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Are You Just Being Book Smart?

Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued/inspired with a life-long desire to know it.” William Haley

Education is the ability to think and process the ideas and thoughts that flow into the mind. Education is definitely not imitating or following others to do the things that they do. Education is not just a technique or engineering method, it involves the eyes of an artist; the ears of a musician; the insight of a genius; the values of a philosopher, and the tools of an engineer. So, education is the ability to think through what the books, lecturers, and authors are saying. Memorizing the facts does not help one to think.

True education is not meant to make you adapt to the world but the world to you. I studied engineering but soon realized that I couldn’t adapt to the world of engineering. I then started a journey of studying me so I could adapt the world to me and that led me into the author, speaker and coach that I am. I am not according to any academic qualification but what I’m meant to be which is the greatest of humans freedoms. The goal of education is not just to increase the amount of knowledge but to create possibilities for a person to invent and discover and also to create a person who is capable of doing new things. Education should actually be used to create freedom not slavery.

I love what Ralph Waldo Emerson said about freedom, he said, “Freedom is not the right to live as you please, but the right to find how we ought to live in order to fulfil our potential.” This is so profound. The meaning of life is to find your gift and your purpose is to express that gift. This to me, Veli Ndaba –‘The Engineered Mind – to WIN’, means that the purpose of life is not just to make a living but to live our making and let our making make us a living. Until your find your making ‘gift’, life will be an incomplete experience for you. Mark Sullivan said, “To find a career to which you are adapted to by nature, and then to work hard at it, is about as near to a formula for success and happiness as the world provides. One of the fortunate aspects of this formula is that, granted the right career has been found, the hard work takes care of itself. Then hard work is not hard work at all.” Success therefore is in the person, not in the school. Likewise, greatness is in the person not in their books. So, your chosen career or work should be an expression of yourself and if you operate in alignment with your talents, passions, purpose, and skills…it also is a form of worship.

Education is mostly being misunderstood and mistaken for an accumulation of information. Education is not meant to make people robots, NO! True education is to learn how to think, not what to think. If you can learn how to think, if you really have that capacity, then you are a free human being. People are competing about the number paper qualifications they have acquired and the number of books they’ve each read without really focusing on the substance, skills acquired as a result, which is what true education is all about. Education is not memorizing known facts, moulding you and turning you into a robot, which unfortunately is the case, but it should inspire and support your natural longing to know.

I personally adopted meaningfully studying books instead of being book smart. I chose to get out of the race of “how many books have you read last year?” Or “How many books do you read per month?” I realized that it matters very little as to how many books one actually read if nothing ever gets implemented. Since this approach, I’ve become more skilful and have seen and felt changes in my life. It’s so easy and tempting to get swallowed up in the race of being book smart without tangible results to show for your theoretical knowledge which remains untested. My purpose to share what I am sharing here with you is for you to realize that:

  1. Your true power lies in your natural gift and that the sooner you discover it, the sooner you’ll gain personal freedom and pursue everlasting mastery.
  2. it’s not the qualifications but the competence that opens doors and keeps you there.

Benjamin E. Mays said, “…The circumference of life cannot be rightly drawn until the centre is set.” The centre of your life is your natural gift and then everything else flows from that. Your dream has long been calling you, stop ignoring it and answer the call!

Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on , or +27 83 304 9773




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