As toddlers, life was pretty easy (for most of us). We cried when we wanted something, pooped our pants, and napped all day. When we got old enough to walk and talk, a large majority of us were phased in the public educational system. We were indoctrinated into pre-kindergarten, which was basically daycare; a year after, kindergarten; then onto 1st grade and beyond until you are to graduate with your cap and gown upon the completion of your 12th year; unless, of course, you flunk a grade level and are required to repeat the previous year before progressing.

The Breakdown

Each year you progress throughout grade levels, the more critical your evaluations become (or, report cards, as they're called.)

Recess and naptime is abandoned, offering restless children an uncomfortable environment to fully learn. It has been proven that napping after studying can help to absorb material better, yet we overlook that, trying to cram in several subject matters throughout the course of a day.

The public school system was developed to raise children to be fit for work in a factory environment; basically robots, producing products with no concious thought. It went for months throughout the year, excluding summer, in which case kids were to assist their family in tending to the farm.

Today, we still abide by the same obsolete model for teaching our youth. Some institutions are taking a more progressive approach toward education, but they are few and far between. It goes without saying that education differentiates among each continent, Asian countries ranking top in placing a heavy emphasis on education.

The Problem

The criteria you are required to absorb and burn into your brain is monitored by the board of education, with little to no regard of the usefulness of such content. Your ability to memorize and regurgitate the content is evaluated by a standardized test (with the occasional free-response or critical-thinking question.) While it is imperative to learn of the current state of the world and what got us here (history repeats itself), we mustn't place so much emphasis on irrelevant topics. History books are written and revised, important content discarded and misrepresented, encouraging ignorance among all.

"I have never let schooling interfere with my education." -Mark Twain

Since this is a one-size-fits-all approach, obviously some children will lose interest. Everyone learns differently, be it through auditory, visual, physical, or whatever, these individual preferences are not accounted for. So you have a small percentage of kids who actually learn and absorb the data, while a disproportionate amount are left clueless and confused. The latter half is labeled "dumb", and since they cannot learn anything, they are informed they have a learning disorder, such as ADD, and are therefore prescribed drugs to tame them. This, is turn, creates a vicious cycle that could lead to a downward spiral of addiction or more severe health complications.

In order to become fully engaged in learning, one must use all senses available. Some may get excited and want to jump up and down; this is unacceptable in most classroom environments as you are bound to the confines of your desk. If you get too rowdy, you are rewarded an infraction for your evaluation report.

Teachers Don't Get Paid Enough

The ones with arguably one of the most important jobs on the planet receive a lousy paycheck for the effort required. Raising the future generation, their salary is minute compared to what it should be. Professional athletes get paid millions to throw a ball around, whereas the amount teachers receieve is embarassing.

We've all had our fair share of good and bad teachers; those that made you absolutely despise a subject due to their instruction or lack of enthusiasm, and those that were passionate about their profession and worked overtime to provide us with valuable information, leaving us craving more. Our instructors have a large emphasis on our future, so ensuring that these individuals are payed appropriately ensures they have an incentive to thrive.

Knowledge Is Power

There is a fine line marking the difference between knowledge and education. Being educated simply means being aware of facts, while knowledge applies to using these facts to produce an accurate result. Take for instance a college student and someone who went to a trade school. While the college students were busy learning the facts, the trade students were applying practical, real-world information to produce results. When it comes time to graduate, the college students will have a nifty degree and accreditation, whereas trade students will not only posess the same, but also hands-on skills. Neither is better than the other; only the relevance to your goals is the difference.

Student of Life

A lot of people have never picked up a book since they last graduated. Forced to scan textbooks cover to cover, learning what they are told, it's no wonder why. Such environments breed disgust for a book, and reading for leisure is never considered an option. Once you get your degree, what's the point, right?

Wrong. Look at everyone who was ever worth a damn, who've done something worthwhile, and then look at their library. The "secret" to success is no secret at all- smart people know that knowledge is key, so they are continually reading and learning new material.

We challenge you to take another viewpoint toward life: always be a student. Never stop learning and feeding your mind. Focus on text that is relevant to your job or career path, information that will help you reach your goals, and don't forget to get lost in the occasional fictional book.

We all have something to learn from one another. Get out there, challenge your beliefs, and always question everything. For an expanding list of self-empowering literature, check out this post.

"Why have so many schools reduced the time and emphasis they place on art, music, and physical education? The answer is beyond simple: those areas aren’t measured on the all-important tests. You know where those areas are measured… in life! Art, music, and a healthy lifestyle help us develop a richer, deeper, and more balanced perspective. Never before have we needed more of an emphasis on the development of creativity, but schools have gone the exact opposite direction in an effort to make the best test-taking automatons possible. Our economy no longer rewards people for blindly following rules and becoming a cog in the machine. We need risk-takers, outside-the-box thinkers, and entrepreneurs; our school systems do the next generation a great disservice by discouraging these very skills and attitudes. Instead of helping and encouraging them to find and develop their unique strengths, they're told to shut up, put the cell phones away, memorize these facts and fill in the bubbles." -Dave Burgess

Why We Need To Rid Ourselves Of TV

From passive to active, we need to be making conscious choices for the information we absorb. TV is only one medium that many suffer the consequences of, followed by lethargic positions to view upon it. To take these next steps we look at why we must remove it from our lives.

