A very intriguging look at higher education costs vs. the quality of education, courtesy of TheBestColleges.org.
A very intriguging look at higher education costs vs. the quality of education, courtesy of TheBestColleges.org.
I've been married for almost twenty-two years, fourteen of that as a parent. I am in the camp that can't believe that much time has gone by. It really feels like yesterday for all of the roles-husband and father.
Maybe like you, you have a child that participates in an activity or two. My two, are into dance and basketball. It's in those environments that I observe much. What has struck me in this new year is the impact of parenting. Specifically, when it fails and damages the child. No psych analysis here, just observations that are vivid if you look close enough.
Many children are trying to thrive in the midst of chaos and pain.
We here in America place a lot of pressure on children. From education to athletics, we want them to succeed. Even though most adults have a difficult time defining what true success is. Just the same, we put a lot of pressure on them.
Now add a broken family to the insanity.
For the life of me, I have no idea how we will survive this. I pray often on this. Most cultures don't survive what we've laid at our children's feet. A thirteen or 16 year-old is supposed to be able to handle divorce, grades, hormones, and the list goes on? And as you know, many of these children are alone in the management of the list.
Here's what I'm doing with my children:
By the way, the above list used to be very alien to me. It took serious change in my life to move me forward. I am thankful.
A post I wrote last year. Very important in our current climate today.
To say we live in an age of rapid change would be an understatement, so I'm calling all 21st century pioneers to step-in. For obvious reasons.
All of us have experienced some level of fundamental change in the last 10 years. That change may have left you hurt, vulnerable or invigorated...depending on your outlook and circumstances. I know many people who are waiting for things to "get better" or "return to normal." The rapid pace of life and the aforementioned change has left them looking back to a day that seemed better. They long for some place in the past that may have only been great in their heads. Regardless, it seemed to be better than the world that currently faces. I understand this and have had moments when I have longed as well.
So after some time of being at war with yourself and the world, perspective comes knocking. Do you answer?
I am convinced that we are living in the age of the pioneer. A time not unlike the 19th century America. A time where much was wild, unknown and adventurous. I'm sure many in those days were filled with mixed emotions and thoughts. There had to be the nay-sayers, critics and saboteurs. There certainly were men and women of courage.
The following are the reasons why we need pioneers-in work and life:
Calling All 21st Century Pioneers.
Very pleased to bring you our second installment of the 5 Questions series. Today's post features Daniel Wong the author of The Happy Student; 5 Steps to Academic Fulfillment and Success. You'll be intrigued by his insights on students and the issues around happiness.
What percentage of students in high school and college are happy?
As an education excellence coach and speaker, I've had the privilege of speaking to and working with thousands of students. A majority of students tell me that they're simply not happy! I estimate that only 5% of students say they're happy.
Just to be clear, when I say "happiness" I'm not just referring to a temporary emotion. I'm referring to something you experience at a much deeper level even when you don't feel very cheerful. I'm talking about long-lasting fulfillment.
I believe the main reason students are unhappy is that they feel "forced" into education. They feel like they have to do their homework, have to participate in extracurricular activities, have to study for exams. Teachers and parents don't commonly encourage students to take full responsibility for their education, so students don't feel like they have a choice.
But if you want to be a great student— or great at anything, really— you need to make a conscious choice. No one can force you into becoming great! Even the most well-meaning teacher or parent can't force a student to become a great one. We need to empower students to commit to their own success, instead of trying to nag or coerce them into becoming successful.
Based on your experiences what makes most students unhappy?
Students become unhappy by trying to run the race that other people want them to run, instead of deciding to run their own race. It's easy to give in to peer pressure and to "go with the flow," but if you do that, you're trying to find happiness on other people's terms. Placing your happiness in the hands of others definitely isn't the way to become a happy student.
Students need to define success for themselves, rather than just accept society's definition of success.
What connection should be made between the state of happiness, or unhappiness, in students and career aspirations?
When students don't ask themselves what's truly important to them, they end up pursuing the things that other people tell them is important. This is true when it comes to what classes they choose to take, and even what career they choose to pursue.
I've spoken to many students who are pursuing a particular course of study just because other people think it's a good idea. That's a recipe for unhappiness in the long-term!
People who haven't learned how to find enduring happiness as a student will potentially become unhappy workers, and even unhappy parents. The problem of unhappy students is one that we cannot ignore.
Happy students are much more likely to discover their passion and their calling, which will lead to more happiness and success in their careers and beyond.
Is happiness a choice?
Yes, happiness is a choice, much more than it is a feeling. Besides, when we think of the people we admire and respect the most, we'll probably realize that they are people who have done many things to make themselves unhappy in the short term. But in the long term, they became people of courage, commitment, conviction and character. These are the things that contribute to your happiness in the long run.
