At this point, bashing the US education system has become too easy. High schools are still running off of a model of education that is over 100 years old–and students are often left asking ‘When will I ever use this knowledge in the real world?’. Expensive and often impractical college degrees often leave young people strapped with debt well into their 30’s, with no real job opportunities to speak of.
But while it’s easy to bash what isn’t working, it’s often harder to figure out what we should do about it. Our work at SPEAR is to equip men for greatness in life–which means we have to teach what is truly useful. After much reflection, here are our 5 most important skills that school should have taught us.
1. Financial Education
Like it or not, the world is run by money. Why is this not taught in schools?
Financial Education is not just about using a calculator to figure out interest rates. Real financial education must equip you to know what to do with your money, and how to multiply it. How much of it should you be saving? What are the best investment options to pursue? How can you tell a good financial opportunity from a bad one?
None of this is taught in school–but it should be. Is the expanding bubble of consumer debt tied to the fact that schools don’t educate people about how to handle money? You bet.
2. Empathy and Social Intelligence
As is illuminated in this great article in Fortune, empathy is a crucial skill that is in higher demand than ever. With technology advancing so quickly, many jobs that once were done by human workers can now be handled by machines. However, some jobs simply can’t be automated–and almost all of them require social intelligence and empathy. Ironically, while demand for people with a high EQ(Emotional Intelligence) and Empathy scores grows, actual supply is shrinking.
Could this be because of the vast amount of time(now 15 hours per day average) Americans spend staring at electronic gadgets and not interacting with real people? You bet.
3. Meditation and Mindfulness
Stress and Anxiety are on the rise, especially among young people. With higher professional and personal expectations on them and a relentless media culture exhorting them to act a certain way, the notion of a carefree generation of young people is a myth.
By now, many scientific studies have proven the benefits of meditation, we feel that this training is essential to success in the modern world. Those who can use these techniques to achieve peace and develop a laserlike focus will be more effective and more fulfilled throughout life.
4. High-Performance Nutrition
According to a National Institute of Health Study, 74% of men in America are overweight. We need to radically change our relationship to food. Food should be seen as fuel, and not as an indulgence in and of itself; our culture’s obsession with supersizing is contributing to the problem.
We need to optimize human performance through nutrition–and to teach this knowledge in a practical manner that is easy to understand. This includes understanding how to use macronutrient rich superfoods to boost performance, how to avoid the dangers of high sugar foods and learning when to eat for optimal performance. Yet again, this is not generally taught to us in ordinary education.
5. The Science of Entrepreneurship
In this world, more people than ever before are becoming entrepreneurs. In a recent study, 67% of millennials reported that starting their own business was part of their career goals.
In fact, its never been easier to be an entrepreneur, as a host of services and technologies have cut down startup costs and allowed almost anyone with an idea and some passion to get into the game.
But how can you tell a profitable idea from a bad one? How can you test the market effectively to know if you need to pivot? How do you hire and train the right people to help actualize your ideas? When in your sequence should you go out and try to raise money or bootstrap it yourself?
There is a science to entrepreneurship–a science not taught in ordinary schools. This science is about taking the right steps in the right order to save yourself pain, time, and unnecessary costs.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 5 skills that school should have taught us and hope that you will apply this information to your own life and then to others. All of these skills are taught within SPEAR, the 21st-century elite training for men, and will be added to the MAVEN program for women launching in 2017.
Interested in beginning your training? Start your 30 days of SPEAR for FREE.