The Big Short – Change.

Yesterday I met up with a Facebook Mummy friend for the first time (someone who has added me for years, maybe even 6 or 7 years but have never communicated with until recently) and I got to freeload off her a movie at Gurney Plaza.
I had to wait until 3pm anyway until I could go pick up my phone from Prangin Mall and baby was with me. (I have to go back again on Sunday.) I had time to ….kill. 
We watched The Big Short and here was my takeaway :
Our world is disintegrating from an epidemic of lack of integrity and a false sense of security and trust in authority and statutory bodies.
Without Integrity at an Individual level we cannot expect to structure society and trade within laws and expect rightful policing to exist.
In simple terms the person on the street EXPECTS leaders, ministers, banks, schools, the police, doctors, lawyers, engineers, auditors, ratings agencies etc to DO THEIR JOB.
You must be fucking kidding me. A job is a job. A job is something you get paid wages to do. And we’ll throw in some incentives and benefits if you sway the right way. You don’t get paid for doing the right thing. You get paid for getting the right thing done.

Is that right? No, it isn’t. But the rot started a long time ago when you were in school anyway. You never did anything the right way. Your teachers didn’t. And in the family your parents didn’t. Many people stay married like it’s a job they HAVE to complete. Many fathers work to support their family not out of joy but out of a sense of obligation and responsibility. Many mothers work or stay in a marriage not out of love and feel burdened, weighed down and stressed by having to carry the majority of the load of a household and family.

We live in an epidemic of norm-conforming unexamined living. We get married, have a family, go to school, etc like it’s “a job” we are obligated to perform as a functioning human being even when we don’t understand why deep inside of us we seem to be falling apart and disintegrating.

I am not saying anyone is a BAD person. I am way post moral judgment these days. Lacking integrity does not make you a bad person. It just means you are not clear about life and not aware of what you have bought into. 

At the same time it  does not mean I do not believe in Integrity. It simply means that I’m at a point in life where I will police myself based on my own examined core values and I don’t expect anyone else to be honest.
How can I expect anyone to be honest in their job when they went into it by default and doing it only for the money?

How can I trust any institution when the systems of trust from bottom up : family, religion, education – is fraudulent at varying degrees?

Again, it does not mean I have given up faith believing in the good and the potential of people nor does it mean that I believe it is OK to not have integrity. It is more like I ACCEPT that people cannot possibly be aware of what Integrity means because everywhere around them the models for living they see are a reflection of a lack of Integrity and Honest Living.
I do not agree with many of the systemic problems of society and the way each individual is blindly contributing to their own downfall but I have stopped resisting and just come to ACCEPT collective willful ignorance.
People WANT to fuck themselves up so that they can complain, blame and justify. We are conditioned to crave drama, suffering, unhappiness as our DEFAULT.
You can argue with me until Armageddon is upon us and I’ll ask you to listen to your own justifications. You’re simply JUSTIFYING your ignorance. That’s all.
You’re simply DENYING that you have any part in fucking yourself up and fucking the world around you up in the process. You’ll default into blaming the government, your parents or lack of parents…..the banking system, capitalism, religion, blah blah blah.

In fact, some of you can’t even get past me using the word “fuck” and religion in the same sentence. You are projecting your inner demons and thinking I am angry or dismissive or even wildly upset. 

So, back to the movie – I mentally reviewed the ending of The Big Short and I disagree with the morally righteous Mark Baum that “eventually people will forget who orchestrated the 2008 global financial crisis and blame economic doom and gloom on the poor and immigrants.”
To give you a bit of a background my late father asseses financial (investment) risks for a living. He was a banker and his problem was he died with too much integrity and did not become rich. Rich enough.

Like the character Mark Baum in the movie, as a young boy my father was religious and studious and studiously studied religion. He was even a novice monk. He believed he was going to be able to grow up and right all the wrong in the world. He believed you could do good and get very very very rich doing good. 

As an adult he would continue to study other religions, economics and history relentlessly looking for problems with “God” and the state of humanity. As a young adult I inherited many of his beliefs until I started examining what my father spent his life examining. He passed away, his heart gave out, when he was 46. I’m 40 this year and unless I get hit by a car or a falling roof I think I have a few good decades ahead to continue telling stories. 
So, the problem IS NOT THE BANKING AND FINANCIAL SYSTEM. Not alone. Not by itself. The SYSTEMS we live in is a runaway monster of our individual dishonesty and greed.
Oh, yes, Greed is good, isn’t it?
No matter how I explain things it will not make sense until you are ready to face your own demons and your Default Settings for Life. Nothing I say will make sense until you are ready to take 100% responsibility in how you contributed to the state of the world we are in. If I do explain the different areas  of our individual lives and how they all tie into the lack of Integrity and Honesty at a global level we will understand why even the Top Countries in the CPI are not the answers to this embedded epidemic that will lead to a guaranteed global humanity systemic failure. 
Sticking to the plot for the movie I’ll explain why I do not believe the banking system is at fault. In spite of the fact and as much as I value the time spent with retired Economics Professor Thomas H. Greco several years ago in my quest to examine the beliefs I had inherited about money and global economics and finances, in spite of what I have learned from Prof Greco in discussing the history of money and the future of our global financial systems, my conclusion is the problem is The Individual and their Greed. No system can thwart collective greed.
Yes, billions have been wiped out by economic crises. A lot of hard earned money. With the 2008 US housing bubble we blame the banks for offering “subprimes”. But who WANTED THEM ? Who created a market for that ?
The people who WANTED the loans were people with integrity issues in the first place. They either cannot or will not manage their ability to earn and spend within their means. They are people who want to upgrade their lifestyles and have “The American Dream” without learning the Entrepreneurial Financial Blueprint of America’s forefathers from Europe who made America the greatest economy in the world today.

If someone dangled a carrot in front of you and told you, against your own better judgment, that you can own this carrot via means that seem dodgy or fraudulent, how long can you last before succumbing to it?

So, you’re now going to blame Marketing and Sales? Blame? You serious? Blaming yourself for lacking better judgment? You serious? No, no, no. No blaming. Let’s go back to the plot. 

It’s happening right now in Malaysia too. Good and otherwise pretty scrupulous people cannot wait to be seen as “successful” and “made it”. They want the condo, the cars and the second, third, fourth and fifth homes for “investment”. MLM companies make a killing selling shortcuts. People want the “fancy coffee”, the clothes, the handbags, the catering companies to lay out a fancy feast in their big house.
There is NOTHING wrong with wanting more. Do not blame Consumer spending.
What is wrong is the DISCONNECT between value creation and lifestyle upgrade. And that is how Education and Schooling is connected. We are not educating children  how to mine the creative potentials of Minds and synthesize Minds with Peers through Collaborations. We are teaching children that their self-worth is tied to how well they score in tests. We are teaching children that their potential in life and their intelligence is directly tied to how well they behave and co-operate in school and jump through hoops with tests.

