stop waiting for permission

2011-12-16

One thing I've learned recently is that there's not a whole lot of situations where asking permission is necessary. In fact, if you're over the age of 18 (let's say), in most situations, asking for permission makes you look weak. If you're over 18 or 21 or even if you're not, you don't need someone to tell you can do things. I think one of the worst things we do to children is require them to ask to use the bathroom in school. Here we are, educating them, telling them to think creatively, and expanding their minds with knowledge, and then we make them ask permission to do something that's 100% expected and universal among all people. I think the message we send kids is "Learn, but only what we tell you, and only when you're here". I don't remember exactly when it was, but it was a huge moment for me when I realized you could learn stuff outside of school.

Want to be a doctor or a lawyer? Don't wait until college to start learning! Already graduated from college, or are still in college and want to learn about something? Do a search on Amazon for books related to the topic you're interested in and pick up a used copy cheap. If you're still in high school, or in your first few years of college, now is the perfect time to explore. Are you in school and there aren't classes offered in what you're interested in? Learn on your own! It'll be 10x better than any class you can take, because you will be the one guiding your learning. And ultimately you'll come to realize that after school and even while you were in it, the only person watching out for your best interests is you. This is part of becoming an adult.

I wasted a lot of my life, thinking: "Some day in middle school/high school/college/my first job I'm going to be taught cool stuff". I can tell you from experience, it isn't going to happen. Nobody can teach you anything, you have to learn. That's the important part of teaching; your learning, not someone else's teaching. This doesn't just applying to learning or school. You are in charge of your life. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start making good things happen for yourself. I assume you want to be successful. By this, I mean you want to do well in whatever way you measure success. What's stopping you from being successful now? Once you can answer that, you can start taking steps to overcome whatever's in your path. And the best part is, once you realize you don't need to ask anyone's permission, the only thing standing in your way is you making up your mind and doing it.