What is the Greatest Gift You Can Give the World?


Learn Anything: Hacking Your Education


Lesson Info

What is the Greatest Gift You Can Give the World?

Tiffany is here to share with us about the greatest gift you can give the world is an awesome friend of mine from chicago ah we met about almost two years ago this summer I guess I'm a mentor of mine and a mentor of hers our good friends at us group in chicago called I see stars I'm sure tiffany will tell you about and she participated in the program there on dh what, seven years? Seven years seven years ago on it's been a computer programmer and developer since I'm sure she would she would have had lots of contribute to your questions um and ah she's just just just an awesome person and I think has really good perspective on figuring out what it is that you want to do with your life and how you can find meaning and purpose and something that still makes you a living so I'm gonna let me take it away here's your clicker I will race the white board for you all right, thank you so glad to be here thank you guys for having me a stale mention my name is stephanie michael from chicago um and...

today's workshop is titled the greatest gift to the world on dso hopefully today in the workshop it's gonna be a little mix of me kind of talking a little bit about my journey as a sub director liner but then we're going to do an interactive workshops where you guys can kind of hopefully start to think a little bit more broadly on you know what you're here to do what you're on this earth to do and then all the different educational um and career options that help you get there so hopefully it's fun and interactive except um so before we get started I did kinda want to kind of just go around the room on dh around of the extra online listeners as well in one word how are you feeling right now? And we just kind of capture that just so we can kind of figure out how are we feeling? Um that's the mood so one where he wants to start, I'll start excited, excited but ask curious syria motivated, motivated stoneman happy, happy enthusiastic and anyone online wants to participate also absolutely we have busy from cook esquire and we have mango seven saying hopeful hopeful nice so I'll go ahead and throw my I am totally inspired to be here, you know? A still mentioned I met deal about two years ago on at the time I was deciding to quit my corporate gig on I wanted to start my own business andi I tell you a little bit about my story I do not have a college degree in fact I don't have a high school diploma when I have a g d on dh so when I get to the point where I'm like ok, I've spent lots of years incorporate I want to step down and start my own business I started to reach out to people in some kind of figure out you know, how do I get there? Um and you know what I was telling you need an mba to start a business and that was crazy it felt really isolated because I'm like, well, this is something I want to do how do I get there on dh? So it was really kind of coming home moment to meet dale and to really understand that there's a whole community of people like me and so that's why I'm just really inspired to be here and we're just I like to share my story and hopefully help you guys kind of understand how to get to the places you want to go um so if we go to nick's life all right so cool so this was kind of a cool quote the most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are you trading your reality for roll you give up your ability to feel on an exchange put on a mask I think one of the things that has helped me to differentiate myself and has really been helpful in my journey as a self directed lerner is that I never felt stuck in anyone role um I always felt like I could literally do whatever I wanted to do on I know sometimes that sounds kind of scott please stay and season we tell children oh, you can be whatever you want to be but you'd be surprised how many adults really don't feel that whether or not they have a degree and that a lot of times people feel stuck in this one roll so I majored in this have experience in this this is what I have to do onda point of this workshop is to just kind of show you that you don't have to do or being any one thing there are lots of different things that you can be on there are lots of different ways to get there, so hopefully way helped you get to get to that point where you feel like that but you really can't do anything that you want to do some of the roles that I hold right now are mother, sister, community leader, technologist, entrepreneur problem solver um and I think it's just key that you really kind of see yourself in a lots and lots of different ways um so the next live um you know, and as I mentioned, you know, a lot of times when you are self directed learner, you feel really isolated and you feel really lonely nobody kind of gets you, um and you know what? A lot of people who actually like why can't you just be normal? Just go to college, do what everybody else is doing. Get with the program. Um, and then there are some of us who were like, hey, that's. Not good enough. You know, I want, um I want a learning experience that is kind of custom to who I am. Um and, you know, I just I really kind of applaud people who have the audacity to kind of demand experiences that enable continuous and then relevant learning opportunities. And so, that's, why I have become an educational deviant. Andi, I'm kind of proud of it on dso personally, I would say is just accept that that's who you are except your gifts, it's ok to be an educational deviant. Um, so what is an educational dvd and, like what's, the dna of an educational dvd? The first thing I would say is you have to be smart to sail. Um, and I hope that's okay for me to say, um, you have to be in so, uh my when I discovered that I was smarter. So I was really young. I was about four years old, this is before I even went to school. I was at home I'm the youngest of three on dso my two older sisters had gone off to school and I was at home just couldn't wait to get to school and so what I would do is I would teach class I would you know set up my stuffed animals and we had a white board board and I would teach a class to my stuffed animals