.
Unless you have more than a decent understanding of how banks work, how to use debt to your advantage and manage your mortgages, you are destined to live a stressed out life very similar to what is known as the Red Queen Race, where you need to run fast just to stay in place.
Number 7: How to learn for yourself
Learning how to learn, how much of a phenomenon of a skill that is.
If you only got this right out of school and didn’t feel the need to beat the system in order to get higher grades, your life would be so much easier, because this is the skill to rule them all.
The upside is enormous, once you are taught how to approach acquiring new skills and teachings for yourself the world is your oyster. You can learn, do, become whatever you want, because you know have a method.
School today is more focused on Grades, which are directly connected to your ability to regurgitate information, that to be honest is widely available and one google search away.
The problem we see, is that most people have no idea how to download useful knowledge into their minds and then leverage it in their personal lives. Learning anything requires a combination of resources, time, focus, and feedback loops which are meant to improve the quality of your learning outcome.
Number 8: How to find your passion & your values
The last thing you would want is the school to tell you what your values are and what you should be passionate about, but it would be really damn useful if they created a framework so that you could find that out for yourself.
Imagine instead of learning the names or every mountain and river in your country you would dedicate a year to introspection, where teachers would nurture almost a meditative state where every student would really think about what makes him happy and then play around with that in order to visualize pathways towards creating a life built on that passion.
We’re having such a large identity crisis because we never get to ask ourselves very basic questions like:
What do I want to feel like in my life?
What are some things I dislike in others? Do I share the same traits?
What are some things I like about myself? Should I nurture these traits?
Are these useful skills in life? What are my values? How do I want people to treat me?
Should I compromise?
These are very valuable questions which you will eventually need to answer if you want to have a purposeful and happy life.
Unfortunately the way school is structured right now, everybody is being put in the same box and most of what makes each individual special is wasted in order to achieve a more homogenous result.
Number 9: How to find the right job and prepare for an interview
So you’re done with school right? Now what?
Most of you probably ask your parents for recommendations or someone who’s a bit older for a game plan. Otherwise, you have no idea what you’re doing resulting in time wasted, resources consumed and the feeling that you will need to compromise at every step of the way just to get some experience to begin with.
Not only the process of finding a job should be taught in school, but you should have a basic understanding of how to rank different jobs, to find one where you could prosper and be efficient.
Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more people work in separate fields or industries than what they studied for. What a waste of time that was, right?!
The skill of finding the right fit for who you are is called PROSPECTING and is something you will probably use several times in your life, whenever you are faced with a choice. Situations like: picking a job, picking a city to live in, picking a life partner, all imply your ability to prospect and make a decision based on that data.
Once you figure out what job would be the right fit, you need to be able to prove to the company that you will add value to their organization.
Preparing for an interview is another one of those things that would be easy to teach, but is completely neglected. Thus resulting in people having no idea how to structure a real CV, what they’re supposed to research before the meeting, how to present themselves for the interview and how to negotiate their salaries and professional trajectory. Because we see a lack of professionalism in this regard, at some point in the future we will make a video with everything we’ve learned from our experience and from that of the companies we have had the pleasure to work with on what they look for in an employee and what a successful interview looks like. Hopefully it will help some of you guys.
Number 10: How to speak in public & sell an idea
Believe it or not, Public Speaking is the only thing people fear more than DEATH on average. What would it be like if in the 12 years you spent getting educated you would conquer this fear to the point where you are comfortable presenting yourself and entertaining a discussion on any topic.
Life is a big connect-the-dots game, where each dot is an uncomfortable conversation you will need to have and overcome. You will need to make quality friends, to gain the trust of partners or employers and you should be able to articulate why that would make sense for both parties.
Getting a job, that’s you selling the company on the idea that you are the right fit for their organization.
Getting married, that’s you selling your partner on the idea that you are the right fit for this journey.
For some reason SELLING has such a bad rep. when in reality is just properly articulating a possible series of events for the foreseeable future that people are willing to back with their own time, effort and sometimes money.
You will have to speak or at least type to others why they should care about you in general and we have a different approach to this than most people.
We have modeled our public interactions based on what we learned from TED Talks. We always found them fascinating and entertaining, so what if you could speak the same way a TED speaker does? Fortunately the founder of TED, actually put out a book on the issue called: TED Talks – The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking which is regarded by many – us included – as probably the best book on public speaking there is. We’ll link to it in the description, but if you do not want to pay the 21 dollars for the audio version, you can go to alux.com/freebook sign up and get it for free courtesy of our partnership with audible.
If you’ve been struggling with public speaking or just want to take it up a notch, signing up and getting the free audiobook is a no-brainer!
Number 11: A basic understanding of cooking, How to take care of yourself and home maintenance
By the end of your education, it would be really valuable if you were self-sufficient from all stand-points of your existence. That’s the least you would expect right?
You will spend a large portion of your life (around 1 and a half hours per day actually) eating, yet nutrition is not something you learn about. The introduction of basic cooking would allow students to work with food and get more personal with what they put in their bodies. Cooking is a basic human skill and as things are moving forward we’re not seeing many making use of it.