Through education we are reinforcing the belief that Success in life is a result of the combination of competition and tokens of achievements (the robe, the condo, the car, the wife, the husband, the kids).

And now you know how we created an Epidemic of Stupid. We input data and information without nurturing thinking and creative potentials for OUTPUT. We not only created an Epidemic of Stupid we manufactured an Economy of Unproductive Obsoledges. Our modalities for long term individual and societal outcomes such as prosperity, purpose, happiness, joy, harmony meaning and contribution embedded in our systems of education worldwide is the TOTAL AND DIRECT OPPOSITE of the modalities that would create the desired outcomes. 

People want to live BETTER than the actual reflection of the value they are able to put into society. It is as if financial success is what VALIDATES their self worth as a human being. If you didn’t do as well in school there’s still one more shot at Success – MONEY.

You can always hear a problem when someone says, “When I am rich……” or “When I graduate”. Do you know what that problem is?

No, the problem is NOT about wanting to be RICH! The problem is this disconnect – this thinking that ONLY by being rich or seen as successful are they able to do meaningful, purposeful HUMAN things. We teach that kind of bullshit in school and then we tell them here is the curriculum. 
So few people live with CORE INTEGRITY as their way of validating their own self-worth, significance and purpose in this world. As a child you actually need to disintegrate your own core integrity in order to fit into a dysfunctional system.

This lack of living with one’s core goes beyond school to the home. To their parents’ marriage that leads to dishonest sex and so on and so on. It is a rabbit hole. I focus on Education and Schooling here because this phase of a person’s life could have been the Game Changer for Society. Instead, it has become the Enabler. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a better life and wanting to be rich. If you are like the Old Me and saying I am OK with being comfortable then you are just burning time on earth and being willfully ignorant like I was.
What is wrong, though, is the DISCONNECT between value creation and lifestyle upgrade. This DISCONNECT distracts people from developing core integrity because producing REAL VALUE is slow money. And slow money is, erm, Stupid Money.
People want Fast Money. And banks pander to that need. Are  banks supposed to NOT pander to the need to have “a better life”? Then Ah Longs will just step in in that vacuum because that need, that greed, it won’t go away. Who will people go to that will lend to them if banks won’t? Do you think people will STOP just because they are told in their face they are a risk to the health of the collective global capitalist system?
People do not want to live Honest and with Integrity and build value that comes from the Self and how the Self contributes and builds society from the bottom up.
People want to race up to the top, prove themselves Successful, and then only will they start doing human things like finding their purpose, finding love, giving to charity, uplifting people, having a family, produce for free, leaving a legacy….
People want to build their credibility not based on their Core Integrity and Honest living. They want to BUY credibility via TOKENS of achievements. Token living versus TRUE VALUE Living.
Token are cool. But only if they are backed up by real value. Trophies are cool. Provided they are a symbol of true accomplishment and value creation. But these days even my 2 year old Toddler gets a trophy for a song he didn’t sing. What kind of society are we living in where kindergartens and daycares are focussed on tokens like uniform, tote bags, paid costumes for annual concerts, trophies and presents and cutting costs on training and certifying teachers and hiring nutritionists, nurses and cooks?
Don’t blame any system. Really. Blame ourselves.
Another huge bubble, Academic Inflation, is about to blow up in the next decade and the fallout will be even more massive, the effects more extensive and the remedy will take a lot longer than 5 years to mop up the mess and build a new infrastructure. It will take generations. The chaos and uncertainty in between will be fertile ground for extremism, social anxiety and general unrest.
Don’t listen to a word I say. I am Chicken Little.

The purpose of this post?

To remind you to watch for the indicators and the markers. They are always there if you look and analyse the data and talk to people in the streets. The Academic Bubble will have a bigger effect on the way of life as we know it than the Mortgage SubPrime Bubble in America did or the DotCom bubble. The Academic Bubble has taken decades in the making and is so self-perpetuating driven at the wheel by its own products that its destructive potential is unstoppable.

The solution?

Stop fooling yourselves by continuing to invest in the Bubble from kindergarten level up to a PhD. Invest instead in yourself so that you can be a solutions provider when the fallout is upon us. It has already begun. Graduates can’t find jobs. Salaries for graduates are dropping. Graduates are travelling out of Western countries to Asian and African nations looking for any kind of employment opportunity and career path.

The Opportunity looks like this :

Adult Education and Soft Skills training and knowing how to nurture Creativity and Problem solving. 


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Those Who Are Ahead, Stay Ahead.

After interviewing applicants with a minimum diploma / degree for the position of part-time English teacher I will conclude that the rot starts in Early Childhood Education.

Kindergartens are forcing children to learn by rote so that they can impress the parents who want their kids to be “ready for Standard 1”.

EC Educators pass the rot over to primary schools who continue to drill the learning and creative capacities out of these children in order to inflate test results.

As long as these children were passing dodgy “tests” they get passed on and on the conveyor belt, get to secondary school where it gets harder and harder to address the problem of learners who are incapable of higher order or complex thinking and incapable of acquiring the language competency to express complex thinking.

Finally, when these kids get to college or university the lecturers will LITERALLY GIVE THEM THE ANSWERS in order to meet the passing rate required.

Having written a course for a local college to obtain accreditation from MQA I know that it is with good intentions that the government says, “If your college is unable to teach this subject to a level of competence, we’re going to revoke your probationary accreditation.”

The colleges and universities, on the other hand, have to deal with a quality of students who are not self-directed and who cannot perform at any level above being spoon-fed.

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Barking Up The Wrong Tree Twice Over.

How is a lack of proficiency in the English language for a country where English is not a native language and a dismissive attitude towards a national language, a defining factor for unity – even related ? How does one who makes it to CEO and MD of a major newspaper like The Star be of such limited maturity to make such a simplistic and unrelated connection?

First, if any country is to be justifiably worried about a lack of proficiency in English, it’s the USA. English is supposed to be their native language and for a lot of them it’s probably the only language they know. In a way their native speakers are as illiterate in their first language as the Malaysians in our country that do not or cannot read and write proficiently in our national language, Bahasa Malaysia. (The issue was politicized by a local right-wing politician from a Southern Peninsula state.)

I have mentioned several times that I honestly believe that those who do not attempt to learn Bahasa Malaysia to a level of at least being able to function in daily life deserve to have their citizenship revoked.

The reason?

Their barriers to learning BM is a reflection of their prejudice towards the majority ethnic group. Their continued existence in our country, passing their prejudice down to their children, will breed disunity and disharmony and in the long-run, those who cannot assimilate into the Malaysian society become a threat to national peace and progress.


Whenever I come across Malaysians I have to translate for I will add, “How old are you by now? Even migrant workers who have been in our country for a few months can speak conversational Malay and understand what’s going on. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself that you have a right to vote and enjoy the peace and infrastructure and opportunities in this country yet cannot speak its language? Do you know that if you did not speak English or any native language of a foreign country you or your children would not be considered for citizenship? How will you integrate with the community and add value to the collective if you cannot assimilate?”

