What if learning wasn’t about getting the right grade ? What if learning/ education was a Tool ? Yes, I am reading again, a rather fascinating book called Punished by Rewards (Alfie Kohn) that will change the way you see the world around you, how you interact with it and how you got to where you are, but that is another blog, this one is about how you learn and why you don’t anymore – because you don’t see the value in it!

A bit to extreme ? Well then, What if learning wasn’t about getting the right grade but instead was about getting the right knowledge and then accumulating it until you had the right knowledge set that then enabled you to get you to a specific goal ? I can see it in my head, you have something you want to do (or become, a job title, a career,  a sport, a dive…) and to get there you need to know certain things. It is like a blank picture, a road that has to be built…and then you go and build it, filling in the pieces until you have a solid foundation from which you can explore and do!

I know! It sounds like something other people do, people with initiative and permission – but this is about Living with Dare and to Live with Dare you need to claim your life back and stop waiting to be given what you need. Living with Dare is about going and getting what you need (respectfully of course, but that is also part of Living with Dare).

Take diving – I wasn’t interested in the maths or physics, but that information which bored me to tears allowed me to understand what I was doing. I failed my Trimix course three times before finally passing it and had to spent three months going over and over the theory until it finally clicked but when I finally understand it, I could explore aspects that hadn’t been thought of before (a critical skill if you want to set a new depth record because that is all about using your understanding of depth to design mechanisms to conquer it).

Yes, I took the time to understand it – I knew how to regurgitate it months before then, but what use was a certificate I couldn”t use in new situations to me ? And yes, I was the child teachers had long conversations with my mother about on parents evenings because I asked too many questions and wouldn’t give up until I had understood it – something that took longer than the teacher had.

Or what about the fact that when I was 14 (grade 10) I learnt an entire book about the sea life of Southern Africa, cover to cover, every name (the hard one’s) because I wanted to know what I was seeing and how it all worked when I went on holidays (an urge that  the incidentally got me diving).

How do you see certificates ? As a thing you have to have for your job or society, useless really OR as something that has meaning to what you want to achieve ?

What if learning were something you could control, a map that you could choose and create something that no-one could take away from you once you had it because now you could ask your own questions and even better, find your own answers ? That would mean you were more independent!

Living with dare not only means doing new things but doing them with confidence and I suspect that means claiming back your education and learning.

Could you take ownership of learning what you need to know in order to live the life you want to live ? How would you ?

And yes, you aren’t supposed to know what it is you need to know – I never did when I started my world record journey. I never knew past the next step and even then I was experimenting, trying new skills and combinations, seeing how they worked, discarding (quitting) what didn’t.

I had NO clear idea how to get from 100 meters to 221, but that was what made it fun and interesting. I didn’t have to wait to be let in on the secret or told what to do, when or how, I worked out what it was I needed to know and then learnt it. For me knowledge was like prizes – I accumulated answers until I had enough to do something brand spanking new. Makes a world record seem quite appealing doesn’t it !

Live with Dare, go on, claim back your right to know. Stop waiting for your teachers and government and parents and bosses and mentors to give it to you, go find it and then ? Go use it! I Dare you.

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