on dh the cool thing is that my mom actually worked for educational publishing company on dso she brought home with lots of school books on in addition to that she brought home the teachers manuals for those school books on dso for me at four years old that was really really cool it kind of it allowed me to see kind of behind the scenes on one what was available for teachers but most important I think what it wanted taught me that I was smart as hell but to it taught me that schools and institutions really don't have a monopoly on education if there was anything that I wanted to learn um the information was out there and I could go get it on so that was really powerful and then another thing it's hot me was that just getting the right answer was kind of simple we all could just get to the right answer and so I was never really impressed with do you have the right answer? What really kind of impressed me was or what fascinated me was the process of learning so I've spent a lot of times kind of asking how why? How is this relevant so that leads me to the next one is natural curiosity always kind of, you know, questioning all the processes that go on around you never kind of allowing someone to tell you what it what it is you're kind of always asking why how um and so I entered school with this natural curiosity um and of course I was labeled a troublemaker pretty early because a lot of school is just kind of about getting the right answers so you get the right answer do you know the twenty foot out of there where it's great onto the knicks subject for me? I was kind of like, ok, I want to explore this a little bit more like I said, how is this relevant to my community? Um I grew up on the south side of chicago, which meant that I was around a wide range of social economic conditions on dh so really early in life, I was kind of aware that, you know, there are a lot of problems in the world andi it's our job to solve them on dh so I was really kind of off put by school because in my you know, in my classroom experience I didn't have a lot of opportunities to solve real problems problems that were important and relevant to me so I became really disengaged with the traditional classroom model really early um and that kind of goes to the last thing which is being an advocate um you know anyone would talk a little bit about just being an advocate for yourself and your learning style but being an advocate for doing the right thing being an advocate for solving and addressing problems around you on dh I think really what happens it really helps you to kind of learn in the context of I want to learn things that help me solve rope problems which is what I think education should be about um so that's just a little bit about kind of my journey um one second um so becoming an advocate for your learning style what does that mean? I didn't realize until what two later in life what how I learned best andi I didn't realize that there were um you know, studies there was a whole science behind how people learn best and you know individual learning cells until I found an organization called I see stars so at this point I had dropped out of high school I was working lots of kind of crappy jobs I was a camp counselor welland lots of great stuff about early childhood education I was worked at a law firm where I learned great things you know about the judicial system and legal process. You know, I worked in retail. I worked as a limousine greeter. I did a lots of different things. Um, right after I dropped out of school and people were like, you know, what are you doing? You know, you're so you're so smart, why aren't you in college and that's when I found out what project based learning iwas on project based learning basically says that you learned by actually doing you learned by tackling real problems, building something rial and then you have you have, ah, greater context for asking the right questions. So rather than kind of sitting in the lecture hall and listening to a lecture and it just gets kind of just all kind of going in one ear and out the other, you are out in the world doing something, and then you have a moment like, I need to know more about this and at that point that's when you go and get the knowledge that's that's relevant to what you're doing, and so I I see stars, which is a but a chicago that's what they do is help people learn through project based lining on dh so that's, where I taught myself to program um I dad net job of ruby, lots of different programming languages, but the cool thing about technology for me was that it allowed me to do practical things, allowed me to identify a problem and then immediately go build something that address that problem. And so from that point on, knowing that I learned best in that way allowed me to no matter what situation I was in being an advocate for my own personal lining and saying, ok, maybe I have to sit through this lecture, but then I'm going to go build something that teaches myself that concept. Um, so, yeah, um so after I taught myself to program, I've been went on worked for accenture, which is a global conservative consulting phone on why I was there, I had some really good, good projects I had some some interesting clients on this quote says, you know, things don't have to change the world to be important, I didn't feel like I was changing the world, though in that position. Um and, you know, for a lot of kind of my friends and mentors, I would talk to them, and I would say, you know, I'm really thinking of stepping down from this position, um, because I don't feel like I'm really making a real impact on one of my mentors, one of the sandy castro, one of the best thing she kind of taught me was that each experience you don't necessarily have to be changing the world for it to matter you know decide what are the key things that you want to get out of that experience so she was like you know, before you step down for the from that position you know make a list of the five seven things that you want to learn and then move on on don't really beat yourself up you know I'm not making a big difference I'm not you know, really making an impact in the world I'm not doing anything about you know, poverty or um you know, economic