Let’s hold on for a minute before we get to why people hate learning Bahasa Malaysia and associating themselves with Malays through a common language. I’ll address that later.

First, why we have to keep an open mind when it comes to learning Bahasa Malaysia.

I am a language lover. “Bahasa itu jiwa bangsa”. Language and identity (Ego) is intertwined. “Tak kenal maka tak cinta”. You cannot respect or love an identity outside of your immediate Ego if you do not attempt to interpret the world through their filter and language is a HUGE lens in how we view the world.

When I started teaching in a Chinese school many of my friends asked me, “How can you stand being in a ching-chong environment and dealing with the mindset of Chinese-educated people?” –  I love languages. I’m good at them. It’s not personal!

A lot of my old friends made fun of the fact that I am now an “Ah Lian” for associating with Chinese-speaking people. They say I am mixing with “rough people without decorum and manners, lack ethics and are tactless and unprincipled, unscrupulous and selfish.”

My point ?

Many English-speaking people especially those from an urban upbringing discriminate against those who don’t speak English well.  They are pretentious and ignorant and greatly disadvantaged when it comes to maturity in how they think but they don’t know it. English-speaking, Western-leaning people, discriminate against Chinese-speaking people and the Chinese culture (including other-language speaking people and their culture) the way Chinese-speaking, Chinese-leaning people in Malaysia discriminate against Malays and thus, the learning of Bahasa Malaysia.

I will not deny that there is a hierarchy of language and because of its economic and social currency, English ranks the highest. It does not mean the possession of proficiency in that currency makes one superior by association with it but unfortunately way too many short-sighted people believe a proficiency in the colonial master’s language affords them prestige or status by mere mastery of the desired language.

To be fair, the problem is not the former colonial master’s language. History has seen how other languages (Latin, French) have had their days of glory as the language that ranks top in the hierarchy of languages. “Got Latin, can travel.”

The problem is the negative associations we make with any language that has very little social and economic value in a local or global context. Not being proficient in English may cost you in the employment marketplace. Not being proficient in Bahasa Malaysia will not.

Among linguists and language lovers learning a language is primarily about expanding ourselves by learning from the worldview of others and exploring and appreciating their culture, beliefs and habits. Language learning of a non-native language has always been the luxury of those with surplus time, money or verbal-linguistic prowess. That is how language should be learned – to understand the viewpoints of someone else. And that is what the Malaysian government is hoping to achieve – to defend the identity, significance and value of the Malay culture and to expand on them and impress them upon others if possible.

In Malaysia this intention has become misplaced when Bahasa Malaysia was forced upon everyone and made a mandatory subject and medium of instruction. The Bahasa Malaysia agenda has turned into a Nazi-like propaganda.

It is definitely a wrong approach to force Bahasa Malaysia unto both Malays and non-Malays while displays of the ineptness and retrogressive ways of “Melayu” exists all around. The Malay culture as a whole and how it is projected by media is unappealing to progressive minded people. An affinity for gossip and rumor mongering, belief in the supernatural, use of black magic, obsession with sex and porn / rape / incest culture, illegal racing, drugs – these dominate our perception of Malay culture.

A Democratic Approach to Bahasa Malaysia.

At the core of my language learning philosophy is the Affective Filter or AF hypothesis. And here is how we can finally tie, the problem of a lack of proficiency in English and Bahasa Malaysia in a Malaysian context, together :

Malaysian citizens or those with PR status that cannot or will not learn the national language have a huge stigma against the Malay culture. Malaysian citizens, both rural and urban, who lack a proficiency in the English language are reacting to the discrimination they feel English-speaking people have towards them. Both problems are connected to each other through PREJUDICE against the other.

How can Bahasa Malaysia become a desired learning objective for a Malaysian if the Malay culture as a whole needs a major revolution? The Malay culture looks a lot better from a foreigner’s point of view because unlike Malaysians, foreigners taking Bahasa Malaysia as a Foreign Language do not face the same penalties Malaysian do for not being proficient but more importantly foreigners don’t inherit the wounds inflicted unto Malaysians who feel so ashamed for being forced to associate with a culture they are too close to for comfort. Familiarity breeds contempt.

Bahasa Itu Jiwa Bangsa 

That means, “language is the soul of a people”.

The problem with Malaysia is we marry personal identity with language to such an extent that to be multilingual can be associated with being “polygamous” at best or worse,  a “traitor”.

It is exceptionally true that you cannot understand a person until you understand 3 things about them : their language filters, their money blueprint and their attachment style.

And we’ll focus only on the first of the three.

The Solution 

My opinions are often counter-intuitive. First, on the lack of proficiency in English :

The Capitalist’s Approach

We need to stop looking at Socialist approaches to solving the problem of a lack of proficiency in English. We need a Capitalist approach. I’ve written several times over the years about why the entire multi-billion dollar global ESL industry has been and will remain a colossal failure in its attempts to bring language competency in English to the world. This more recent news article with a local context explains the reality of the ESL landscape in Malaysia and why complaining and blaming is just futile.

A capitalist approach means that instead of pumping hundreds of millions or billions into attempting to “train” more teachers to teach English the way Pavlov trains dogs to salivate on cue we should just 1Malaysia-voucher the entire sincere initiative – give citizens cash vouchers that will allow them to pay for their own private lessons with tutors of their choice. Allocating about $200 – $300 RM a month would solve the ESL problem in 1 schooling generation (of approximately 15 years). This does away with the argument that only those who are “better off” are in a position to get better, which is true of what is happening today. The ESL students I’ve had in the past come from families with a very comfortable margin of surplus income.

We do not lack people who have a very high proficiency in the English language and are capable, though unwilling, to teach others. They are sitting at home doing nothing because these are law, engineering and graduates of other disciplines who have chosen to downshift in order to find more balance and meaning in life and to have time for their family. I speak for myself even when I know there are thousands like me languishing in their pile of unfolded laundry out there.

All people like me need in order to contribute to nation building is to make it worth their time. Like it or not we already have cuckoos and functionally-suspect individuals going around calling themselves “English teachers”. We might as well liberalize and monetize the industry’s potential to the max. And two motivating factors would lucrative opportunities that make margins from flipping properties look like child’s play and personal pride in being part of a progressive, lucrative collective.

And second, on why Malaysians are so shameless in not being able to converse well in Bahasa Malaysia.

I have always wondered whether the language itself is the problem or the perception of it is. I remember when I used to teach English at a Private Chinese School I asked my students why are they responding so much better to English lessons than they are to Bahasa Malaysia classes and their answer is, “BM is useless.”

Economic currency and social status is one reason but if you dig deeper you realize that non-Malay speaking students have a very negative association with BM. I know this because my first task in every ESL class is to assess how high the barriers to learning is before even conceptualizing a teaching approach – as long as students are not allowed to address their “language wounds” they cannot hold two opposing thoughts at the same time i.e. be motivated to learn something that is out to get you.

When I teach ESL to teens and children above 8 gears old I have found that in 100% of the time a learner’s language learning becomes fossilized because of the negative associations they’ve made towards a target language.

