Failed By The System

Following on from last week’s blog where I elaborated on my complete and utter dislike for the whole life coach “phenomenon”, I’m going to go into another thing that really grates me, something that I’ve titled “failed by the system” as it seemed the most appropriate term I could come up to describe it.
As someone who has worked in the employment industry for a long period of my life, its something I see all the time, people who are really intelligent, have great aspirations and goals, but were just failed by the system simply because they were not academic in school.
I myself struggled in school and left with little qualifications, as I’ve mentioned before, I think this was primarily due to the fact that I suffered from quite severe dyslexia. Back then, they’d barely even heard of it, let alone provided any assistance to pupils that had it. Failed by the System1
Sadly, it’s not just the dyslexics that the system fails, there are so many reasons why someone can slip through the cracks of the education system and then that’s them, forced out into the world, with everything against them. Of course it doesn’t stop everyone in this position from succeeding, some of the best, most successful entrepreneurs in the world were labelled dimwits at school, or booted out for thinking outside the box. They used this rejection to spur them onto to their achievements and I think that’s a really admirable quality, but it’s the others that I feel for, the ones who don’t quite have power to turn it all around after being brushed aside at the first hurdle.
I often find myself thinking of a quote by a man heralded as one of the most intelligent to ever grace the earth – Albert Einstein. He wisely said; “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
I’m not having a go at teachers here, there are a lot of them out there struggling with oversized classes, minimal resources, a stuffy curriculum and unfair testing regimes. Sure, there are probably some teachers out there who could do with an attitude transplant, but that’s the same with any profession and there are some really incredible ones out there too, making the very best of a bad situation, so I don’t want to sound like I’m having a dig at them.
This failure runs much deeper unfortunately, but I do think that times are changing, people are slowly waking up and realising that there is world out there where people can achieve their goals and make an impact. And if you are terrible at maths and science, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be a failure as a human being!!

The Life Coach Con

Moving on from my bad habits, which I have been elaborating on for my readers over the last few weeks, I am now scratching the surface of whatLife coach meme2 makes me who I am, by exploring my likes and dislikes. As this is something that’s been bugging me a lot recently, I thought I would share with you guys my utter contempt for the so-called “Life Coach”.
I mean what in the world is a “Life Coach” anyhow? A little bit of research on the net and you can find thousands if not millions of over-priced, jumped up courses offering a life coach qualification. This is my first bone of contention, as these qualifications mean doodly-squat in the real world. Life coaching is a relatively new discipline (and I call it a discipline with Life coach meme1the biggest pinch of salt), it is an unregulated body which means even the worst life coach in the world, won’t get struck off, because there isn’t anyone to do the striking! This really really bugs me, because I can’t help but imagine a bunch of suited and booted charlatans masquerading around rental offices in the city, spouting a load of ostentatious crap in the charade of providing a qualification!!
I’ve read a few really good articles from investigative journalists who have delved into the realm of “life coach qualifications” and it really does seem that all you need to do to walk away with your flimsy certificate is turn up on the day and speak when spoken to!
I’m sure the really rubbish life coaches don’t get repeat bookings and can’t command the ridiculous fees that the more successful breed can demand, but it all still reeks of cow dung to me.
What also worries me is their target audience, I hate to think of vulnerable people who are looking to fix up their lives and improve themselves being swindled out of their hard earned savings, by people who are basically trained to ask open-ended questions and mimic their clients body language.
I imagine that there are some life coaches out there who can help certain types of people get their lives back on track, but I struggle to see them as any more than a motivational speaker. You certainly would not catch me forking out to go and see one and I think hell would have to freeze over before I’d even consider doing a qualification in life coaching.
I appreciate that not everyone out there will agree with me, but in my opinion, life coaching is just a huge con!

More Bad Habits – I Guess I Have Quite A Few!

Continuing on from last week’s excavation of my personality and bad habits, it seems like I still haven’t finished dredging through those bad habits No clutterwith you guys. I thought two posts might be enough to cover it, but it seems I was wrong…
Another part of my personality that I suppose you can see as a bad habit (though I’m not entirely convinced that this one is so bad) is the fact that I am a bit of minimalist and I hate clutter. This means that those who co-inhabit living or working space with me will have to justify the existence of any objects or items in my eyeline or face having it recycled, donated to charity or gifted to the first passerby who looks like they will take it off my hands.
Ok so that might be a slight exaggeration, I don’t go giving my loved ones stuff away just because it grates on me, but if I don’t think something is necessary or that it is cluttering the space where I live or work, I will nag until the owning party gets so fed up with listening to me bang on about it that eventually they end up getting rid!!
The thing that my wife often finds difficult to stomach is whilst being this hardline minimalist, I still have my weird collections of things that some will see in the same light as the clutter I am determined to keep out of my life. One of my collections I have spoken about before is of trainers. I do have quite a few pairs taking up a fair portion of cupboard and bedroom space. So on the one hand, whilst I whinging at her to get rid of those unnecessary ornaments, dvds or whatever, I am still adding to my beloved trainer and other collections. It is a little bit hypocritical I suppose, but then at least trainers are useful unlike hideous doilies or VHS’s that can’t be watched any longer!!

Bad Habits Continued…The Odd Shower Swerve

Following on from last week’s blog where I promised to give you guys some real insights into my personality by elaborating on what I feel are myshower dodge bad habits, I have some more quirky traits to share with my readers.

One of my bad habits which irks my wife to no end, is the fact that when I am working frantically to meet a deadline I will sometimes dodge the odd shower or two and overload on coffee.  Now, let’s get one thing straight from the offset, I will only shower-swerve when I am working from home, I just wouldn’t do that to the people I work with (or pass in the street).  Unfortunately, my wife isn’t afforded the same luxury when I’m in one of my marathon work modes! Despite the occasional whinge that I am turning myself into a caffeine-infused jittery stinky mess, she is quite good about the whole thing, maybe her sense of smell has just adapted over the years!

Personal hygiene is not something that should be compromised when you out in public, whilst in the sanctity of your own home however and with a deadline fast approaching, I think every CEO, university student or pretty much anyone who works where they reside has probably sidestepped the odd shower or two!

Another thing that I do when I am in one of these marathon work sessions is to get by on 4-5 hours sleep a night.  As you can imagine, my beloved wife is again the main victim of this habit and has to deal with me taking my 4 hour nap in the middle of the day because I’ve worked through the night.  The poor soul has learnt to go about her business in near silence so as not to disturb the precious few hours I will allow myself.  Of course it helps that she could sleep through a hurricane, so that when I do get up to start work at some ungodly hour, I usually don’t end up disturbing her slumber! I also have no respect for the so-called “weekend” when the workaholic in me strikes!  Family and friends (and of course my long-suffering wife) often get put on the backburner.  When I tell people that I won’t be able to attend an event because I have to work, I often hear that “but it’s the weekend” pitch come my way. Unfortunately when you are the CEO of a startup there are no neat boundaries of when one must work and the sanctity of the weekend is definitely disrespected on a regular basis!