development and my community's the things that matter to me she was like, you know, make the list one of the key things that you want to get from that experience get those things and then move on on dh so for me it was things like management skills uh pml management um uh some key technology skills that I wanted to get on dh so I kind of encouraged you guys whatever wherever you find yourself kind of extra stuff you know what are the key things that I want to take from this get those things and then move one so you never feel like man I'm wasting time why am I here that kind of thing um so um yeah for me really when I was able to find success on dh success to me is the same things impact it was really in the sweet spot of doing things that I cared about and then also doing things that were relevant to other people andi I think that week sometimes find ourselves you know, either doing things that were personally really passionate about on everybody else is kind of like so what and then doing things that you know, other people were like this needs to be done so kind maybe doing some you know, client work that you're not particularly passionate about andi I really feel like if once you're able to find work that brings those two things together eyes really what you're fine you if you have the most impact um so what we want to do today is to help you guys figure out what are what is your gift to the world what do you hear on this planet to do and then how do you get there how what's the best way to achieve that because I think there's a lot of debt from half that you can take um but I will pause for moments just find out if there's any questions before we get started with that all right so um if everyone can I ask you a quick question that came in from from the internet I think you may have mentioned this but so correct me if it kelly j said what was the kind of business that you started when you started your own business and thank you again for sharing your story ok problem everyone so I decided that I wanted to do things that had impact in the address, you know, really issues and so I found it on my own personal consulting firm that's all geared towards nonprofits and social enterprises on dso itt's funny I'm still kind of figuring out what my poor offerings are, but I started out doing a lot of syria, which is customer relationship manager so doing a lot of that kind of work for nonprofits and kind of showing them how to use technology to help further their mission on so whether it's keeping track of volunteers or donors or, um, you know, lots of different things and then since then I have since moved into, you know, kind of helping nonprofits defined processes that make them more efficient. Thank you. All right, um, so if you guys I think you know, everyone has a notebook and a pen if you guys want to just create a kamut shaped triangle pretty simple on everybody at home can do that as well. So we're getting ready to walk through a workshop that helps you kind of figure out what do you hear what you're on this planet to do? What? Why you're here, what your mission is in other words and then all the different ways to help you get there all the different things that you can do to help you achieve your mission because I think a lot of times people feel that I said people feel stuck and people feel like there's one way going to get a bachelor's in this and then I'm going to get a master's in this and then I'll be set and that's not quite how it works sometimes and then when people find ok up spent x amount of years in this particular industry you know I want to be doing something else how do I move over to that well so everyone at home draw out your pyramids yes ok yeah um so what I want you to do right now is to close your eyes and so just clear head and I want you to think about in one word what's the one word that describes why you are here what will you put on this planet to do and it's usually one where is so so a verb so it's to something what is that one word is usually the first word that pops in your head most of us know it we've we've just not identified it yet some things start here what what? What's your one way way how can we happen? We make it over so to something I guess educate okay to educate so how about to teach okay to collaborate to create to bring hope we continue to inspire my back well, we got some people on the way have been jesus says to love to love nice you ready for this? Tiffany tangerine said to rock rock we got to encourage is well from a lower mukti starlene says to electrify awesome susan says to care take we have some more eternal student to connect binge a photo to love plus one plus one uh what's interesting is laura mukti hearing everybody else say these says I thought it would be to create but I encourage others more than that so it's cool to see how this exercise allows other people too bring out what your yeah missions are to help it's another one to help nice I don't know this one counts, but elizabeth says to clean up after the men in my family for themselves I t to think a little broadly about little more broadly about what she's on this earth to do eric also um make a promise to the earth, you know, let it be written this is what you are here to do on a lot of times you know, we we find lots of different ways to achieve our mission, but as long as you kind of understand what your mission is, you always kind of make sure that you are, you know, operating with that in mind, so the next thing that we're going to do is identify five gifts that you have just come natural to you where the five gifts that you have so on those air gonna be one word gifts verbs as well so to something and those are the things that comes along absolutely absolutely so so for example my mission when I lasted this and again this is the workshop I go through about you know, every couple of years and so things change as you mature and that kind of thing with less than I did it my ambition was to foster on dh then my gifts where to speak to embrace, to dream, to protect and to start. So what are the gifts that you have one word burbs to something and once you guys have your gifts feel free to share listen listen to solve problems and from double blade to protect lack