Unrealistic Expectations of Education Ep 274

Summary Notes


In this podcast, Speaker A emphasizes the pivotal role of managing expectations in entrepreneurial success and personal happiness. They delve into the concept of 'haves over wants,' suggesting that contentment comes from desiring less than what one possesses. Speaker A uses the analogy of building a bridge with bricks representing skills to illustrate the journey of learning and growth in business. They argue against binary thinking, advocating for a continuum approach to measure progress and skill acquisition. The discussion also covers the dangers of attributing success to a single source, stressing the cumulative value of multiple mentors and experiences. Speaker A concludes by advising entrepreneurs to maintain high standards of effort while moderating outcome expectations, a strategy they believe leads to business efficacy and life satisfaction.

Summary Notes

Expectations and Their Impact on Life

  • Expectations can either be detrimental or beneficial to one's life.
  • The concept of "haves over wants" is tied to happiness.
  • Lowering expectations can increase happiness.
  • Expectations around education are particularly significant.

"I think that expectations are literally the thing that will destroy your life or will make your life."

This quote emphasizes the dual nature of expectations, highlighting their potential to either ruin or enhance one's life experience.

The Entrepreneurial Journey and Learning

  • The podcast is aimed at younger entrepreneurs and those new to business.
  • Learning is the first step in any entrepreneurial endeavor.
  • Skills acquisition is likened to building a bridge from one's current position to their desired goals.
  • Skills are compared to bricks that construct the bridge.

"And so one of the things that I specifically wanted to address today was the expectations around education."

Speaker A discusses the importance of education and learning within the entrepreneurial context, focusing on the expectations that come with it.

The Bridge Analogy for Skill Acquisition

  • The bridge is a metaphor for the journey from the current state to the desired outcome.
  • People invest in various resources to help cross this metaphorical bridge.
  • Success can be measured in different scales, from small monetary goals to large financial milestones.

"So imagine where you are on one side of this valley is where you are, and where you want to go is on the other side of this big valley, right? And you have a bridge that goes across the two sides."

Speaker A uses the bridge analogy to visualize the process of acquiring skills and achieving goals in the entrepreneurial journey.

The Problem with Binary Outcomes

  • Binary thinking can lead to frustration when learning new skills or pursuing goals.
  • Achievements often exist on a continuum rather than a simple success/failure dichotomy.
  • The psychological tendency is to categorize outcomes as binary, while in reality, most things are not absolute.

"And the problem with the expectations of somebody who's trying to learn a skill or achieve a goal is that they have a binary outcome. I either achieved it or I did not."

Speaker A identifies the issue with binary expectations in skill acquisition, implying that such a mindset can lead to disappointment and does not accurately reflect the nature of progress.

Continuum vs. Binary Thinking

  • Many aspects of life, including health and intelligence, exist on a spectrum.
  • Recognizing the continuum nature of most things can lead to a more accurate and less stressful understanding of progress and achievement.

"Where the reality is, most things exist on a continuum. And so this is the difference between a psychological binary and the biological continuum, which is. I'll give you a couple of examples. So it's not, are you diabetic? Are you not diabetic? It's how diabetic are you?"

Speaker A contrasts the binary approach with the concept of a continuum, providing examples from health to illustrate how many conditions and traits are not simply on or off but vary in degree.

Simplification of Complex Realities

  • Simplifying complex realities into binary outcomes can be misleading.
  • This approach can be particularly harmful in education and skill acquisition.
  • Understanding the incremental nature of learning is crucial.
  • Recognizing the value of each step in the learning process can lead to better outcomes.

"Oh yes no's, because it's simpler for us, but it misses actual reality."

This quote highlights the issue with oversimplifying complex situations into binary outcomes, which can distort our understanding of reality.

The Journey of Skill Acquisition

  • Acquiring a new skill is like building a bridge, where each course or experience adds a brick.
  • People often expect immediate success, such as becoming a millionaire after buying a course.
  • Progress is incremental and expectations of instant success can lead to disappointment.

"The problem is, you may have put another brick on your bridge. You may be closer to where you were to getting to the other side of the bridge. You just haven't achieved it yet."

This quote emphasizes that learning is a process, and each step brings you closer to your goal, even if you haven't reached it yet.

The Value of Multiple Coaches and Mentors

  • Working with different coaches contributes to one's progress in different ways.
  • It's counterproductive to discredit previous mentors just because new information is more advanced.
  • Recognizing and valuing the role of each mentor in one's journey is important.