We mentioned cooking because that’s where being a healthy individual starts, with the fuel you put in your body.
Then the natural progression is how to nurture and develop yourself. It is important to learn how to take care of yourself because you might find yourself in the position to take care of others and that’s a dangerous slope to go on if you don’t know what you’re doing.
The difference between having basic knowledge on CPR, how to treat a wound, the importance of vaccination, how medicine works and how to apply it to both yourself and others is the difference between life and death. It saddens us when societies devolve based on ignorance and running fads.
Number 12: Digital and Personal Etiquette
We live in a digital world. More than half of your awake time is connected to a digital version of reality, you are in the digital space right now, consuming this article through your screen.
Your digital profiles are online 24 hours everyday accessible to almost anyone looking to find them.
How is your data used? What information do you allow to exist in your digital corner? How does it impact your online and offline reality?
Almost every person you interact with, at some point, will scan your digital profiles in order to get a better idea of who you are.
Having pictures with yourself taking shots to the face as your profile pic, using foul language in your posts, showcasing disrespectful behavior in your interactions with others will have repercussions. This is the reality we live in today.
Your online presence is the cover of the book that is you, and people are judging you based on it!
Most people don’t have a basic understanding of how they should behave anywhere, they’re just winging it. Good manners are something we associate with the 19th century English elitism and have long been forgotten.
Just take a moment and realize that asking for Nudes is a legitimate first interaction some people have with other human beings… yeah..
Speaking of nudes:
Number 13: Sexual Education & Parenting
We’re not talking about the banana and the rubber moment – which by the way only happens in very few schools around the world, most schools relying on students to figure it out for themselves from external sources, like family, friends or porn.
Some people are born with a different sexual orientation that you, and that’s ok.
Because teachers don’t want to have embarrassing conversations with students, conversations which they consider taboo in their own personal lives, the youths are left confused and need to fill the empty spaces on their own. If experience has taught us anything, is that:
People fear what they don’t understand!
Not only you will have sex at some point in your life, statistically you will bring children into this world.
PARENTING shouldn’t be something you have to put together based on a couple of articles you read on mommy blogs.
If a society really cares about its future, we want to raise children who will be able to raise even better children than we were able to, when the time comes. This incremental improvement in parenting will lead to better and better societies, to more progress and better understanding between the people you share this planet with.
Because of the lack of proper sexual education, we’re left with children having children of their own. At 16 you have no idea what you’re doing with your own life, so being the guiding light for a new one is definitely something you’re not prepared for.
Number 14: Human rights, How the government works and why it is important to vote
You know how we mentioned values at number 8? The manifestation of the core values on which a society prospers is found in the Human Rights. This is something fairly new, we humans came up with and it’s the best thing we were able to create so far.
Human rights are the backbone of any well functioning, free society. Upon these, we have build complex governing structures which are put in place in order to oversee that we are moving in the right direction. Or at least that’s what’s supposed to happen in theory.
Do a small experiment and ask any random person on the street how the government works and after whatever answer they give you, follow up by asking them to expand on it. Most people will find it really difficult to articulate what’s happening.
For too long we have allowed governments to behave they way they do, because we entrusted them with so much power that they eventually shielded themselves under a mist of bureaucracy and slogans. The lack of transparency most governments embrace leads to corruption and inefficiencies throughout the system.
Yet, governments aren’t that complicated if you take the time to look at how they function.
As most industries get disrupted by the rapid ascent of technology, governments the way they function now are probably short lived. Our money is on a more direct form of democracy, where the people have more and more control to a larger portion of the resources we used to entrust the government with. Hopefully, it will not be long until you can exercise your vote and voice on problems which directly affect you, from elections to the use of a portion of the public funds available in your neighborhood.
For some reason, people feel disconnected from the entire process and do not see voting for the super powerful tool that it is. It allows you to alter the course you wish your shared reality will take. Without exercising your Vote, you are not allowed to complain about how the things are going.
Number 15: Time management & discipline
We’ve never seen people waste time the way we’ve seen in universities and schools.
Give a student 3 weeks to finish a project and in the last 4 hours before the deadline the group-chat is blowing up with everybody trying to pitch in the least amount of work that would get them a passing grade.
This type of behavior is addicting, because those 4 hours get the job done. The result, that person will take this behavior with himself throughout life and will result in major inefficiencies through all aspects of his life.
We are professional procrastinators and most of it is due to a poor educational system.
You shouldn’t be disciplined by others, but instead be presented with the opportunity to discipline your own mind and actions and see the kind of positive effects it can have on your life.
You will eventually die, so might as well manage the time you have properly so you get to enjoy the ride instead of rushing through it one deadline at a time.
Discipline is probably the most valuable skill you can nurture in yourself if you wish to live a happy and successful life, that’s why a while back we really dug deep and made what is probably one of our best videos to date called: 15 Steps to master Self-Discipline which you can check out below:
That was a long one, wasn’t it Aluxers? We’re curious to know, What would you add to our list? What subjects do you think should be taught in school that aren’t right now? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll join the conversation!