alicia eighth as to encourage you can't go wrong with on rio to destroy the status quo e maybe change or destroys a challenge to challenge just just go I think like you know like to destroy this we have to teach flash encourage, equip cool how about you guys here in the audience? Yeah, I was going to say to question ok from james welch to write cool and talking a lot of earlier about people who want to write books nice to transform god I love that he said to dream too yeah, I spent a lot of time daydreaming on, but I've actually learned how to make that a really good, good quality. What about anymore? Gibson in the color line? Awesome. That's. Awesome. Good. So organized to organize. Very cool. I don't know if this woman is in there are not a mango seven's gift is to sing to saying, oh, that's a gift lift, everybody cool. I suppose everyone at least have three gifts or so. Cool. So what I want you to do is for each of your gifts. I want you to tell me two careers are jobs that directly use those gifts, and I want you to try to make them opposite. Is opposite is possible. So, for example, my gift of to protect I could either be in law enforcement so I could be a cop. Or I could be like a historian, so like to protect history. Uh, mom, one of my gifts is to start. I could be an entrepreneur, so I like to start businesses, or it could be like a p t. A mom who's, like starting bake sales and fund raisers. And that kind of thing I want you to try to make him is different as possible, so let me know when you have a have a few you have a couple right here at that find interesting someone's who's a user name is my name comedian an entrepreneur okay to dip into the spectrum but maybe there's some overlap in terms of the gifts that they have if they could tell me I'm the people won't mind if they could tell me what their gift the gift they're using is and then the two jobs that it'll scare fact so anyone in the room I thought for a gift of being able to speak I could be a protester what else? What else uses your gift to speak politician although I don't know if that's so much speaking of writing I don't know but I had to teach knife parent and advocate we have amram who said the gift was to continuously improve and learn it and then the two are scientists and photographer nice so we also have stephanie cherie who says the gift is teaching and so the two are educate in terms of home schooling her son and then educate myself ok coming in maybe uh parent teen and self improvement that sounds good. I heard you guys t think creatively about you know, even even if there are careers that you would never kind of see yourself in feel free to listen because it gets you thinking about huh that is a job that uses one of my gifts um so calling you here is that listen to look for your options are counselor for organized I put bookkeeper or a choreographer and we have ah lei alicia eight who says to create and then art director or writer and then bells the gift is to connect and the to our executive producer or community organizer now I like that thinking about what about like a matchmaker for that cool executive producer and then o r a I think it was a community warren nicer good. Yeah, like morning yeah, we got to help got a personal shopper way also got ahh guess they mix it up to learn and a travel guide and then susan maybe last one susan says to understand is the gift and then the two are a counselor or an actor nice very different cool any of you guys want to share a different career? Options that you've come up with that help use your gifts? Well, one of the ones that I had was to question ana had attorney and activist yeah. Hope you guys have from your paper from now you should see you had bad gifts and for those five pictures scum to come up with at least two different career options that use those five gifts and then itself for each of those two career options I want you to tell me come up with where the educational experiences that can help you get there and so some of it will you have some kind of the traditional education stuff you know degree certifications that kind of thing but I encourage you to think a little bit more broadly like what kind of internships um travel maybe it's you it's you want to be a politician maybe it's running for a political office if you are going to be a personal shopper maybe it's you know providing those services for friends and family um if you want to be accorded choreographer maybe it's putting on a small community performance in your area at the local theater in your area um so spend some time thinking about you know different one of the different educational experiences that help you achieve or get there and for the people at home if you want to just kind of tell me what is the what is the career or what is the job and then what is some unique educational experiences that can help get you there so for example that I gave an example not maybe being a historian and so maybe one thing is you just go visit lots of different museums so you go on a museum excursion across the world um and then give you some ideas for you know, curating your own um starting a business and entrepreneurs just no open up eliminate stand what does the things that come from that so let me know when you guys already writing furiously here in the studio I imagine people at home are doing the exact same thing we have one here I can share with you as individual on ramp for being a photographer take courses of course where else creative right here ah and also adjoined local photography clubs creative life is always a great place to start first that it is nice we also have iris who said to create on be an artist and join local art classes so similar sounds like finding local people on local organizations to help your things out there and this one made me made me giggle it was giggle a little bit that's actually the truth him in sally says wants to be historian and of course he says she can talk to the elderly absolutely absolutely definitely there's there's aa lot of rich history history there um cool I was thinking if you wanted to be a politician you could go say overseas and work in politics in another region to get a frame of reference to how things are done someone else yeah