knowledge

School

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

Living Up to Higher Standards

The standards we shall beat our hearts to emerges in a time and place of readiness. Only in shaping our mind to fulfill the duties of the future may we become an audience to the divine rhythm—a push and pull of our truest purpose.

It's not in giving ourselves up to the conventions external to ourselves, but in dedicating a song worth playing: a principle worth living in pursuit of our highest self. By making the decision to leave behind the inferior and indifference to conformity, may we discover real change.

The Source of Our Principles

To find our principles we need only reflect on the nature of our destinations. The fleeting pinnacle of our thoughts, incessant and transparent, foreshadow our next steps.

The voice calling out is the supreme you. All the qualities you seek are the ones you already possess, seeping their way out until the direction of it's release is clear.

The discovery of oneself is in itself, a conscious look into the non-conscious of meaning and non-meaning. That is, everything you cross, is an adjustment determined by its meaning to you. Of great or little importance, we shift this way and that, until finally climbing that mountain to the peak of its summit. Atop the world, we are alone to our thoughts.

The flux of our thoughts permeate our being, but leaves us at the end of every path to a betterment of another self. At this fork we give presence to choice. To reach our higher self we must first commit to the dynamism beyond ourselves: a system emerged from our purpose. Leaping from internal abstractions to an idea and back, we're reconstructing our world by its self destruction.

Living through principles, we must shape the great sage within ourselves. To spring forth an independence from the world, we step back to observe. In our sightseeing, the birth of the autodidact plants itself at our core; the learner, both empty and full, seeking more and to never reach its end; a seeker of knowledge. Seeking not merely for itself, but as a means of reaching our future self. In our lust we connect to the divine as we confront our living on the edge. Once there, do we bring with us the attention to attain our highest purpose.

Principles to Live By

Principles allow you to change. Without any internal guidance, any change will cause you to be lost and unidentified; a flurry of attacks redirecting your attention to whence it never came. Mark this as a step towards mind over matter.

Knowledge, competence, and momentum. These benign words commence the chanting of our mantra into a self-organizing ideal. Of the many arbitrary books available at our fingertips, we meet time and time again, a construction of terms to carry out actions towards another fleeting objective. And why then, would this one be any different? As you've probably assumed, it's not.

The truth of things don't change as they go out of view. The embodiment of our choices is a reflection of our character, and thus the direction of our actions. Whether you follow them or not isn't a matter of adhering to a quick-fix system. It's about realigning our ambivalence towards a path of our choosing.

If you resonate with the principles therein, you'll come to an understanding of its own merit. Not predetermined, for these principles provide the path towards a random entrance into the unknown.

Knowledge

Role: Supporting direction of action

Method: Observation, skepticism

Think not accumulated facts and figures, limited bases of acquirement; knowledge, as we shall come to see it, is simply: a guiding reference. Not the piece of a puzzle, or the puzzle itself. Instead, a deep knowingness. One that stretches into a series of disparate puzzles of various sizes and shapes, abstract and concrete; or not. The very questioning of its existence brings with us the core of this tenant to filter the plethora of phenomenon.

Discernment, skepticism, and a fervent desire to claim truth behind what blocks our view is where we must start; to see beyond the scope of things, and into the unknown constructs the framework of what is to become: knowledge.

Knowledge is founded in a state of observation. One must give attention to what is to become relevant to our path. Scrap or treasure, we purge the shell to remark upon its inner structure and state of being. We then can churn all information in self immersion into your little world of creative indulgence. Fulfill your purpose through multiple sources to gain angles on your attack.

Applying Knowledge Through the Misconceptions of Eating Grapefruit

Isolation to one community permeates an ignorance unknown to other possibilities. You're stuck in a rut, and don't even notice. Everyone thinks one way about this and that, projecting a sheet to drape over your eyes. It's not their fault, not intentionally at least. It's what people know, and default to. In other terms: stagnancy.

As I had my eye on a grapefruit, I did what anyone would do; that is, anyone that I've ever seen do: grabbed the cut-in-half grapefruit to start digging out the triangles with a spoon. Making a splash failed to shed light to the mysteries of its way, and instead lead to a disinterest in trying at all.

It was such an unnatural approach to eating, that whatever I did, it was sticking a square into a triangle. So stuck in a single minded pursuit, we lose perspective on the great expanse of opportunity.

