What Schools don’t teach — Individuality

Preparing to be unprepared.

Manroop Kalsi
5 min readNov 27, 2020

Doctor. Lawyer. Teacher.

These were the three careers that were acceptable and they were the ONLY careers that I had ever aimed for.

Throughout my life, I always believed that there was only one path to take; get good grades in school => get into a good university => get a good job. A job that I would be bound by, having to exchange my time for money to be able to sustain a decent lifestyle.

Never once did I once stop to think that the paths are literally endless.

I had always given my life to school. I was one of those students that believed that getting good grades and being the best academically was everything that mattered in life

From grades one through five, I was in the French Immersion program, and since grade 6 I’ve been a student in the International Baccalaureate program.

I use to spend days and nights studying for school, doing my best to get good grades and be the best student possible. I would practice math for hours and study pages of formulas just so I could ace that test.

I spent hours memorizing things that I could just search up in a second in the real world.

The way that students are currently being taught is based on a teaching style from centuries ago. Rather than being taught how to think, students are taught what to think, hindering their creativity and individuality.

Don’t get me wrong, school does teach you an immense amount of knowledge that you need to get by in this world. I would never be the person that I am today if it weren’t for some of the lessons that I’ve learned through school.

But, the biggest thing that is missing in the education system is teaching students individuality.

Be the yellow duck 🐥

Most of the people choose to live their lives based on what they’ve seen around them, making them blend in with the rest of the crowd. But, if you truly want to stand out by living an unconventional path, the only way to do that is to take a unique path. The unconventional path.

What is the Unconventional Path?

Individuality stems from unconventionality.

Unconventionality is aiming for the extraordinary and doing things that haven’t been done before.

It’s taking the road less traveled, a different way than the rest of the crowd. Choosing to live by your own terms, rather than the terms set by society.

Unconventionality is questioning what’s generally done and innovating to make things better.

It’s trying to find your passion, which won’t come immediately, because passion is one of those things that take time to develop.

Unconventionality comes from having a big dream and following that dream in a way that no one before has done.

But, how do I do what hasn’t been done?

The fact is that no one can give you an answer on how to live your life. Only you can figure out what your unique path will be.

In today’s society, knowledge is considered to be one of the most accessible things. Therefore, the best way to become that yellow duck is through specialization.

It’s more important right now than ever to develop specific knowledge, which can only be obtained through experiences. Specific knowledge is what makes you unique, and irreplaceable, therefore it’s one of the most valued type of knowledge.

There are five aspects that will guide you on your path to successfully living unconventionally, and obtaining big goals.

Mindset. Character. Figure it Out Mentality. Network. Knowledge & Skills.

No one of these can be prioritized over the other, they all hold almost equal importance. Mastering these five aspects will open doors that you didn’t even know were there before doing so.

The journey to unconventionality isn’t easy, but it is the best way to prepare for the future, which can’t be prepared for.

The Future

With an abundance of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, and Quantum Computing currently on the rise, no one knows what the future is going to look like in 50 years, let alone 10 years.

No one knows what jobs are going to be needed, even more so, what society is going to need.

Will people need to spend time learning a language, will they be able to download languages as simply as we download files on computers right now? Will people ever need an iPhone again, or will there be chips inside your wrist, displaying screens and doing the same things that iPhones do?

At this point, society is developing faster than it ever has before, and this growth will not be plateauing any time near in the future.

“To keep up with the world of 2050, you will need to do more than merely invent new ideas and products, but above all, reinvent yourself again and again.”

~ Yuval Noah Harari

Therefore, the most important skill needed is the ability to adapt to change, more rapidly than ever before. Even when one reaches the age of 50, in order to stay relevant, one must maintain the ability and the openness to keep on learning.

Learn. Reinvent. Repeat.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are so many possibilities in the direction that your life can take, so don’t restrict yourself to the traditional paths
  • Be different, embrace the difference, take the unconventional path and use it to your advantage by allowing it to make you stand out.
  • No one knows what the future is going to look like, society will be constantly changing so prepare yourself to be unprepared and have to reinvent yourself.

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