Monthly Archives: December 2011

“Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again”

It’s ironic that my recent post, all about how I would write more often, was followed by my longest stint without posting.  Work and grad school are a little crazy right now (teaching 5.5 classes, taking 2 at Hunter, report-writing, finals, and a comprehensive exam in algebra), so I’ve been sadly shelving my good ideas.  This was too good not to share, though.

It’s short, but sweet, and it comes to us via John Burk, writer of an amazing blog, called Quantum Progress.  (Another trusted stranger I found on Twitter.)

It’s a clip of Steve Jobs sharing “one simple truth” that will change your life forever.

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is, and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it.  You can influence it.  You can build your own things, that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

* * *

John shared it with me because it so echoed my thoughts from this post, called “Humans did that! (and you could too)”  You can read John’s thoughts here and see the cool “made by humans” sticker he designed.

Point is, Steve Jobs had it exactly right!

The world is run by humans, just like you and me.  This life is yours and you can influence it.  You can push at it.  You can shape it as you like!

Learning this is a genuine paradigm shift, like waking from the Matrix or realizing its rules can be bent.  The moment you realize that is the moment you are conscious enough to take hold of your life and design its trajectory.

I desperately want my students to have this same awakening.  I want them to realize our class time is theirs and mine, and we are free to shape it as we please.  If we can be conscious and intentional enough to take control, together we can plot the unique course of our learning.

I teach stuff like Algebra and Calculus, but these are the courses I really want.