Fossilized. Yes. And I need to “warm them up” to learning by bringing down their AF.

Malaysians who lack a proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia are not lacking in it because of the level of difficulty of the language itself. They fossilized because of all the negative things they hear about Bahasa Malaysia. And here are the top ones that will come out of almost every Chinese-speaking individual :

1. Bahasa Malaysia is useless unless you’re going to apply for a government scholarship to get a government job. But those opportunities are almost exclusively reserved for Malays. We don’t stand a chance anyway. However, just in case we can’t afford private college and need to get into a public university, we have to make sure we get a good grade in Bahasa Malaysia.

2. Nowhere else in the world uses Bahasa Malaysia. If we leave this country we’re not going to have any use of it. We might as well invest in learning English. It’s a global currency.

3. Bahasa Malaysia is the native language of Malay people. And Malays discriminate against us.

No. Bahasa Malaysia DOES NOT belong to the Malay-Muslim people. The etymology of Bahasa Malaysia is completely separate from Islam. But it is very difficult for the average non-Malay, non-Muslim to understand this although Indian-Muslims can distinguish “Malayness” from “Islam” very well.

The Answer Lies in Sambal Tempoyak, Ikan Bakar and P. Ramlee movies and songs.

How do we bring desirable qualities of Malay culture to the forefront? How can we contextualize Malay culture in a positive light before we shove Tatabahasa, Sastera and Karangan down people’s throats?

Let them savor the flavors of Malay food that can only come from the willingness of people that will take forever to get something done – or at least five times the time it would take for a Chinese or German to get it done.

Let people enjoy the humor and creative and artistic  excellence of P.Ramlee rather than stupid, over the top Malay skits and “drama”.

And we should have another national holiday – A durian eating day. Eating out to unite everyone.

The idea may sound ridiculous : “We simply don’t have the time to make people know Malay culture and love it. We want them to pass a mandatory exam in language or penalize them.” But it may the only shot we’ve got towards national unity.

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What’s The Difference between Homeschooling, Gentle Birthing and non-formula feeding?

I’m currently about 32 weeks along in my second pregnancy and what I’ve discovered is that my path to choosing home-birthing and breastfeeding is completely in sync with my choice to unschool.

Here are the similarities I have discovered among these three movements :

  1. We don’t choose the alternative to the standard, industrialized, one-size-fits-all system for schooling, hospital  birthing and formula feeding because we are hippies or rebels. Yes, there are rebels and hippies that media pay attention to as the anti-thesis of all things Industrial and “modern”  but a majority of us are neither hippies, anarchists nor rebels.Instead we are compelled to NOT choose the industrial standard and by default we end up with things like alternative learning, alternative birthing and alternative infant feeding to the post-industrial standard.I didn’t choose to homebirth because it’s avant garde. Like my homeschooling choice it became my default because nothing else is offered that matches my needs. Having gone through something once and finding it extremely unpleasant and traumatic (yes, school was for me)  I am just not brave enough to succumb to it twice and put someone else I love through it. I am a big risk-taker but I do not take risks when the odds  have been proven will turn out to be against me.

    I’m going to say that one person’s default is going to look a lot different from somebody else’s. – Today I read a personal facebook post of a gentle, water birth that was experienced in Pantai Hospital, KL (same place of birth for me decades ago) under the supervision of a particular doctor. That option is not going to be available for me without stretching my threshold for convenience because I’m from a different city.

    Just like my homeschooling experience I am not going to encourage anyone to make the choices I have made because I am a different individual from them. This sucks when people come online to get information and gather feedback hoping to find their own sweet spot only to be met by someone who is telling them, “This is working out fabulously for me but I’m not going to teach you the ropes or how to do it. You still need to go back to Square 1 and figure it out yourself.

    Think of it like going to a get-rich seminar. Whatever they are teaching has definitely worked for the speaker / trainer on stage.  But would that necessarily make you the next T. Harv Eker, Tony Robbins or Industry Rock Star of your niche? Not if you never discover your WHY and align yourself to your higher purpose for becoming a parent or becoming financially free or wealthy.

    What makes homeschooling / home-birthing even more challenging to teach others than get-rich-programs is that we’re dealing with young children who have yet to be formatted. Wealth programs are based on a definite system of money and wealth creation. Learning is based on a vast unknown field of human potential. It’s still possible for wealth programs to work for some people some of the time because money systems are a lot more predictable than human potential.

  2. Choosing how to birth (whether hospital or alternative) is really pretty much the same as choosing how to homeschool or unschool. It depends on one factor and one factor ONLY : who are you  and what’s the experience you want to create for yourself. (the parent / adult).In reading “The Birth That’s Right For You” I came across a page that explains how we usually deal with pain is how we’d deal with our labor. – Here’s how I deal with my migraines and other health conditions : I ask myself, what is the cause of this dysfunction and the purpose of  my suffering? How do I test then eliminate each theory one by one? I would be happy to rapidly gather tons of information to sift through and test just to arrive at one solution. I would avoid pharmaceutical products unless I have an important appointment and I need a temporary band-aid solution. I would look at the emotions and lifestyle choices causing a disruption to my homeostasis. I treat HEALTH and WELL-BEING as the most natural state and dis-ease as the intruder.

    When it comes to teaching language learning or homeschooling – how do we usually deal with the learning experience? I am the kind of learner that needs learning to be interactive, respectful yet not have a power structure to it. I need learning to be organic and to follow my natural learning curve which almost always means going WIDE and going DEEP rather than go linear just to be able to answer a question. I am a highly self-directed learner and I see LEARNING and RISK-TAKING as the most natural human state while FEAR and LAZINESS as the intruder. In fact, I see laziness as a positive thing – it is an indicator that I am either pursuing something that is not aligned to my higher purpose (just like dis-ease could indicate eating the wrong foods) or I am lacking a purpose or reason, a WHY (just like dis-ease could indicate a missing but essential nutrient.)

    As a non-academic kind of person I would not likely bother with specific learning goals and benchmarks. I would be content with having a few general goals which would take a 5 – 7 year learning curve to arrive at, going back and forth and sometimes apparently nowhere. I would not bother with tests and schedules, structure and a reward system.

    This kind of homeschooling style would not suit someone with a “B” frame – the typical engineers, academics, accountants. These people need a structure that’s a little bit rigid and mostly predictable.

    What stumps a lot of people who want to venture into this “homeschooling” idea is they can’t get away from the idea that there has to be ONE WAY of doing it that’s better than another. They might just need a little bit of introduction into the Theory of MI and theories of SLA to deconstruct from the industrial schooling paradigm they’ve been formatted into. An analogy would be a person who’s been brought up to believe in having a job until retirement and then live off their pensions or savings. They’d have no idea how being entrepreneurial works. They’d have little idea how to create a full time income from investing. In fact, the idea of having a passive income replace and exceed their working income is just unfathomable. The idea of being able to make MORE money after one retires using the free time they now have doesn’t exist. In fact, for some people, retirement is seen as a black hole one crawls into and making the matchsticks and candles one has brought along to last and keep warm as long as possible rather than freedom to make more money than a pre-determined monthly wage in exchange for hours.

