Note: This is from my medium blog. Published in 2017
In the school system, teachers teach using a predefined syllabus :
- 1st term: Numbers and Sequences
- 2nd term: Algebra
- 3rd term: Geometry
Learning outcomes: To be able to solve simple exercises containing x+2+x+…
Everything is perfectly laid out for you. You know what to learn and what you need to understand by the end of the lesson. So even if you slack off for a bit, provided you are a quick learner, you can pick up from where you left off and easily move forward.
Similarly, when you want to learn a new skill like coding for example, you are given a syllabus:
- Part 1: What is a programming language?
- Part 2: Expressions and variables
- Part 3: The DOM
Again, everything seems to be prepared for you and only requires your participation. However, after receiving all these guides and instructions and information and pieces of advice, have you ever wondered why we still manage to fail? In life, I mean.
What is making us fail when everything we need to succeed is within reach?
Why, after listening so many TED talks on virtually any subject there is to talk about, do we still fail?
Why aren’t more of us hustling? Why aren’t more of us successful?
Because we are waiting for a plan nobody will ever give us.
We search Quora and Medium endlessly for a single piece of advice that will fix everything. We know it isn’t there but we look anyway.
We are looking for the perfect syllabus or if you prefer, the roadmap, to life because we are scared of the unknown. We want a syllabus because we want to know “what and when and how”. What we should be doing, when we should be doing it, and how we should be doing it.
Life isn’t a skill — therefore there is no syllabus.
No one will tell you the “when” to start a business or write a book. There is advice on how you can make it big in business, fashion etc, but no one will tell you when to take the leap; there is a lot of material available online on how to build an app but after you’ve followed a tutorial or two and decide to start a project of your own the next step will be less clear.
Life isn’t high school so don’t look for someone else’s syllabus or timeline to define and evaluate your own goals, so instead create your own. People who’ve made it really big didn’t wait for someone else to give them the go ahead before they started working towards their goals. If an idea comes to mind, you don’t need everyone on the internet’s approval or opinion before you give it a try. Isn’t that the point of innovation — creating your own path?
If you want to do something, what you do have are pieces of advice from and roadmaps created by other people who have already “made it” in the area you’re working in. Still, understand that what has or hasn’t worked for them will not necessarily work the same for you. So create your own syllabus. That’s how you will do what has never been done before.