It's Misguiding - Untargeted for Your Purpose

Media fulfilling the agenda of others is one way to disintegrate from yourself. By mindless exposure to what's generated from the screen, you're passive and lose track of your own determinations. You follow the action, taking none for yourself.

Advertisements Infect Your Worldview

With every ad placement you're imparting key facts, figures, pictures, and feelings into your mind's reservoir. These ideas spread into our everyday lives, adding onto the words of others in our play, and changing our root view of the world.

Where we may be ignorant, we replace it with new information made for the wrong reasons.  If we are to remain conscious, we must hand pick the qualities we favor, and not permit the ill-intent of ads pushing us to their product line smother us. Watching expands their focus, and not the one we need most.

Your Attention to Life Withers

You become lost in another world of falseness and unclarity, distracting you from the moment at hand. Even left as a background noise, it chips away at your focus and permeates the subconscious; or worse, you continue watching and cease to exist at all. Nothing could be more important than your life, rather than what's up on TV.

Degrades The Environment

All the parts and gizmos that make up a TV create so much waste for the environment; not to mention for our minds, too. Everything that can't be reused ends up sitting in abandoned warehouses for future generations, or takes the damage out on workers to break it down for what is usable. It's not helping anyone from any vantage point, now, or later.

Depletes Your Time And Money

Not only are you losing your most valuable asset-time-but money, too!  It's lose-lose. With nothing to gain, why bother? One could use their time in so many other ways, even living the kind of life you might encounter on TV itself.

Most of the time spent is on ads, scrolling bars, or even looking for something to watch. How much time do you spend flipping through channels just to find something? You're not hiding or distracting yourself from the TV, but your passiveness. Fix it by getting off and out into the world. Further indulgence adds to the problem, and coming out of watching TV hurts us more than before. Time for it to go.


What Does It Mean To Be More Conscious?

To be more conscious requires of us to persist towards it every single day. We can't leave the pursuit behind for anything, and must integrate it into our lense of the world. Unless every action we commit to has been purposefully chosen, we detour into unconsciousness.

The Duality of Consciousness and Unconsciousness

We are either being concious, or drifting into unconciousness. If we are to be able to remain in one over the other for an extended period, we must understand what they each yield to us.

What It Means To Be Unconscious

Your Avoidance Spirals Into Ignorance

You choose to be ignorant. Everyone is given access to the expanse of the world, yet many fail to see it for what it can be. You just stop caring, and that's the epitome of self-neglect.

Staying comfortable in not knowing the answers, just because you may not like them, is never the right path to take. The world will soon move on without you, as you wither away in apathy. You then are fighting for a lost cause, wasting what time you do have to make an impact.

Too Comfortable

Staying on the easy path is a dead end. No one remembers the one who sticks to their ways, staying behind as others chart the next course.

Doing the same things because you're good at them is stagnating. Nothing changes. Your mind becomes crippled in a false mirage of the world, getting dimmer and dimmer until burning out. The day is on repeat, and you no longer live, but go through the motions. Eventually you're not moving anymore, and decay into a pile of dust.

Seeking quick pleasures

In absence of the spark of life, you seek to claim it under different circumstances of quick-fix gimmicks and tricks. Your body depreciates with a lack of true nutrients and taste of the world's riches.

These short term pleasures become distracting from the way of the world. You end up disembodied from your environment and losing your presence.  All actions are returned with no value, and you're drained of vitality.

Now after taking a look at being unconscious, we may begin pushing the boundaries to the other side.

What It Means To Be Conscious

You're Alive and Questioning

You're hungry for knowledge. The desire to know more keeps you up at night, and gives you the urge to wake up early. The stars shine crystal clear, birds chirp with a crisp, and you feel the scurry of the life teeming underneath your feet.

Everything opens to you, giving more possibility and vibrancy to every choice you make. To get here, simply learn one more thing that you didn't the last. You'd be surprised how quickly it adds up. Not only does it compound the further in you go, once indepth, you'll see how inspiring it becomes to share your discoveries with others. We become a transmitter of the knowledge we learn, creating real change around us.

You Live With Discontentment

It's not only okay to be discontent, but to be discontented means you've tried to reach out for something. Always extending yourself to the next endeavour whatever it may be, is the process of growth. Planting your seed is the first step, but to continually water it is the grind of our days.

Placing ourselves into new situations is the hallmark for adversity and change. Only when you remove your walls and open yourself to different potentials may you find true improvement.

You Make Life Happen, Rather Than Reacting

Life becomes an art of collaboration, integration and creative manipulation. With the fabric of space at your finger tips, all is available for your intent. Not sucummbing to the whim of external circumstances, we become our own guide and that of others.

The changes we make are fresh and alive. Using the knowledge we gain, further roads are paved under warm footsteps. We walk the path we talk, having no disparity or split ego. In living up to our standards by facing the hardest choices, we make all the right choices