Sunday, February 15, 2015

Teaching purpose

As I have continued to plow through the literature of self-help, motivation, and sales training, one consistent theme is that to do anything well, you've got to have a clear sense of purpose in life, and that you must perceive that what you are doing is aligned with that purpose. Otherwise, people will basically smell weakness and/or lack of commitment and won't trust you. So all the gurus tell you to figure out what your purpose and/or goal is, write it down, repeat it, visualize it, so that you can actualize it.

Problem is, life is complicated, and we only divine our purposes as we go.  But this kind of thought process could be facilitated at younger and lower levels.  So, given the centrality of purpose, why isn't it tought more?  That is, while we can't teach people what their purpose (and I can hear those of you who recently attended the special showing of The Jerk thinking;  "special purpose") is, we could be more explicit about designing curricula and methodologies around the process of working towards a purpose.

As well as on goal-setting and processes for tracking progress towards that purpose.

This would be good stuff.  Easily as important as courses that dither around making sure kids have read Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Toni Morrison -- although those courses direct kids obliquely towards the same questions.  Why not just put the questions out there, bluntly?

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