  3. Trusting Yourself And Your Innate Higher IntelligenceMany, many adults don’t trust themselves to be competent teachers and instructors, trainers, coaches or people with any kind of authority to lead others. They have put their ability to learn, to lead and to inspire in the hands of figures of authority who would baptist them into worthiness and competency.Many people don’t trust their intelligence to learn, their courage to lead, their ability to inspire, their soul’s ability to heal nor their bodies to birth. This deep distrust in oneself is so pandemic in today’s world. People don’t even trust their ability to start and run a successful business or get out of financial ruin or financial mediocrity. They don’t trust their body’s ability to heal and they don’t trust their gut instincts and their intuition.

    Does this trust come instinctly or has this trust been destroyed by Industrial Schooling? And if it has been destroyed does it return to us over the passage of time or do we have to become conscious enough to decouple from the programming that has placed handcuffs on our Higher Intelligence?

    The transition to learn to trust my body when it comes to birthing and human-milk feeding in spite of the traumatic incidences I had gone through with my first child was helped by drawing parallels to another area of my life where I had been successful at : self-directed learning and homeschooling. It was also aided by my observation of nature and learning from them – cats I’ve had and how they handled their birthing and greatly accelerated by my acquaintance with and mastery of EFT (or Tapping).

    In learning about birthing and human-milk feeding the core idea seems to be a return to our higher or innate intelligence, a return to self-confidence, a return to our innocence.

    What we can do for education, the best thing we can do for education, is not to come up with more methodologies and approaches and theories, tools or technology, bigger budgets or more “wholistic” curriculum but to simply remind people that they are and have always been Intelligent Beings.

    We need to return to our own Innocence, our ability to trust and love ourselves and be self-directed. All the answers we have ever needed, all the comfort and peace and security for a better quality of life, all is already contained within us.

    It is a challenge to return to safety when our Minds are operating in a paradigm that is outward focused and fear-based. It is a challenge to redirect the outward projections of our Mind to be inward-focused to a dimension that is based on love and wisdom, clarity and awareness.

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Private Chinese Schools of Malaysia – review of Private Schools in Penang.

It must have been circa 2006 that I taught at Penang Chinese Girls’ Private High School. It was a culture shock for me. 

  • the “chinese-mind” culture – arbitrary standards, rules and systems. Things seldom, if ever, go by merit. Things go by how popular you are and where you stand on the popular camp. Yes, rules can be bent if you are on the right side of the fence. 
  • No contracts given to teachers and very, very low requirements to hire someone as a teacher. 
  • Hiring process of teachers is as bad or worse than Kebangsaan schools. Do not expect qualified or mentally competent teachers. 
  • the “communist culture” – everyone is treated as a number, not an individual human being. You only  matter if you produce results, not because you are a unique human being. 
  • no innovation. In fact, innovation is not allowed. They are pretty bent on living in the past. 
  • If any innovation or “new ideas” are considered they’re always a few steps behind. 
  • Things are a lot more glossier on the outside. You get disciplinary action for saying anything bad about – just think North Korea.

Here are my Top 5 takeaways from my experience of teaching in a private Chinese school in Malaysia : 

  • They expand more time and energy trying to control others or each other or point out mistakes rather than being productive. This covers all aspects from time consuming (time wasting) activities, classroom practices and “homework”. 
  • They seldom walk their talk and are very incongruent between what they propagate and their beliefs. A harsh term would be “unconscious hypocrites”. For instance, they can preach “loving kindness” and “co-operation” but in reality they behave in ways that are cruel to a person’s developing psyche and model of the world and encourage cruel competition and selfishness. 
  • The students are usually a lot smarter than all the teachers combined and thus the concerted need to dumb them down with ridiculous rules. (like getting prefects to buy bras on weekends so they can do a strip search the next week and find “patterned” bras.) – think Nazi concentration camp minus executions. 
  • They pay attention almost exclusively to the “top students” and cream these students. Because of the small population of students the same students get roped in again and again for duties, responsibilities and competitions. 
  • The UEC examination really deserves to be flushed down the drain. I walked away with a new respect for our Education Ministry and how they can tolerate this nonsense called the Chinese Private Education System. The standards are abysmal and they cannot possibly produce anything refined. They may, however, succeed in not destroying the most emotionally intelligent characters who are usually in the “back class”. 

There are two groups of parents who send their children to private Chinese education schools in Malaysia : 

  1. The political extremist who would do ANYTHING to undermine the sovereignty of our government. These are usually educated, middle-class parents. 
  2. The working class / borderline poor who want to keep their kids in school for as long as possible knowing their kids would kick their way out of a Malay kebangsaan school where their primary Chinese education would make them feel like aliens. 

Overall, I think private Chinese school systems do more harm than good and take away  more than they contribute to Malaysia going forward. However, I am also glad they are around because they demonstrate how liberal and open-minded our BN-led government has been in spite of all the flak the MOE and BN-led government is getting over their “failures” in designing a cohesive, progressive education system. If someone else (say, me) took over the entire Chinese private school vehicle Malaysia would definitely achieve Vision 2020. But that’s never going to happen because I have zero love for Communism. Bear in mind that the history and roots of the DuZhong were to separate themselves from the nation and “brainwash” their own community enough to bring a return to communism or Chinese supremacy. Education is indoctrination. And they never forgot their main objective of creating separation. All their PR about unity? Total bullshit. You have to be in there as an observer and being non-partisan to know the place is crawling with communists. 

But hey, if you have nothing against Communism and you’re fine with your child being treated like a number then I suppose their ideology won’t really affect you to the degree it irks me. 

5 Reasons Why Would Middle-Class / Educated Parents Send Their Children to A Private Chinese School.

  1. They can’t afford international or real private schools. They think all private schools were made equal. They think if DuZhong schools admitted a few Thai, PRC and African students, it’s the equivalent of an international school. NOT.
  2. Even if they could afford real private schools or send their children to Singapore or elsewhere they are concerned about their child’s discipline and moral character if they mingled with “rich, spoiled, kids” or were too far away from the parents. 
  3. They bought the belief that UEC is superior to SPM. This must be one of the things that make me laugh hardest. It’s like saying infant formula is superior to breastfeeeding. Look, it’s true that not everyone can handle the lifestyle to breastfeed or have value systems that would encourage them to breasfteed. And I’m using this as an analogy because this post was written at the request of a breastfeeding mom. SPM is not for EVERYONE – especially those who can afford to do better than that and who have a lot more options in life i.e. who have different lifestyle options in life than going to a local U or get a government job. 

