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Inner Game

Hackschooling (and Making a Living vs. Making a Life)

hackerToday I want to share a great video lesson with you guys that really resonates with me on a personal level: Self-education (aka Hackschooling).

Hackschooling is basically going about education differently. Hackers (not in the computer sense) are self-taught people, who change the system to make it work differently or better

Hackscoolers create an education for themselves that fits for them, rather than trying to squeeze themselves into the same box that everyone else is in.

It is incredibly powerful to embrace the idea of self-educating. And I am speaking from experience… a couple years ago,  my wife and I decided to take control over the quality and direction of our children’s education and began home-schooling.

The cool thing about the idea of hacking, is that it can be applied to just about every aspect of our lives, not just formal education.

You Wanna Be a Hacker

As real estate investors, we hack our real estate knowledge. There’s no REI school that we can attend and get a degree from… most of us hack together our education and figure it out on our own through bootcamps, blogs, friends and so on.

I recently saw a video of a teenager named Logan LaPlante who gave a terrific presentation on this very topic at a TEDTalk convention. (BTW – I’m increasingly becoming a fan of TEDTalks, which is group that brings people together who are ‘devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.’)

In this video, you’ll see that Logan is really quite intriguing and funny. He, too, is home-schooled. His parents made the change when his family realized that his formal education in the school system was zapping his creativity. He wanted to write about skiing because that’s what interested him, but his teachers didn’t accept it. Zap! Buh-bye creativity.

Creativity is just as important as literacy – yet schools don’t follow that ideology. So Logan’s parents made the bold, and sometimes looked down upon move, to home-school him. And just from this video alone, I’m convinced it was for the better.

loganIf You’re Happy and You Know It

Logan talks about how when he grows up, rather than be a doctor or a lawyer, he simply wants to be happy and healthy. Pretty deep thought for a kid, right?

He says his hackschooling works because his education is based on the study and practice of being happy and healthy, which doesn’t seem to be a priority in formal school systems. From his studies, Logan has learned that the practice of being happy and healthy comes down to the 8 things in this photo.

All this talk about hackschooling has reminded me of a great quote by Jim Rohn that applies perfectly to this lesson: Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

So what he’s saying is we need to connect the dots between the impact of hackschooling and how we approach life – we use hackschooling in our REI businesses and we should actually do more of this in our lives – it’s far bigger than just REI.

You can assemble a menu of education that serves the life you want to create, which is the fundamental basis of hackschooling. Go about education differently. Look, Logan still learns all the basics including math, science and writing – but in a different way and he talks about those different ways in the video. It’s pretty cool stuff.

If You Hack It, It Will Come

I’m sure Logan will inspire you, just as he has inspired me. Listen closely as he explains why ‘logging out’ of technology is important, and the difference in asking what you want to do when you grow versus what you want to be.

As you’ll hear Logan say, everything is up for being hacked, from skiing to schooling. He’s utilizing a mash up of different ways to learn, but he never loses sight of learning to be happy and healthy. And of course, being happy and healthy leads to motivation, and once you’re motivated, you can get a lot done in a short period of time.

Best of all, the hackschooling technique can be used by anyone, even you. After you watch this fantastic video, I challenge you to go forth with the hacker mindset.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Think Outside the Box – Yeah, this term is overused and pretty cliché, but it’s exactly what hackschooling is about. Educate yourself differently using nonconventional methods.

Don’t Lose Your Creativity – The daily grind can suck the life out of you. Don’t just go about your daily activities on auto pilot, turn something upside down and you’ll see the inspiration and motivation pour into you.

Log Out of Technology – Sign off, log out, power down – get away from cells, TVs and computers. Not forever, even just a few minutes is good. Go breathe some fresh air, feel the sun on your skin and reenergize yourself. I bet those creative juices will start flowing again.

Be Happy – Think differently. Learn differently. Receive motivation from new and different places. All of it will make you happy, and that is what everyone should be when they grow up.

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