The Uncommon Life

Uncommon sense for an unconventional life

Navigation Menu

The future of the “educated” person – From “their” brand to yours

The future of the “educated” person – From “their” brand to yours

Posted by in ALL posts, Education, Entrepreneurship | 14 comments

Common: Assuming that a college degree offers the best and only path to a guaranteed job, more income, and a secure future.

Uncommon: The perception of an “educated” person will likely be very different in the future. For the past few centuries we have placed our faith in schools and universities to provide us with skills and information that will improve our lives. High schools and colleges used to offer graduates coveted badges of personal aptitude.

This model has worked for a long time. But times are changing.

As more and more people (employers and graduates) recognize that many degrees lack relevancy, they begin to question what a degree actually represents.

For this reason, the discussion surrounding conventional education is changing and intensifying. This is a good thing because as the price to value of education continues to diverge, people need to think seriously about their goals and how to best position themselves for a promising future. Conventional education may be one path, but it’s certainly not the only one.

Read More

10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 3)

10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 3)

Posted by in ALL posts, Education, Productivity | 2 comments

Common: Doing everything or nothing under the label of “student” – often leading to either burnout or dropout.

Uncommon: As I mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2, “This week marks an important milestone in my life. I am no longer a full time student of conventional education.”

In this final post of the 3 part series, I explore the last 3 uncommon tips I learned while marching through my conventional college education.

8. Do not waste downtime – and there is a lot of it.

 

Only on a few rare occasions did I do school work on weekends (and this was usually because of business commitments during the week).  If time is used wisely, schoolwork need not dominate all areas of your life.

Read More

10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 2)

10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 2)

Posted by in ALL posts, Education, Lifestyle Design | 3 comments

Common: Doing everything or nothing under the label of “student” – often leading to either burnout or dropout.

Uncommon: As I mentioned in Part 1, “This week marks an important milestone in my life. I am no longer a full time student of conventional education.”  Since the last post, final grades were announced, and it looks as though I will graduate magna cum laude.

This comes as quite a pleasant surprise considering the demands of my “extracurricular” commitments. Of course there are always students that make me look like an underachiever, but my approach and my goals differed from many students and valedictorians.

I never set out to get perfect grades. In fact, I clearly intended to place business and personal preferences as a priority. This was rather unusual in undergraduate school. My competitiveness kept me striving for good grades, but my lack of time kept me focused on effectiveness. Unexpectedly, this illogical amalgamation served me well.

Truthfully, I don’t believe I could have earned the grades I did following conventional college advice. In fact, I believe that doing less, studying less (see tips 1, 2, and 3 in Part 1) and applying these 10 tips, contributed most to the outcome (it certainly wasn’t a natural gift for academics). And perhaps even more satisfying is knowing that these lessons can be applied in the professional world very well.

Read More

10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 1)

10 uncommon lessons I learned in college (Part 1)

Posted by in Education, Lifestyle Design, Productivity, Uncategorized | 4 comments

Common: Doing everything or nothing under the label of “student” – often leading to either burnout or dropout.

Uncommon: This week marks an important milestone in my life. I am no longer a full time student of conventional education. Elation abounds. It’s back to business full time.

Anyone who knows me or reads my blog will know that I often wrestle with the concept and quality (return on time and money) of conventional education. Looking back, however, I did learn some key things – it just so happened that the majority of my most valuable “education” took place outside of the traditional curriculum.

Despite having a full class load (and sometimes more), I spent the majority of my time managing my businesses and engaging in extracurricular activities. This heavy load was a blessing in disguise. While overwhelming at times, it forced me to reexamine and scrutinize my approach to school – seeking maximum efficiency for time invested.

Read More

Why earning can be more important than learning (Part 2)

Why earning can be more important than learning (Part 2)

Posted by in ALL posts, Education, Practical Philosophy, Productivity | 8 comments

Common: Spending time, money, and energy on education without converting it to sustainable value. Note: this is the 2nd part of this series. View part 1.

Uncommon: Learning is important. Very important. I would never deny that. However, as I explained in part 1, learning can quickly and easily become a self-indulgent addiction in the information age that deters us from the action required for any level of success. As I have more subtly pointed out before:

Too often we confuse engagement with productivity.

Yes, there are a lot of smart, wealthy individuals in this world – we hear of these stories most often. But the side of the story seldom discussed is the fact that there are even more poor and struggling geniuses in this world.

Read More