cool and any of those you could shadow someone who's adding a little jobs whenever I'm interested in a particular field I find somebody who's working in there that I really admire and I said, hey, what do you need like I will come over and wash dishes I will come over and, you know, organize your book just tell me what you need so I couldn't be around you while you are doing awesome amazing things and then pull inspiration from that all right, we have more coming in online c m learn says once being nutritionists and that perhaps she should hear he should start with herself making sure that he or she is eating nutritionally sound absolutely. And I wonder if you heard I wonder how many people wouldn't mind if she made you know personal plans for the week say hey, you know would you mind if I talk to you about your knees and then made some plans some diet plans for you I would yeah more here ah michelle a b plan help I'm guessing I was the translator so they can work with a recent foreign immigrant nice which is a great endeavor, right? This might be kind of weird but he's hanging out at the airport and just say hey, you know we're gonna happen can I show you some stuff? Yeah. Um cool what I want or some other unique educational experiences one person here uh I guess george, we know once the launch a startup and what's a good way too long to start up by first working at a start up anything with the intricacies there cool another really cool thing they have a lot of accelerated programs and this is incubated programs on all you really need is an ideas they say I have an idea I'm really excited about it there are people who are passionate about entrepreneurs and we'll help you kind of develop that idea so joining some of those groups will be awesome there's a lot of like free online course things like coursera sure things but it's like it's like free information yeah um on college gap year yeah um nothing that unique opportunities that like still are valuable and respected what else? What other things you can learn what the other unique educational experiences we got anymore write a book yeah definitely I have one from omb ram who says wants to be a scientist participate with like minded folks in experiments visit scientific establishment and ask really scientists for assistant opportunities so seeking out the experts yeah yeah that someone was interested in kind of being a politician and you know, we wanted to know more about law and they were like sometimes I just go hang out at the library of congress just just going up and you know, there are a lot of lawyers has been time there and they she game a lot of information from that uh sword like network as much is absolutely and then if you can't find a group that's doing what you're doing starts around meet up that come um so yeah cool all right so I kind of present this to you you know, use this whenever here if you find yourself at a life cross road so you're like man, I'm not sure what I should be doing next you know, I'm not sure you know, if I should go to college or if I do go to college, I'm not sure what my major should be I'm not sure what kind of jobs I should be taking I'm not sure you know geographically where I should be living, you know, in life there are a lot of different decisions that we have to make, but the cool thing is is long as you're focused on your mission so like what you are here to do and then you use your gifts, there are so many different career options and then they're even more educational experiences to help you get there. Andi so I really encourage you to spend a little bit more time kind of, you know, you know, going through all the different educational opportunities and options that help you get there and really kind of think outside the box on what are all the different things you can be doing and as long as you're achieving your mission that's, all that matters, so a lot of times you know, how would you know, work a crappy job or, you know, I would go take a class that was way off from you know what my major would be a people like what are you doing? Are you crazy? Like, you know why you're in turning that like that no name place and it was all about my mission, you know, nothing else really matters if I was longest, I was operating under my mission you know, I just so much that you can actually do any questions on that workshop we dio kelly j is wondering if you have any ideas or maybe anybody else here about specific incubator programs for entrepreneurs there's anyone out there? Sure, yeah, I participated in a program called the lean startup challenge, but they're all others it really depends on where she lives. Um, but, you know, most cities have, you know, entrepreneurial incubators do you have any that you, another feud let's fill us in on the machine sort of way get along with different people to build a waste to the world, but in terms of actual incubators in a studio, we just feel like, yeah, start up incubators name of your city, yeah, they're they're they're popping up all of it. But you know, from, you know, it's it's, not just why commenter and text are probably the youngest they share anymore, but there's there's thank you, butters all over none activity of such a unique story and your experience with you shared with us today is really inspiring I think could be interesting for that only the in studio audience but the folks at home watching this if you could briefly maybe walk through each of these four points of the pyramid and talk a little bit a little bit about where you were in each now you extract something from all of them sure. Um all right um so what does that mean should have I really believe that my mission was to foster I found myself in a lot of situations where I was being x to kind of, you know, facilitate processes facilitate certain things and for me you know, it was really helpful for me to kind of just embrace that and say ok that's what I'm really good at and you know, think about you know all the different ways you know to help me do that do you want me to walk through? Kind of you know what? My gifts I I could grab a great example for everyone at home to see how you went from your back or that you have to getting where you are today such an amazing career