The Achilles Heel of Formal Education

Posted 3 weeks ago | Originally written on 10 Nov 2022

Universities are in the business of canonicalisation: they want to turn the exoticness of a career into a recipe for training thousands of young minds and in the process pocket the proceeds. There’s just one major problem with that: most illustrious careers are actually a hack resulting from a determined conscience’s need for self-expression. We all know this otherwise we wouldn’t be amazed at remarkable individuals like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos however much we might dislike them. In reality, great careers seldom stem from abiding by the academic straight and narrow and more often are actually the fruit of entrepreneurial acumen—the ability to make a way where there seems to be no way. In effect, your odds of outstanding success are more likely to depend on the level of how poorly you fit in while having something to contribute than acing the system. Those who indeed ace the system do really well but not as much as those who ceaselessly seek to break the mould. What about the rest?

Well, they just get by…


On the whole, the idea that careers are canned entities is not sustainable. It’s time people accept the reality that careers are manufactured and that the substrate used for this is just the aggregation of the interests that one accumulated over time. In effect, your career is unique to you, just like your fingerprint. It doesn’t exist yet. There really isn’t any bankable substitute to this perspective. Especially if your interest is to be original and creative and transformational. For creative people, the careers that really satisfy are the ones that require you to experience some form of release.