"And it doesn't decrease your status to say, I've learned from many teachers."

This quote conveys the importance of acknowledging the value of learning from multiple sources and how it does not diminish one's status.

Perspective Shift in Learning

  • The richest people in the world often credit having multiple mentors for their success.
  • Shifting perspective to value all learning experiences can be incredibly beneficial.

"I think if you can shift that perspective, it will be incredibly valuable for you."

The speaker suggests that changing one's viewpoint to appreciate all learning experiences can be significantly advantageous.

Misaligned Expectations in Education

  • People invest time and money in education without the expectation of immediate financial return.
  • The marketing and messaging of education can influence expectations.
  • Expectations in education are often limited to obtaining a diploma rather than practical outcomes.

"Why is it that people will spend $200,000, 4 years of their lives, study Aztec literature of the 1700s, and get to the end and not in any way be upset about the fact that they're not making money when they graduate, they can't even get a job."

This quote questions why people are not upset about the lack of financial return on their educational investment, suggesting that their expectations were not aligned with immediate job prospects.

Reframing Success in Learning

  • Instead of viewing learning outcomes as binary, consider whether you are moving closer to your goals.
  • This approach can be more helpful and less discouraging.

"Am I closer or further away from my goal? And I think that has been tremendously helpful."

The speaker shares a personal strategy of assessing progress towards goals rather than fixating on binary outcomes, which has been beneficial.

Valuing Learning Experiences

  • Spending significant amounts on consultations can lead to valuable insights.
  • Recognizing non-priorities can be as valuable as focusing on priorities.
  • The value of an experience may not be immediate but may contribute to long-term goals.
  • It's important to assess whether experiences add value toward achieving one's ultimate goal.

Recently, I spent $50,000 on, I think, 8 hours with someone. It was different than the grant cardone one that I did. That was 4 hours for 120,000, if you're curious. And honestly, I got enough value in the first hour that I was like, I don't know what I'm going to do with the next three calls.

This quote highlights that the speaker found significant value in a costly consultation, indicating that the perceived value can be subjective and vary based on individual needs and expectations.

And about halfway through, I realized that it was not a priority for me.

The speaker realizes that the project they were seeking assistance for was not a priority, which underscores the importance of reassessing goals and priorities during the process of consultation.

And so I could either say, this got me, I'm not going to be like, hey, screw this guy, right? Or anything like that. It was just for me, if I can get the perspective that something is not a priority, that is valuable in and of itself, and so does that take me closer or further to my ultimate goal?

This quote emphasizes that gaining clarity on what is not a priority can be valuable in itself as it helps in aligning actions with ultimate goals.

Growth Mindset and Long-term Perspective

  • Adopting an investor mindset involves looking at the long-term accumulation of skills.
  • Progress should be viewed as incremental steps towards a larger goal rather than immediate success.
  • Jumping from opportunity to opportunity without persistence can hinder reaching goals.
  • Learning from failures and building upon them is crucial for eventual success.

And so shifting our education expectations to, is this another brick on the bridge to where I'm trying to go? Or instead of, excuse me, instead of am I at my destination or not?

The speaker suggests shifting the focus from immediate outcomes to whether each step is contributing towards the ultimate goal, likening it to adding bricks to a bridge.

And I think that this is probably one of the biggest things that you can do, or it's been useful for me, and this is what I've tried to shift my neighbor's perspective for himself on, which is it's kind of alignment with that kind of investor mindset, which is if I were to look over a five year time horizon and I were to continue to acquire skills like this, and I put more and more bricks on my bridge, by the end of that period, would I be better or worse off?

The speaker advocates for a long-term approach to skill acquisition, suggesting that a consistent effort over time will lead to improvement.

And likely it'd be better, but you will be worse off if you keep trying to build a new bridge, right? And that's why when you jump from opportunity to opportunity, a lot of times you can never get to where you're trying to go, because you take two steps of progress and say, oh, I'm not there. Binary outcome. Therefore, I will start something else.

The speaker warns against the pitfalls of a binary mindset that abandons progress in search of immediate results, which can result in a lack of sustained progress towards goals.

And it's only after failing 3456 things that on the 7th thing, you had enough acquired skills from your first six failures that you are actually able to make it all the way across the bridge.

This quote highlights the importance of persistence and learning from failures as a means to eventually achieve success.

Acknowledging Past Contributions to Success

  • People may not always recognize the cumulative contributions of past experiences to their current success.
  • It's important to give credit to all experiences that have contributed to one's skill set.
  • Having a binary view of success can lead to misattribution of credit.