to becoming an entrepreneur today sure, maybe we can ask dale next well e had to list out kind of you know, my skills oh my gifts that we talked a little bit about them is you know, being a daydreamer on do you know to dream that being a really strong gift of mine on dh so I spent some time, you know, doing a little bit of like career counseling, I've spent some time right now like what I love to do is kind of create jobs people tell me like I love how you can just create a role where there is not on dso what I typically like to do is kind of, you know, identify a new industry that I want to work with or company that I'm really inspired by and then I go and figure out ok what's missing what do you guys need? And then I kind of create my own position or roll around it that utilizes my gifts so, um, you know, one of the things that a position that I kind of have created for myself it's called an idea consultant I like to talk to people about their ideas on dso I target organizations that you know have a hard time being innovative and have a hard time kind of taking ideas and implementing them and I've been able to kind of say, hey, you just come talk to me about your ideas on dh people find that people will find value in that and I was able to kind of create a paint job from something that I just kind of like to do I don't know if it answers the question that out yes that's you felt like that like how did you gain again kind of credibility but how did you get people to the point where you they would contact you and say yeah, I think I think it's all kind of word of mouth the thing that I've discovered is that you know, most people are just okay being mediocre um which is interesting it was bethany I didn't think that was the case and then I became an adult and it's like well, like most people are just okay just getting by so when you are somebody who is awesome um work it's around like just be awesome at whatever you do and you know, people are like oh my god it ends up being a rare thing because most people are not awesome so when you are news travels on so then you will be asked to do that different things and frankly for me it's it's been a lot of just going after, you know, going after what I want like I think a lot of times people are like I'm kind of interested in doing that, but I don't know and I'm just like, hey, I want to do that let me go talk to somebody hey, I'm interested in doing that um and just kind of know being charismatic and persuasive I'm curious tiffanie of course along the weighted to finding a gift the planet you're going to encounter some from nose and some resistance from people out there have how did you deal with, say, negative feedback or people said, no, you're not ready yet? Um, you know, I just I just take it as a challenge, um, you know, the cool thing is that, you know, I have my whole life I've been having people tell me no, you can't do that or or have expected less of me on dh, so I just use it as fuel, and I just, you know, kind of going back to, you know, accepting your gifts and just knowing that you can do it, um and I don't necessarily know where it comes from, um, it's just it just is, you know, I when things get tough, I just keep going and what, you have enough successes, you you kind of just maintain that confidence where you're like, I can do whatever I want to do, I don't think it's not necessarily, uh, and in eight mind setting, you and I have talked about this before we were talking earlier about how how the things that make us misfits, we can use your religion and used to propel us and drive us to prove the rest of the world, right? You know whether whether that's being a drop out or being a woman and technology yeah, whatever it is you can you can you talk a little bit about, um how did how to change your mindset so that the things that that you might be told no for or that people might expect less of you less of you before you can turn into things to motivate you? Yeah, sure it's the stuff because it's us always really come naturally to me um but I think it's helpful to you know whenever you go into any new situation that may be scary or you may have people who are like, who are who are not who are kind of like I'm a girl technologists I'm a black girl technology so like here's like one of me her ten thousand like you know, I so you know, and I think it's really important for for people who find themselves where like the odds are against them to really kind of, you know, think about you know, what am I here to achieve? It kind of goes back to mission like, what do I want to get out of this and kind of use that to help propel you when you know you may not have any, you know, encourages or people who were telling you yes, you can kind of thing andi I think it's kind of go back going back to you know bringing credibility to who you are I think it's important to know that you know I think it was important for example it's important for me to be in a really awesome black or programmer so someone else can see me and say yes you can do it too I can do it too so I really use that as motivation to kind of push through when I'm having rough days or feel out of place or the kind of thing way had been talking about earlier today about mentors and advisors and so sam cox had asked tiffany argue a mentor and where do you look for mentees and how do you agree to work with them and then I flip that as well and say what do you look for in a mentor do you have one adviser sure yeah you know and I'm really just now starting to create you know, formal mentorship relationships um and you know I'm now people started to ask me and kind of formal way can you be my mentor um you know I really look for people who well so what when I am mitory I really look for people who are self driven and people who are able to kind of take you know, big ideas and run with him as far as kind of what I look for in a mentor is someone who understands the need for individuality and who encourages individuality you know, I kind of stay away from people who tell me you have to do it this way on dh there's no other way to do it so yeah, I have been successful in finding awesome people were like, you know, um be totally they can do what you want to do um but even