See it from another angle: a grapefruit is like an orange. One can then take a similar approach to how you peal and tear the skin, and apply it. Voila! An easier way to achieve the result by resisting conformity to an idea, now old, obsolete.

Competence

Role: Action

Method: Initiative

Competence then, governs the very basis for our attention. It reminds us of where we stand, and where we need to focus our energies. The thinking minds wanders far. How to judge yet a single touch that brings us back to reality? Competence lies within, and is unwavering in its strength to guide us by our will. It's our touch that correlates to the abstract. Neither straying here nor there, we remain on task for only as long as necessary to achieve our aims.

Competence is the act of concentrated action, broken down into tangible results from our guided knowledge. It's the middle ground to the concrete, of the basis of our ideas into reality. We can't be competent if we are to remain in our ivory tower. Competence is the initiative and doing aspect. Pulling from your deep reservoir, you apply knowledge and gain skill in its performance.

Applying competence is as simple as engaging into the world with your knowledge, and not without. If you're lacking action or the base for said action, you're not being competent.

Momentum

Role: Exponential Growth

Method: Attention

There is no end. Therefore, a reaching is the core of momentum. Always striving forward, never accepting what is for what might be. To stay in this aspect, one need only give attention to any activity. Time on activity yields the highest potential. In reaching our goal, we grow. But having grown, we must continue to reach; a continuous unsatisfaction. Momentum is attention on the right target guided by Knowledge, and fulfilled by Competence.

Action doesn't equate progress towards ones goals. And persistence only aids in the drainage of our most valuable asset: time. Therefore momentum spawns in its glory to aid our direction in right action, compoundingly, at the right time. Only under the right circumstances may we leap forward under the essential understandings to excel.

You're always learning, and self-reflecting. Come to terms with your own culture, and how it's affected your own institutions. Become impersonal in your detachment. It's not you, or them, but an idea. Of which you may always discard.

Every fleeting moment provides everything we need, and nothing at all. The aspect of our picking and pruning need only be to our tastes of what we strive for. One doesn't need to learn everything. Focus on the meaningful and you'll always be on track.

Growth itself is never the main pursuit, for its a result of our purpose. Let us be mindful not to dirty the fabric of ourselves with external messes, wrapping into an ever unfolding cocoon of stagnancy.

Parts influence the whole. Expand effort and don't waste it because the end doesn't exist, nor will it. It's always in our reaching that clearly maps our character. So let us reach for the right things.

Afterthoughts

The completion of goals returns nothing when smothered in trivialities. We must entitle ourselves to the establishment of great goals. Those that are beyond ourselves and into a frame of being that pervades us. No goal henceforth shall be anything but of our esteemed potential.

In this deep knowingness of distaste for incompatible goals, we set no more. Let this awareness be our claim against everything we stand for, cascading onto the lower confines of man and our interactions with others now and to come.

We don't live forever. Don't plan your life as if it were. Break down and chunk the things you must do, the things which pull you back into this world to accomplish in your greatest offerings.

How to be a Real Man - 3 Books to get Started

On our journey towards achieving the marvels of the universe, our masculinity comes first. If we aren't embracing our core, how could we integrate with the world beyond us? To understand our level of engagement, or even where our energy comes from, we build from three brilliant books:

The Way of the Superior Man

A favorite, kept short and sweet, saying what needs to be said and building the bridge for new understandings. From work, and desires for the feminine, it delivers key topics to infuse on your spiritual path. It's ground breaking in flipping your past associations over, and alleviates old ideas into the you you're about to become. If you're looking to amp up your knowledge of masculinity in a variety of instances, look no further

As a Man Thinketh

The best spare change you will ever spend, guaranteed. If you're debating the effectiveness of such a short book, don't! What's said will leave you silent in the humble truth of your being. A masterly crafted book that squeezes everything that is important into a few dozen pages.

If there's a book you'll carry at your side to revisit, it's this one. We recommend rereading it, and often. So much juicy goodness that confronts ourselves in no time at all, it'd be a crucial waste not to give it a chance.

As a Man Thinketh
$2.48
By James Allen

The Alchemist

A priority read, no matter the topic. While not directly related to masculinity, the framework established herein about reaching one's personal legend will inspire another mindshift that a real man needs. See to it that if you've never heard of it, listen. Perk those ears of yours to the wind of change.

It's a journey that many face in their day to day, only to see our reality is not much different. Immersion into the world of a sheep herder onward his personal legend sparks the curiosity to go further. 

The Alchemist
$11.36
By Paulo Coelho