And then they're like, oh, my God, Jim, lunch is awesome. And the thing is that we don't honestly deserve all the credit because some of these people may have gone through three, four, or five courses that they believe failed them, when in reality there may be 38 skill sets that they need to create their business core skills, and they may have acquired 24 of them from other people, and we just happen to be able to get them the last 14.

The speaker is acknowledging that their clients' success is not solely due to their own intervention but is also built upon past experiences and skills gained elsewhere.

But because they have a binary outcome expectation, they then attribute all the credit to us. And I don't think that's fair to themselves in terms of their mental space, but also to everyone else that they've worked with.

This quote reflects on the unfairness of attributing success to a single source when it is often the result of a collective set of experiences and learning opportunities.

I can't tell you the amount of facilities specifically that worked with the franchise or, and then said, started working with us, started making more money, and we're like, I hate my franchiseor screw them, blah, blah, blah, blah. But the reality is that many times, they wouldn't have even survived long enough without the fundamental bricks that have been laid by the franchise or with their business model.

The speaker emphasizes the importance of recognizing the foundational role previous partnerships, like that with a franchisor, have played in a business's later success.

Value of Franchisors in Business

  • Franchisors provide significant foundational support to franchisees.
  • They help avoid common mistakes and lay the groundwork for success.
  • This support is likened to getting 70% across the bridge in a business journey.

"There's so many fundamentals that they may not even been aware of and mistakes that they would have made that were avoided because the franchisor got them 70% of the way across the bridge."

The quote emphasizes the role of franchisors in equipping franchisees with essential knowledge and practices that they might not have discovered on their own, effectively giving them a substantial head start in their business endeavors.

Role of Teachers and Learning Styles

  • The effectiveness of learning is influenced by compatibility between teaching and learning styles.
  • Even with the same information (38 bricks), the absorption rate can vary (25 bricks absorbed).
  • Previous teachers contribute to future success, even if the realization comes later.

"And so another perspective on this as well is that, let's say you've got two people who both have all 38 bricks on this bridge, right on the path of your opportunity vehicle you're trying to pursue to get to the other side. Right. Now, let's say both of them have all 38 bricks, but with your learning style and their teaching style, you're only able to accurately absorb 25 of the first guys."

This quote compares the learning process to building a bridge with bricks, where the number of bricks represents the total knowledge available. It suggests that the amount of knowledge retained can vary depending on the alignment of teaching and learning styles.

Expectations and Outcomes

  • Distinguishing between expectations of performance and outcomes is crucial.
  • Maintaining high standards for effort and performance is important.
  • Lowering outcome expectations can lead to a winning business formula.
  • Balancing high expectations for actions with reasonable outcome expectations can drive success and happiness.

"But if you can maintain absolute intolerance to anything but excellence, but then also decrease your expectations of the outcome, then that is going to be a winning formula."

The quote advises maintaining high expectations for the quality of actions while simultaneously managing expectations for the results. This approach is presented as a strategy for achieving success without becoming discouraged by outcomes that may not meet overly high expectations.

Shifting Perspective on Success and Setbacks

  • It's beneficial to shift from binary judgments to evaluating the degree of goodness.
  • Setting reasonable expectations and striving to exceed them can lead to positive experiences.
  • Viewing progress as a continuum helps in appreciating the journey and reducing frustration.
  • Mentors play a key role in identifying gaps in skills and knowledge.
  • The final piece of advice or knowledge often receives disproportionate credit for success.

"And so I think when we go into expectations around education and skill acquisition and thinking about things on the continuum of am I closer or further from my goal as a result of this decision, many times we will think much more favorably about our experience and be significantly less frustrated with what might be perceived as a momentary, quote, setback, which isn't even a setback."

This quote suggests adopting a perspective that views progress and learning as incremental and continuous, rather than being fixated on setbacks. It promotes the idea that what may seem like a setback is actually just a step in the process towards a goal, and understanding this can lead to a more positive outlook and less frustration.

"And the thing is that when it's sometimes that last brick, it's that one thing that you need that you didn't see. And then all of a sudden, you attribute all your success to that person, when in reality, it was because you spent four years building the other bricks."

The final quote reflects on the tendency to attribute success to the last piece of advice or the most recent mentor, overlooking the cumulative effort and learning that has taken place over time. It underscores the importance of recognizing the entire journey and all contributors to success.

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