I recently stumbled upon Mike Smith as I was researching youth speakers. I think his message is on point and powerful.
Education is constantly evolving, but rather tortoise-like in comparison to the students being shuffled through its system.
I had a 3.6 GPA in high school, mostly because I knew how to give the teachers what they wanted, not because I was retaining information or excited about learning. I crammed for tests and then dumped everything not attached to inspiration, which was at least 90%. I still can’t tell you what books I read in high school, if any. I was a Cliff Notes, kinda gal.
I was bored to tears, and if I wasn’t such a social butterfly, I might have stayed home with People’s Court and Jerry Springer for as long as someone let me.
In today’s standards I may have been diagnosed with ADD. I always make the joke that I didn’t learn to read till grad school. Reading entailed quieting my mind, which I found impossible then. I’d read an entire chapter, retain nothing and have to start over again. It was exhausting.
What I would have given to have a class in nurturing intuition or inspiration. Or any class that might have gotten me out of the me, me, me mindset.
The first time I was asked where I wanted to be in 20 years was senior year from a friend, leading the yearbook committee. I remember having a moment of panic that I had never really thought about it. And out of nowhere, I blurted: Broadway!
Well, it wasn’t totally out of nowhere. It had dawned on me that the place I felt most alive and terrified was on stage. An intuitive flash I wouldn’t be able to discern till nearly 20 years later.
It wasn’t until I was 30 when I started, desperately so, looking for that tiny whisper I had long hushed. The dreams of following my creative desires had long been squelched.
By then it was buried under years of doubt and dismissal. And it would be a while until I could uncover even a glimpse of that inspiration.
As a youth advocate, like Mike, I want to send the message that nurturing inspiration is one of the most important things we can do for our students, and them for themselves. There is no such thing as “realistic” anymore. And now, quite literally, the world is in their hands. If only we can swallow our own doubts and fears and get out of their way.
Because something tells me, they’ve got this.
I leave you with this: When we nurture our own inspiration, we teach our children to do the same.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” -Albert Einstein
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!