Do We Need To Know This For The Test?

Students and Investors often miss the point of what’s really important.

Short term thinking regarding test grades or annual portfolio performance leads to future disappointment.

A few weeks ago, I  spent the day teaching five middle school classes about investing.

Being away from this for a bit, I needed some oxygen when I got home.

The kids were terrific and enthusiastic.

One class, in particular, stood out.

It was filled with many honor-roll students. I was told it was a very bright bunch.

As soon as they saw me, they reverted to their default grade centred state.

Do we have to take notes?

Is this going to be on the test?

Hearing this, I knew changing course was a necessity.

After introducing myself, I let them know I heard their pre-class chatter.

Putting aside the investing, it was time for life lesson 101.

I went off on them.

The gist of my rant was this.

If a number grade determines your self-worth, you are setting yourself up for heaps of trouble.

Learning isn’t about cramming a bunch of useless information in your head to pass a test and then completely forgetting about it.

It’s about the process of becoming of life long learner – and enjoying it.

Immediately their still-developing eighth-grade brains focused a little bit more than normal.

When I was teaching you know the kind of kid I couldn’t stand?

The one that got a 99 on his test and pestered me about an extra point so they could get a 100.

Instead of doing this, how about devoting this energy to helping the kid that’s barely passing.

This is how you become a leader and get others to follow and respect you.

I really had their attention and was just getting started.

A couple of years after graduating, nobody cares about your G.P.A. All that matters is what kind of worker you are and how well you get along with people. The most important thing is character, without this, I don’t care how smart you are, it will catch up to you big time.

Who is this lunatic spouting this heresy? All I care about is my class rank and he is telling me it’s bullshit!

I am not telling you not to go to college, on the contrary school is very important but-

If you are going just to get good grades, or please someone else, those are the wrong reasons.

Too many young people stop learning or reading books when they graduate because nobody is quizzing them anymore.

Do this and you will miss out on pretty much everything.

Someone call security!

In fact, some of the most successful and smartest people I know didn’t graduate, went to a nondescript school, or got kicked out before they eventually found themselves.

They have one thing in common. They love learning.  They question things. They have balanced lives. None of them does things to please others. Guess what? People follow them –  lots of people.

When the bell rung, a few kids who were not considered high achievers came up to me. They were excited over their YouTube channel or other outside school stuff they were passionate about..

I told them, I hope all the A-Students are nice to you. You just might be their boss one day.

It made their day.

Investing and life are about process. The sooner you understand this, the happier you will be.