    But to compare UEC to SPM is like comparing infant formula to breastmilk. Sure, a lot more things go into UEC but none of them is actually better for an intelligent, young person’s mind. If anything, UEC makes you dumber because it’s more rote, more memorizing, more of the same drill that goes into communist-style learning. The Math and Science standards are higher but compared to what, SPM? Try comparing it apple to apple, say A-levels. Try Khan Academy and external exams instead of relying on UEC if you’re serious about getting graded on Math and Science. 

  4. They think the discipline in these schools are better. *chokes*. I don’t believe in humiliating and degrading human beings to the level they submit. In fact, I don’t even believe it’s the duty of a school or any teacher to discipline my child. My child goes to school for an empowering experience not to have another adult tell her who she is and what values and opinions she’s allowed to have. Hey, but that’s me – I’m not a communist, see? As my firstborn turns 16 in January I am becoming more and more aware that external discipline is a cruelty and violence towards another human being. I am a result of my conditioning and I have been guilty of trying to “discipline” my daughter and I regret every moment I was being that way. I was running on autopilot. 

    While I was teaching in that school I showed my students a movie, “The Emperor’s Club”. There was a scene where a Senator went against the school saying it’s not the school’s job to discipline his son. The moral of the story was fast forward many years later this son of a Senator becomes a Senator himself but had questionable morals and that’s what happens when you don’t let school teachers instill moral character. 

    I lean more towards Roald Dahl’s sentiments as expressed in BOY. I do not believe, that as a teacher, (and I still am, as a Life Coach and Business Coach) I have any right to judge anyone’s character when they are under my teaching. My job is to illuminate their minds. What they choose to do with their knowledge is up to them. Many teachers have taught talented students that have become deviants or antagonists. I believe in free-will and choice. And I believe that as teachers we cannot and must not discriminate when it comes to knowledge – even when our students use that knowledge against us or to defeat us. 

    Teachers are servants of our students. We serve. We are not their masters or their superiors or an authority, judge and jury over them. I serve and I get paid. I’m a social-preneur. 

  5. They’ve weighed the cons of a private Chinese school and think that additional mastery of the Chinese language by being immersed in that environment is more advantageous than mastery in Bahasa Malaysia or English. This is especially true when one of the parents is Taiwanese or PRC or if Chinese is their mother tongue and they have no intentions of their child spending their entire lives making a living in Malaysia alone. 

Roundup :

Here are the factors we usually take into consideration. Sorry that I’m not taking the time to make this into a table of comparison. I’m rating them from my own personal experience only of interacting with other teachers and feedback from students while I was still teaching. The ratings are 1 (bad) to 10 (good). I am using my alma mater (CLS) as an arbitrary control averaging 5 on every factor. 

Quality of Teachers and school administration

Phor Tay : 1 out of 10. 

Chung Ling : 1.5 out of 10. 

Binhua : 3 out of 10. 

Han Chiang : 6 out of 10.

Quality of facilities and extra-curricular activities :

Phor Tay : 1 out of 10. 

Chung Ling : 1.5 out of 10. 

Binhua : 3 out of 10. 

Han Chiang : 8 out of 10.

Quality of classroom teaching, methods, materials, curriculum, overall academic standards : 

Phor Tay : 1 out of 10. 

Chung Ling : 1.5 out of 10. 

Binhua : 3 out of 10. 

Han Chiang : 7.5 out of 10.

 Quality of student mix and social experience : 

Phor Tay : 5 out of 10. 

Chung Ling : 5 out of 10. 

Binhua : 3 out of 10. 

Han Chiang : 8 out of 10.

Stress level and additional after-school workload : (reverse ranking : 10 = high stress, 1 = good, low stress) 

Phor Tay : 2 out of 10. 

Chung Ling : 5 out of 10. 

Binhua : 9 out of 10. 

Han Chiang : 6 out of 10.

Conclusion : 

It might seem as if I am more biased towards Han Chiang and I have been for many years. I have neither personal reasons for or against it. On merit alone this is probably the ONLY PRIVATE CHINESE SCHOOL NORTH OF MALAYSIA that functions like one with a purely scholastic agenda Thanks to their board of directors, Han Chiang as an entire entity (primary, private secondary, college) is a good choice for people with few alternatives in education. They run their school like a school. They pay their teachers better. They have a functioning ESL department and they generally hire competent teachers. I have managed to convince one of my former ESL students to not move to Singapore and instead enrol for Han Chiang’s O-level stream. 

Han Chiang holds true to a culture and environment for learning and offering academic support and opportunities to the Chinese community. I cannot say this is also the agenda of other private Chinese schools north of Malaysia……..maybe, perhaps, the whole of West and East Malaysia combined. Perhaps it is due to the history of a relatively higher population of Thai, Indonesian and students of other nationality that contributed to the adulteration of the communist agenda and instead on the focus of a genuine Mother Tongue Chinese education agenda. 

I welcome any questions you have about enrolling your children in a private Chinese high school so do leave your comments below. I’ll leave you with this last but very important part though : 

What I say here is true for me and is  based only on my experience and the way I see things. Depending on your own mix of values and your child’s mix of expectations and personality things might turn out differently for you (and your child). I’ve met foreign parents who preferred Binhua and Chung Ling because of a lower foreign-student population. I’ve met parents who avoid Han Chiang because of the high foreign student mix. They consider this as a factor making the Chinese-mother tongue environment “inferior” because they stream students according to their Chinese-language ability.  

Ask yourself why a private Chinese school rather than a kebangsaan school. Being weak in our national language is NOT a good or valid reason at all. Unless you get into the O-level stream, a UEC is pretty useless, or is as good as never having gone to school at all. Sure they tell you that in Taiwan it is recognized. But let’s see if one is treated as an equal on a Taiwan campus or as a Chinese-speaking pariah. The only valid reason I can think of for going to a private Chinese school like Han Chiang is the same reasons affluent Thai and Indonesian parents send their children here : to be immersed in the environment and pick up the language and darn if the results are bad. 

If you’re a homeschooling “wannabe” seriously question your motives about compromising between a kebangsaan school and then “settling” for a private Chinese school. On any given day as a bonafide unschooling parent I’d say, go to a kebangsaan school. A kebangsaan school in Penang has a better chance of providing a healthier overall academic experience than a private Chinese school no matter how bad it is. If it’s bullying and such, change kebangsaan schools. If you’re going to suffer schooling anyway might as well suffer in one that has some form of legitimacy. I find the character of kebangsaan secondary school students more balanced compared to DuZhong students. 

I totally get what the problems are with our kebangsaan school system. I wrote this entire blog over a course of years focusing on little else than the problems we have with our school systems – here in Malaysia and elsewhere. If anyone knows so well what’s wrong with school systems, I’m one of them. But now we’re talking “if homeschooling is not an option for me, what are my options?”

Homeschooling or private schooling doesn’t offer “better options” for the future until you become the kind of person that can lead that change from home. Once you are it doesn’t really matter what school your child is in. 

