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Own Your Life

One of the great sacrifices of subjecting kids to school is that it trains them to ask for permission for everything, from turning in work late, to changing to a different class, to more mundane things like going to the bathroom. It's a tradeoff, of course: condition kids to seek permission for everything, and by doing so enable a system to exist where they receive an education.

Maybe that's a worthwhile tradeoff, and maybe it's not. But the real harm in it, in my opinion anyway, is that when we leave school, we're still in the habit of asking permission for everything. That's dangerous.

A manifestation of this that I come across with frequently is the questions that people send me by email. Here's a paraphrased template, which covers a good 60%+ of the emails I get from strangers:

Competence tests

On The 4 Hour Struggle

The competence of those in your professional (and personal) network can oftentimes be validated by very simple tests. Consider the following.

I need to get a 2LB package sent from a small town in Peru to the capital, Lima.

I am not in Lima and need someone there that can receive the package and send it to me in a different country.

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