Monday, August 30, 2010

Real Life Learning

Last week in this space, we introduced the story of a 14-year old boy attending a business seminar.

Today, that story continues to unfold with a note from Mom. A quiet, dignified woman, she has has been home-schooling her boy over the last several years and thought he would benefit from being by her side as she explored the idea of launching a new business venture.

Here is what she wrote:

Subject: Business Development Seminars
Dear Gair,

Thank you for the time you shared with us at the Business Development Seminar last week. Your seminar was one of the most motivating and realistic seminars I have ever been to. (the only other one equally motivating and realistic was Paula Morands) I left that day with some realistic visions and goals in mind. Within one week I have several leads and I am very excited about my venture.

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Tyson to learn what the real world is all about at his age. I am so proud of my son and I see him so motivated by this weeks sessions. I want to share with you that the episode with Eric at the beginning of the day was a real life lesson that Tyson needed to see. It could not have been more perfect had it been planned. For the past few years Tyson has been struggling with authority figures and does not like to be told what to do. Now I know your thinking about how respectful he was and mature, however in real life when things get tough for Tyson he tends to get mouthy. I have tried explaining to him for years that in the real world in order to hold a job or work with peers you will need to respect them and yes, do things at times you may not want to do. So when we left that day, on the way home, he says to me.."I don't want to be like that guy, he really had an attitude problem" It taught him so much about what happens in the real world when you do not respect people in any setting.

He was pretty overwhelmed by the end of the seminars but came out a better man and has really grown in the experience. He thought it was awesome that you wrote about him in your blog. I posted it to my facebook. He's an awesome son with many gifts beyond his years.

We need to finish up some of the sessions we missed next month in May, we may stop in for yours again :)

Sincerely, hoping that you have had a wonderful week and that your able to do something relaxing this weekend. You deserve it.

PS I used your facebook because the email address I had for you wasn't working, hope you do not mind

Today, Mom needs to know how awesome she is for introducing Tyson to the kind of experiences few of his peers will ever enjoy. Mom is pretty awesome herself, especially in the face of some of the criticism she has endured (typically behind her back) for daring to defy conventional wisdom by traveling the home-schooling route.

What this Mom needs to know, more than anything, is how forward thinking she is for wanting her boy to emerge as a "Linchpin".

More than just a catchy title for Seth Godin's new book, "Linchpin" serves as a personal manifesto for what you can expect in terms of your chosen career in the 21st century. In my opinion, "Linchpin" may be Seth's finest work to date and a large part of the book entails a deeper understanding of what Tyson's mom already knows.

In a recent interview with Lee Stranahan, Godin explains how the factory model of education called school - where kids like Tyson are lumped in batches called grades - is woefully inept in terms of preparing children to navigate these turbulent times.

Typically, upwards of 70% of the North American working population is doing work they would rather not do. Surrendering the better and best part of their day performing a role that in no way speaks to who they really are. And like the cogs in the machine they have been trained to become, the majority will refuse to look up from their desk long enough to pay attention to messages like the one Seth Godin is delivering in "Linchpin".

But, thanks to a mother who sees the future differently than most, 14-year old Tyson will, hopefully, fall out of that category. Thanks to Mom, he has a better opportunity than most to live out his hopes and dreams on his terms.

And discover his Personal Legend.

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream"

Originally posted April 19, 2010

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