The Entry: Stop Learning, Start Failing
We are a test-driven society. We assess our lives based on how well we do on paper; an entire nation of paper pushers and professional test-takers. Empty vessels with PhDs. We collect certificates and degrees and hang them on our walls with glee, a symbol of our success for everyone to see. If qualifications were money, we’d all be rich. We put so much weight into formal education that we forget the lessons we are supposed to grasp during the process of acquiring those qualifications. We are so engulfed with passing that we forget how necessary it is to fail.
We have become so accustomed to the pressures of paper that we forget that it is our intangibles that set us apart. A smile is a better employment creator than 5 O’ levels. A strong character will get you that promotion, not an Honour’s Degree in psychology. Why are we so clever, and yet so stupid? We seem to have all the answers, but we’re taking the wrong exam. Our society is preparing us for a world that doesn’t exist.
We need to fail. We need to scrape our knees. We need to experiment with the boundaries of our comfort zones, find them, and jump off without a parachute. Knowledge IS power. But power without the right support structure is worse than ignorance. It is blind. It is crippled.
So I say, yes, learn. Feed your brain. Give it the constant nourishment it requires to unlock your potential. But understand that this is not enough. Strive to fail. Strive to be uncomfortable. Strive to be more than symbols on a piece of paper.