News broke a few weeks ago about a college admissions scam regarding two high profile actresses and some very prominent universities including Yale and USC. Like many people, I was both shocked and angry. Why would people with millions of dollars need to pay to get their kids into college? They can afford the best schools and the best tutors.
The story revealed just what a bias we have towards name-value when it comes to education and some parents will do whatever it takes to get them into prestigious universities and colleges.
Having spent the 20 plus years here in Japan, I can say that education here is important, very important. Education is the key for children to have a better life. Families are willing to spend large sums of money to help their children get into the best schools and universities by investing in their education because they believe it will pay for itself many times over.
Back before the internet, I admit there was a large gap between the haves and the have-nots with regard to education. A quality education was expensive. Today though, thanks to smartphones, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn, it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, we can get a world-class education for less than you might imagine regardless of where we live.
The information is out there. The technology is available. The books are out there. Videos, podcasts, audio training, and best of all, much of it costs less than $100. Personally, I started out with books, many of which were secondhand. The pages may have been warped, but the information was like gold. Cost, $5-20 each.
Then I moved on to audio training which ranged from $30-60. While books were eye-opening, CD programs by Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar took things to the next level. It allowed me to turn my car into “a mobile classroom” as the late great American business philosopher speaker Jim Rohn would say.
To think that today parents shell out thousands of dollars a year to schools for textbooks alone is madness when you can learn from such legends for the price of lunch. The sad part is, many people I talk to either have never heard of those people or worse, think personal development material is a waste of time.
Kids spend years in school learning, but the big question is learning what. As a productivity consultant, time is all I think about. I want to squeeze every last drop out of it which is why I want my son to invest his time into the right things.
When I talk to my friends’ kids about what they are learning in junior high and high school, I just scratch my head. They are learning pretty much the same stuff I did. But the industrial world I grew up in has become the digital age which is why I believe kids should divide their time into five key areas if they want to succeed in the 21st century.
- The basics (language, math)
- Specialization (science, music, health)
- Time management
- Personal development
School does well with the first area. The rest is up to us. As for specialization, the more niche the better as you are less easily replaced. With AI on the horizon, I shudder to think how many people without specialized skills in so many industries are going to struggle in the years to come.
Time management is obvious, it affects every area of our lives whether we’re a doctor, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a teacher or a student. We can all benefit from techniques and strategies that make us use our time more effectively in whatever we choose to do.
Personal development for me was like the missing piece of the puzzle. It helped make me understand how to utilize my unique gifts and how to achieve success in life.
For those interested, I’ve included a list of the best personal development programs I’ve come across. They might not be easy to track down, but wow do these pack a punch.
- Triggers by Joseph Sugarman
- The Classics by Jim Rohn
- How to Stay Motivated by Zig Ziglar
- Get the Edge by Tony Robbins
- College of Millionaires by Gary Halbert
- Teleseminar Secrets by Alex Mandossian
- The Weekend Seminar by Jim Rohn
- Insane Productivity by Derren Hardy
- Consulting Transcripts by Jay Abraham
- Magnetic Marketing by Dan Kennedy
Lastly, like it or not, we live in a digital world and the job opportunities will only increase in the years to come with things such as VR and AI in their infancy.
As a parent, I believe it’s my responsibility to prepare my son for the world and the good news is three of the five areas I’ve mentioned are within the reach of nearly everyone.
Some of the parents involved in the college admissions scam paid a small fortune to get their kids into those schools, but today, a great education can be had for much less.
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