So happiness really is a matter of making day-to-day decisions that will result in you becoming a bigger person who will be able to add more value to other people's lives. At the heart of it, happiness isn't just a personal thing.
Where in the world are students most happy?
That's not an easy question to answer, because even though I've had the opportunity to travel to many different countries, I haven't been to every country in the world.
But I have observed that the happiest students are the ones who are given plenty of freedom to explore and discover. I think it's a sad fact that the longer students are in school, the less curious they become! Students who are encouraged to develop a spirit of curiosity— rather than a spirit of competition— are the ones who end up the happiest and also the most successful.
We live in the Information Age where there's so much knowledge available online. Education shouldn't be about forcing students to memorize facts and equations— you could easily find that information on Google or Wikipedia. Education should be about teaching students to care— to care about what they're learning and doing, and to care about the world around them.
The happiest students are the ones who have learned to care.
Adult bullying is not a place I've gone to very often-directly anyway. I usually leave that to Asher Adelman over at eBoss Watch. He's good at looking at bullying in the work place. However, this story from a couple of days ago got me thinking. As tragic as that story was and is, you can't help but think about the things children are doing these days.
My conclusion on the subject of bullying is; adult bullying creates child bullying.
Modeling over a consistent period of time is what I'm pointing to. The influence that comes from our modeling is a guide book for our children. Our children learn and take their cues from our modeling. Since childhood is a significant period of development we are not surprised by this reality. No prescription for perfection here, but if we adults want to seriously impact bullying in our children, then we need to stop bullying too. We adults do the same shit as our children and we know better.
Scary when you think about what our modeling has done to our children.
Time to turn around...
I've been thinking a lot about our children lately, specifically my own. I've spent much time wondering what the world will look like when they're (Lord willing) adults and how I can help prepare them.
The following are some thoughts:
The need for solving problems seems so obvious in our current environment. But I'm amazed how far away that concept is for many. Whether it's the job hunter or the board member of a non-profit, it seems like the idea of solving problems is rather foreign. Now, I know we talk a lot about solving problems, but I'm referring to the talking and the doing. I know this is hard to do in my country. We've gotten a little soft on real problem solving. Many are still operating as if we were still in the industrial age.
There needs to be a changing of the lens we use. So put on a different pair of glasses and build the habit of being a problem solver. You'll be glad you did, and so will the people and organizations waiting for your solutions.
Some would say that meaningful work stands in direct opposition to the structure of many organizations-specifically large organizations. I would say it can create havoc. And that might be a good thing.
I know you might be thinking havoc brings destruction and loss. Correct. But the main point is found in how humans are wired versus the often insane motivations of the organization or business model. It seems to me we're seeing the unraveling that is inevitable when the goals of the company run counter to basic human wiring.
We're talking the desire for meaning and meaningful work. Not dreaming with no action, but the core of who we are.
I've talked to many a pragmatists who've told me to be realistic and not get lost in all of the soft stuff. Most of the time these folks are just not willing to see what is very difficult to face. In other words, the train wreck we're grappling with in so many parts of the world. The damage is so evident and many are not quite sure what to do.
I saw this coming over ten years ago, some of you even further back. Now we have a hunger to get life right. In many ways, we want a place where well-being is balanced and intact. Though we're struggling with the aftermath of years of neglect-individually and corporately. It's as if we got drunk on profit, competition and the desire to succeed. And in-turn, we wounded (sometimes mortally) the very group that makes all of the right form of the latter possible.
Do you know the signs of a changed world? Apply this to your personal sphere and the larger world too. Are there certain events or thoughts that trigger this for you? Maybe it was conversation with a friend or a book from a visionary. Each of us should remember the where, when and how. But what if you've got the notice, but decided to ignore it?
Now we're talking about being weighed in the scales of life.
Our lives will be measured by what we are willing to see and what we're willing to act on. My experience tells me this is not a favorite place for many to be. Ironic, since it's where the better life, the better future and the better work is found.
Very easy these days to want success, fame and fortune. I mean who wouldn't want that? When the economy is not performing like we want or we're knocking on the door of landing a prized client, it kind of justifies our pursuit. An understandable discontent to be sure.
But it's an illusion. Think of it like a golden carrot that's always one step out of our reach. And just like a drug, we keep coming back for more. We always find an excuse for what we know deep down is true.
In my experience what we aspire to should be Real and within our reach. That implies that we can aspire to the wrong things. And the wrong things create a question of trustworthiness.
Can you be trusted with the vision given to you? Can you be trusted with the aspiration that comes along with?
The following are some tough questions to ask as you consider: