I was interviewed on the Today Show to chat about helping kids break the procrastination habit and why they’re now struggling to become self-starters.
And the reason is because of the constant deadlines and rigid bell systems in school that kids have to deal with.
These alarm bells tell us when to start, when to finish, when to go to break, when to eat, when to play, when to stop playing... it’s always been like that.
And when we finally finish school, we look for those alarm bells, but we just don't have them.
Conditioning Us For Factory Work
Schools around the world have teachers telling us what to do and when to do it, but that’s really conditioning our kids for a world that no longer exists.
It's a world that conditioned us for factory work. There's a lot of factory working out there, and we didn't have to get primed for a specific type of occupation if we weren't academically proficient.
So, as a result of the factories shutting down, I think the education system has to evolve to the way like our company is working now, which is more about doing what you love as opposed to giving things a hundred percent and following the factory chain to make sure that the factory continues to work.
Perfection Is For Primary School
As my business partner always says, perfection is for primary school. In school, you're basically told to get 100 out of 100. And you're taught that if you replicate and get 100 out of 100, you'll get a good school, you'll get fantastic grades, and the world will be your oyster!
But when you leave school, it's not like that. You don't get 100 out of a 100.
In life, you get started, you make things happen, you have a go at things, and no one's coming up to you at the end of the day saying, "Alright, pretty good job cooking today. I'm going to give you 7 out of 10."
Focusing on getting 100 out of 100 in life actually makes us quite afraid. We actually start to get scared of the potential of not getting 100 out of 100.
And procrastination is the byproduct of fear. When we're afraid of failure, we often freeze our system up to protect ourselves. Therefore, we don't progress any further.
Time For Radical Change
There was a lady who won Teacher of the Year and the Global Teacher Prize. Her name is Nancy Atwell, and she's been teaching for over four decades.
Her entire system is about harnessing what people love - getting them to pick their own topics and do their own research.
She’s actually done away with traditional class exams and tests. She just got rid of them altogether and basically said, "Hey, go and pick the topics you love, study them, and let's embrace you."
As a result, her students are outperforming all over the place. There's plenty of research out there that's showing that her students are outperforming year on year out, and that's why she was awarded the Global Teacher Prize and a cool $1M prize cheque that comes with it.
So I think to break the procrastination habit, start to harness what kids naturally enjoy doing, and allow them to do more research around that.
I believe we over test our children. And as a result of that, we are conditioning them to think that life is a test as opposed to a game that we should enjoy.
By harnessing what people love, you are breaking procrastination because they're naturally inspired to do something.
They don't procrastinate, and they actually put more time and energy into it.
So as parents, we really need to get to know our kids and get to know what they love.
Find out what they're inspired to do and give them books, education and knowledge around those topics, instead of telling them the topics they should be learning.
Find out the topics they want to learn and give them free reins. They can go out there and become geniuses in what they do.
Now you might be wondering, as David Campbell was during the interview, what about the kids out there who aren’t good at applying themselves and are not ‘creative’ enough to be a self-starter?
I think what we've found, and a lot of psychology backs this up, is that when you allow someone to do what they love, they naturally release different levels of attention.
And as our attention escalates to the highest level of importance, we get better functionality of our body.
As an example, they do this on mining sites. They get people to think about what's important so they’ll have less injury.
So when you give children the opportunity to focus on what's important, on what they really love, they put more attention on it and actually have a higher level of ability to put their heart and soul into things.
And if you’re able to create an educational system that allows your kiddos to learn only that, you would've allowed them to become their own self-starter.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the video interview and this blog post, “Helping Kids Break The Procrastination Habit”. You can find out more effective methods on how to stop procrastinating easily here.
And if you’d like to help your kids and yourself find your true values, what you truly love and your life’s purpose, download our free Shadow Values audio program here.
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