I had wanted to send FirstBorn to Han Chiang for the sake of immersion. First Born needs to sleep – a lot. And we would’ve gone if she were allowed to fall asleep at her desk – which you aren’t in Han Chiang. And the hours are too long for First Born to survive it. Han Chiang didn’t match our internal climate. And as people who live by Design we can’t screw ourselves over just to get on the assembly line. Neither do we want to fight a battle that isn’t necessary with any systems out there.

FirstBorn intends to take the SPM as a private candidate. I leave it up to her because one of the things I teach is being self-directed and self-driven. I tell her : “Have clarity on what you want, why you want it, and do what it takes to own the results in your life. If it’s important enough to you you’ll do it. If it’s not, then at least you’ll know you won’t be spending your energy on something you don’t really want.” She’s mature enough to handle that though many parents would disagree because according to them, “At that age I didn’t know what I wanted and I’m glad my parents pushed me.” – But here’s the thing : different strokes for different folks. That’s the core tenet of homeschooling. 

Whatever decision you make just trust that it’s going to be right for you and when you discover it’s not – just do a retake. Life is just a dress rehearsal. 


Filed under Future of Education

Alternative Schooling Without Regrets And The Future of Education.

It’s been a very long time since I blogged anywhere on the cybersphere, especially on learning and education and for three main reasons :

– the letter “e” on my laptop keyboard fell off. To type efficiently I have to plug in my USB keyboard. Don’t love to. And my wifi-connection keeps turning off and I’ve done whatever remedy was out there on the web to no avail.

– I’d rather err on the side of not repeating myself. Some blogs and newsletters are just so repetitive and people blog for the sake of frequency and “SEO” and not the value they provide. I think I’ve said pretty much everything I think about the future of education, language learning and my unschooling experience.

– I’ve been consuming content on my very nice smart phone (HTC One) rather than create content on my laptop.

So, what’s changed?

After 16 years I’m having another baby! My firstborn is already 16 and has been looking forward to a baby for at least the last ten years. I told her that they don’t sell men in supermarkets that I can just buy off the shelf and make a baby with. Also, at 38, and with some limiting beliefs, such as not being sure if I wanted to give up my freedom and lifestyle to have another tyke again and build the next several years of life with the father of the baby, it did cause a block to my fertility.

And having #2 in 2014 got me thinking whether I’d do the exact same thing I’ve been doing from 1998 to 2014 and the answer was a simple. “No”. I’m a different person, the child is a different person from his/her older sister and he/she might be someone who thrives in a school environment.

The father of this baby, in terms of our general views in life, is the total opposite of me. He doesn’t really get what unschooling is. He thinks my firstborn should be in school. He also thinks I’m depriving her by not having a TV in the home. He has a son from another relationship and he wants his son to go to an international school. Or Chinese school. One advantage of not being legally married is he doesn’t have veto powers when the time comes to making major decisions in a child’s life – like, the choice of education.

What have I learned about unschooling now that my daughter is 16 and it’s just one more year before she’s officially “off school” and headed into life?

  1. There is no wrong or right.I know this is such a cliche but it takes a lot of inner-knowing to be able to make your decision from a place of love and confidence rather than fear. A lot of parents are looking into homeschooling or unschooling because they’re worried that our school systems are not going to be able to prepare our children for the future – which, a lot of people still don’t know what it looks like.The only way to homeschool or unschool without regret is to truly know and understand your purpose. Think of it like starting a new business. If you started a business because you want to serve your value and your brand with a purpose and you know exactly what and who it’s for and how to manage it profitably while giving you the lifestyle you want then go for it. But if you’re starting a business because you hate your job and you just want to do something else for money and profit and no other purpose you’re going to be bringing the same fears and limitations into running your new business.
  2. Structure, methods, curriculum, exams– it’s really up to you. What is your end in mind?For me personally, my SPM and college education did nothing for me. I dropped out of college when a few of my lecturers told me I’m wasting my time because I was already ahead of what they were going to teach me. In starting my new passion for profit business recently blending business knowledge and internet as the medium (profit brand and internet marketing consulting) I realized I really was ahead of the curve from what things were like in the late 90s and early 2000s.Whether it’s right or wrong most of us are going to project what our experiences has been like for us to our children. We think, “If this happened to me, I don’t want it to happen to my kids. If only I had known this – so I’m going to do this for my kid now.”But here’s the thing : either way you’re right. The economy of the next 50 years is going to be shaped by a mix of both technology and labor resources. Kids and grand-kids of hippies are going to make Green Tech an area of economy on its own. Knowledge-savvy, highly literate kids will manage and create content. People who are good with their hands are going to continue to make things. People who are good with design, with concepts and visualizations, with measuring and precision,  with art, with music……….as long as one has passion and purpose and has a sense of how value creation and money works our children will come together and create a synergy of their own. More of this in Point 6.
  3. Your decision does shape the choices your child has in life.- And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.My firstborn is very concerned that no one is going to hire her for a low end job without an SPM. But that’s because she has impossible standards for herself. And all teenagers are fraught with insecurities about themselves. I saw an opening  to work at a Subway sandwich shop opening near our place and told her to try and apply for it. She thinks she won’t get hired without SPM. And I was thinking in my head the Bangladeshi guy that served me the other day could barely understand what I was saying and I doubt he had SPM either. I suppose if I were a Subway outlet owner I’d like to save on the levy paid to a foreign worker if a young Malaysian with great working ethics, who loves my sandwiches and is looking for pocket change would be willing to try for a job – and work her way to store manager, even!I don’t know about most people but as a business-minded person I really couldn’t care less about high school diplomas and degrees if the job I require to get done is based strictly on performance and service and does not require years and years of specialized knowledge and competency – like say, an urban planner or brain surgeon.

    There is one thing written in the stars that is very clear in my firstborn – she is into money. A lot into money. And she is into how to manage property and their designs and functions to generate greater economic value. Running a franchise one day or a restaurant or food service center fits into that paradigm, among other things. She has an eye for design and marketing. And she NEVER breaks rules,takes them a bit too seriously and follows instructions very well. She errs on the side of not making mistakes. I err on the side of, “Let’s see what this button does or what happens if I do it differently.” She’d make a great employee and a pain in the ass boss. (And yes, I make a hopeless employee and a fantastic boss.) For $5 an hour I really think she’s a steal for any employer out there.

    After all these years I’ve come to my own conclusion that the only thing a child really needs is a sense of belonging, family (love), purpose and joy. The rest concerning life are just details that will work itself out. A child needs to feel they were born to be loved, not born to be compared, pitted against others or used for any other reason.Money is a learnable skill. How to make a living is not something that should float like a cloud above our head. Having learned money I can say that it has been one of the EASIEST aspects of life. What has been difficult for me was to find my reason for having more money in my life. Whatever our decisions are around our children’s future we should NEVER FACTOR IN how they’re going to thrive financially.

  4. Some doors open and other doors close – making decisions become easier.The decisions I’ve made pretty much closes the door for my child to become an academic. A PhD friend of mine lamented my anti-hyper-intellectual stand by saying, “If I had a mom like you I would never be who I am today” and in my heart I went, “Thank God!”

