To all our WEquil Families ... but especially the young people.
"Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens." - Jordan Peterson, minute 13:30 (Rule #7)
Everyone in WEquil.School should push themselves, at least once, to a point that makes them uncomfortable and they want to give up. It’s the only way you ever discover your limitations. The experience is extraordinarily powerful ... but only because every challenge our students take on is their challenge. They are motivated by a desire to discover their natural abilities and use them in service to others. That is why they "work" so hard.
Many well-meaning educators try to meet kids at their level ... giving them challenges consistent with their maturity and abilities. On the surface this sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Except that it fails to teach kids one of the most important lessons in life...how to choose their challenges, manage their time, and discover their own limits.
More than once ... a member of our community jumped in with such excitement and enthusiasm that they got burnt out and needed to step away. That’s #LifeSchool ... and it’s the stuff that makes champions. But only if it was their choice.
No educator can perfectly succeed at creating the perfect balance of challenge for a student...but suppose for a second that they could. Would you want a child to grow up in a false environment in which every experience they had was magically the perfect difficulty level? What would such an upbringing do to someone ... if every educational experience they had through the age of 18 or 22 never pushed them beyond their limits or left them feeling under-challenged?
Kids should be protected from taking on too much, if they have the wrong motivations. For example, kids desperately trying to earn their parents' or teachers' approval, get attention, get straight As, or pass a test that has no real application to the real world. These can be powerful motivators and can work for a while depending on where they are in life. But there is only one form of motivation that lends itself well to healthy discover of limitations.
Students at WEquil.School are encouraged to grow their natural talents and use them to help people. They discover and build on their unique strengths...create projects based on their own ideas and interests ... and use them to teach and help fellow classmates and the public. People naturally want to be useful and help others. As a result, our students cultivate a natural and very powerful motivation to leverage their talents toward service to others.
Service to others using our unique gifts is such a powerful motivator that our students often lose themselves in the iterative process of their creative projects. That is fundamentally why they work so hard...they are not working...they are discovering how powerful they can be and that can at time be scary and overwhelming. It's common for our students to get burnt out in the process. So long as it was their choice ... this is a great experience because it is the only way to discover their true limits!
Many coaches and parents and bosses can motivate people using carrots, sticks, appeals to ego, competition, money, power ... everything but their unique ability to provide service to others. As Aila's project on the "Regrets of the Dying" demonstrates that many people spend their whole lives doing things that other people told them to do...never discovering how to find answers from within.
The sooner kids push themselves beyond their limits for the right reasons and crash ... the sooner they can pick themselves up and discover the path of challenges capable of growing toward their unique potential. At WEquil.School we embrace this reality ... by giving our kids' freedom to choose their challenges ... and a safe place to fail, so they are free to grow confident, resilient and unafraid of everything they want to grow up to be.
To all our members ... remember one thing ...
Only one teacher can learn to find the right challenges capable of bringing you toward your unique potential ... and that is you. All your relationships can help. But, only you can know if your next project is building yourself in the direction you want to go. Only you can know if you are taking on too much. Only you can know if you need to stretch yourself or need some inspiration to explore new opportunities.
You are in charge of your life ... and that can be scary to accept sometimes ... but you are not alone.