still I think it's so funny because you know, fairly successful and I still have mentors were like you're going back to solitary so e really um so it's somebody's saying to them, you know, at this point I almost feel like, you know, I have a responsibility to to continue to show people that you know, college isn't the only way to success because I think it's it's been so ingrained in us to the point where thinking of another way to do things seem so strange and so add so um I just tell people toe just watch me you know, that's where I go I have another question here from susan this got to do this both for dale and for tiffany and the question is what if your gifts are not completely engaged in your career? Do you blame your gifts into your existing career path and find a way to make them more problem within that or should you go have something totally different that's based on your gifts yeah I think there's a way to incorporate your gifts no matter what you're doing on day I would encourage I would encourage the um the listener to find special projects in their current job so you know for me while I was at accenture I've spent a lot of my time you know, as a technologist behind a screen but then I was also able to like start workshops that discussed open source technologies I was able to start kind of groups which allowed me to use some of my other gifts of speaking and connecting and so that kind of thing so yeah I wouldn't have a first encourage them to find a way that incorporate their gifts into their current career option but then also as you see there's a ton of other things that you can't be doing so if they're not happy where they are I have a friend of mine who works at google who does ad sales isn't isn't exciting isn't like terribly excited about selling adwords she's really passionate about making videos and it's found a way to help make internal videos nice to be able to use that gift of hers even even in her current job yeah I think and that's just I think that's just like a uh gateway drug tio getting to live a life where you get to actually be happy with what you do every day and once you taste what it means to um so love what you do it's going to be pretty hard to go back to doing something that you aren't totally psyched to get out of bed every morning to do right sure definitely and he's been a great question from from the chat room and from organic soil and I think delia but you'll probably be able to answer is based on some of the people you interviewed here in your book does a person's mission change over time or does it stay constant? I mean you're young ideal who knows the five years from now ten years from now you'll be doing the exact same thing so there's a change is okay to change yeah I think it's absolutely ok to change I mean in fact of it if it didn't change I'm probably a little bit worried you know we know we know that people's personalities change from a physiological perspective up until about twenty five and what makes us happy what makes us feel fulfilled I'm sure is very different for each of us and will be very different for each of us in ten years there are environmental factors, there are factors in in terms of what we do that change you know, whether or not we have kids for example I would imagine whether or not we have a partner and all those sorts of environmental factors hugely impact what it is that make is it happy until yeah, absolutely. I have a seven year old and since he's been born even since he's been of school age you know my mission has drastically changed I didn't know education and general wasn't something that I was particularly concerned about I was dropped out but you know, it's now that my son is a school age it's like I really feel like I have to make some kind of impact in the educational system so I definitely think you're your mission changes over time as you grow and no more I'm curious if anyone here in the audience have you guys just have a mission so maybe when you started college he didn't go to college a few years ago that it's involved now was totally different yeah, I mean I think so I am thinking back I don't know what my mission was and you know, in college are after a graduate was will make a million dollars saying that way talking about over lunch party yeah, they get but you know now again having kids you know is a big factor and big influence and you know and teaching them and you know you know and then making sure that they have ah great life too yeah, well, I'll tell you one thing, I give an example my mission has changed my my first job out of college I used to sell cheese I was cheese sales and things have changed quite a bit we have a really good question online here from omran and this is a really practical one that we all have to think about is we're going after our gifts no mission etcetera that being how does one balance financial security so you do ever kids as you have tiffany with the need to do what we love sure you know there are so many people who need your skill who are willing to pay for it and you just gotta find them like you know figure out you know how do you add value and then go find people who are willing to pay for it sounds kind of too easy to be true but it's really how it works hey you need this let me do it for you and this is how much you're gonna pay me to do it and I'm going to show you all the value that you're going to get from it so dropping that whatever it cost is no big deal so I think I think people kind of uh find themselves stuff because it like oh I can't I gotta make money you gotta make money there is always a way to make money doing what you love to do I think too often people forget that in order to in order for something to happen it's not just going to fall from the sky you should ask for on bats ahh that's a responsibility that we have self directed learners have to take for ourselves to transfer think well that's asking for finding a mentor asking someone to pay us for something valuable I'm curious if anyone in the studio audience has an example of the time when they when they wanted something and on lee on it because they had to ask for it yeah the first job that I got out of college I spent months trying to go through the routine of sending out resumes and when I really that wasn't enough I relied on my contacts and friends of people and even that enough was it was going too slow so I just picked up the phone and dialed fifty companies in florida just offering to work for free and says like if you like my work maybe you can hire me a job in two months and that's how I got the job that I have now awesome awesome new examples older um yeah like um I wanted to like learn how to produce music so like I just went and did like a course on it um and then like a week later similar um contacted a record label said you need me for this this and this and they were like sure and then it just like I had to go and get that you know I mean they didn't they didn't even have a position I just like us fifty one one question I get a lot and I think that is something you'll be able to speak to you is how do you deal with people, particularly family members are parents, for example, who are so hot on the idea of not going to school or doing something different, even if that's, you know, maybe you're going to school, but not getting a degree that your parents think is valuable? Maybe you want to study art and they want you to be a doctor. How do you how do you engage those people? It's really? Especially if you want their validation? Sure, it can be really tough. It can be really sad. Like I said, I still have, you know, my grandma still kind of causing what are you going back to school and my grandma? But I think I think when you allow those people to see how much impact you're really making, so when I'm able to, you know, show my friends and family what this application I built it's changing people's lives or, you know, look at this organization that I helped start up it's really, you know, you know, bringing revitalizing this community when they, when you're able to point to things that you done, I think that helped kinds of alleviate some of that it still makes people uncomfortable, but I think that's good, I think it's a good thing and that's why? I think it's important for us to continue to be visible, um and continue to tell our stories are those experiences that you have had interacting with your parents want your parents will often what we dio academic camps we get we had people whose parents aren't exactly thrilled with him being there. Um, do your parents know about this? Yeah has were totally for me coming here, they're really encouraging my has kind of been an opposite experience of that. I've been kind of talking with my dad a lot about I really know what I'm doing in college, and I don't know if I'm really excited about what I'm studying, and he ended up getting into green accounting just to get a job and really hated accounting. So he's been really supportive of, like, if you don't want to do it, take time off figured out, go back later or maybe don't go back. My mom has been really supportive of me like going taking interest in l a, but she knows like like I'm not going toe she's knew that I would have to go back eventually like there was a time line like, all right, six months from now you'll be back in school and I'm here and I'll call everyone so I'm like, I'm not happy she's like, you know, but you just got to get the piece of paper that's all I want from you, like it's been kind of like she's, really support of everything I do, but kind of underlying it's like whenever we talk about school it's, like, notjust crank it out and then we'll we'll go on to the next thing. Yeah, I think it was really helpful, you know, kind of explain. Talk to your parents about, like, the opportunity cost on dh, then kind of talk about, you know, what are the things that you guys want me to get from the college experience and then kind of talk about all the different ways you plan on getting those same things elsewhere. So, yeah, I think it's important to listen to your family, you know, really be receptive to what they have to say, kind of listen and then kind of help them and help them understand who you are as a learner. Eventually they'll come around.

Class Description

For most of us, getting a good education that prepares us for a satisfying, successful life and career means going to school and attending college. We pay our dues by sitting for hours in a classroom, doing the prescribed homework, and often paying tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of getting a degree from an institution of higher learning.

But that’s not the case for Dale Stephens, who decided at a young age that school and college weren’t for him. Instead, he embraced “unschooling,” which is self-directed learning based on curiosity, confidence and grit. Instead of blindly following what society and institutions say we must learn and how we should learn it, Stephens offers an alternative approach that is richer, more dynamic and geared to our unique interests.

Stephens is the author of “Hacking Your Education,” founder of Uncollege.org, a highly sought-after speaker, and a successful investor and advisor. He and his special guest speakers will help you devise your own personal learning path, figure out your dreams and how to pursue them, learn to embrace your outsider status, and discover how to find meaning and purpose while also making a living.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create a personal learning plan that defines what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, and how you will learn it.
  • Keep yourself motivated when you don’t have the structures of school.
  • Identify what your goals and dreams are and what you need to learn to realize them.
  • Connect with mentors and advisors who can help you on your educational journey.
  • Build a community with other “hackademics” to help you learn anything you want.
  • Create a portfolio to communicate your talents rather than a traditional resume.
  • Find a well-paying, satisfying job using subversive job search techniques.


a Creativelive Student

I'm not able to afford this class now but I saw the live view on CL and want to thank you! So many things I have experienced recently it was nice to learn that I am not alone...talk about filters, time managing as innovators, taking smaller steps instead of reaching for long goals...chunking. Great course!