    I have a daughter. And a pretty cute one. I really wouldn’t want her fraternizing on a campus until she’s retirement age, dating undergraduates and graduate students. No offence to people who chose this as a lifestyle, it’s just that I don’t believe in the campus environment myself. I believe in profit and business and driving the economy. I believe in family and the hearth and babies and children. I want my daughter to run a business (or several) that she is passionate about and awaken the slave-driver in her. She has a bossy character (and I deny she gets it from me) and is a perfectionist and she loves money. You can’t teach in a university for the love of money! (I know lots of people do it anyway.) I want grandchildren. I want to see her married and to enjoy having a man – or woman. (You just don’t know these days.)

    The last thing on our minds, when we think about the choices we’d be offering our children in life with the education we give them, is Money. Money is as simple as being able to offer or create something of value and to exchange it. And then you manage and grow money to have more. It should be the least of our concerns.

    Whatever choices you make about your lifestyle and the things you expose your child to right now, all the conscious and unconscious beliefs they will pick up, will shape how they see themselves and the value they can offer to the world. If you travel around the world a lot your child might grow up to choose a form of work that requires a lot of travelling OR do the total opposite – depending on what your relationship was like.

    Since your decision about your lifestyle and what you wish to input and expose your child to eventually affects their choices and options in life play on their innate strengths and interests. It’s understandable that we all want our children to do well in life.

    Our children will do well in life based on only 3 things : Drive, Desire, Passion. A child who is not weighed down by a sense of disconnect, isolation, purposelessness (the causes will require an entirely new post but I believe parents are wise enough to already know what causes a lack of drive in people) will automatically be driven towards goals for their total well-being, including, financial. Behind this drive is Desire. And Desire comes from Beliefs of what they are capable of achieving. And this comes from their exposure, both conscious and unconscious, that shape their paradigm. Passion comes from being in alignment with what’s innate in them and what their purpose is in the world.

    I know all too well people who have a lot of passion but no profitable living. The only reason that is so is because they have the belief that you can’t make money doing “certain kinds of things”. And in a dilemma to choose either or, they choose either or. They choose passion and they justify why they can’t or are not allowed to make money in what they choose to do.

  5. Every child and every family is different. – again, a cliche.- There is ancestral knowledge, family patterns and a host of unique circumstances that make each family different. If a family is unsupportive, unloving, dysfunctional, parents are always fighting, there is disharmony and discord then forget about a better future because your present creates the future. Homeschooling and unschooling works almost exclusively for high-functioning families. That is why there is this perception that one has to be “rich” to be able to afford homeschooling. I agree.”Rich” in mindset and quality of life! There are many children who drop out of schooling systems only to have their farming continued at homeschooling “centers” that follow a syllabus. For-profit homeschooling centers is just another alternative to mainstream “tuition” classes. The whole purpose of homeschooling and unschooling is to extend the values of a family. Values such as harmony, communication, co-operation, support, love, understanding, etc.No family is perfect. Homeschooling families have their challenges with their children too. But some families are simply more functional, conscious and aware than others. If your family has the space, the means and the beliefs to extend your value system into the learning and growing experiences of your child then whatever mix of styles would work out just fine. But if your homeschooling and unschooling is driven primarily by fear and a sense of inadequacy your child would be better off not being an extension of your neuroses, insecurities and dysfunction.
  6. Whatever you decide it’s a selfish decision anyway.- Every single parent I have met, including myself, is selfish. We project our deepest, current needs unto our children. We love them and they are an extension of us and we carelessly try to mould them into us for better or for worse. We want them to have all the things we didn’t, all the things our parents couldn’t give to us, to have the experiences we wished we had when we were their age.In a way, any decision we make to homeschool or unschool is “wrong” because it’s coming from us trying to right a wrong done to us. It’s us trying to complete ourselves through our children. And that’s wrong at some level but necessary as part of our soul’s journey. Some of us dropped out of “promising careers” when we realized that the quality and purpose of life does not come from participating in the rat race and see no point in pushing our kids to get a professional “job”. Having a doctor, lawyer, accountant or engineer in the family is so ten years ago.As high functioning individuals that make decisions mostly from a place of confidence and purpose rather than fear and worry making a selfish decision to want our children to be more of what we are (high functioning and balanced) and less of what the industrial system is, is probably a superior choice.
  7. The Future Economy looks good to me.- After spending over a decade studying real-life economics, international money systems, trends, streets-smart business and immersing myself in technology and education I must say the prognosis is good for the future.The “Economy” boils down to really just 3 things :
  • Are you a producer or a consumer?
  • Do you understand how to create and distribute your value, transact and negotiate it?
  • Can you manage money and do you have clarity and awareness about how things work?

The problem with most people in our world is they build their whole lives around money that is built around being a consumer of a job than a creator of a job. They exchange higher order thinking and creativity for simple rote and routine chain-of-command tasks. And that’s the result of Industrial Schooling teaching them to take orders and follow a schedule. Most people are just dull in the head and stunted emotionally which causes the myopia, scarcity mindset and confused mind lacking clarity and awareness of How Things & Systems Work.

I see a movement where a lot of people are thinking about starting their own business, online or offline, and are eager to invest in learning new skills and new ways of thinking. I see more and more people believing in the idea of effortlessness and spirituality versus hard work and toil. I see a lot of people taking courses on business, investment and money and wanting to take control of their own lives.

And all this is good for the future economy. You know why? Coz when you have more people willing to be prosumers (produce and consume at the same time at a higher, more balanced level), more people willing to manage their money so they can lend to individuals and business as managed investments instead of using big banks as agents to invest (save money in a bank) and borrow from and more individuals becoming aware of how the value-chain works they are going to be more savvy in packaging and delivering their skill-sets and this will create an exponential and unprecedented market for the exchange of skills and knowledge – renewable, inexhaustible, resources that are self-sustaining.

Would I take a different direction in education?

The good thing about having done it at least ONCE is I’m really not as worried going into it the second time. Or third. Or fourth. Not worried at all. There’s no longer the stress about what early childhood method to choose, to start reading early or not, to send to enrichment classes or not, which school to enrol in, what efforts to direct my child’s energy towards, logistics about school and tuition and costs and – oh yes, and concerns about socialization!

Whatever my child wants that is right for him / her, the Universe will provide and all will be well. I trust myself that I have a great balance between flow and direction, purpose and faith, goals and methodology.

Some people are going to project their fears and inadequacies unto me the way I used to on my child. We want an IB education, we want a Green School, we want this and that to “prepare our kids for the future” – as if the future is a war coming upon us. But what if the future is not static and not something we prepare for but something our children are allowed to create without projections and interference by us?

I’m a lot calmer, more purposeful and less result-oriented when it comes to this second child. Don’t we all get mellow as we age? I suppose that’s the benefit of having “older parents” – they are a lot less neurotic and have fewer expectations.

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Don’t Take Advice from Yourself If You Are Struggling In That Area.

It is absolutely possible that anyone who is struggling with starting a new business or struggling for years would find their own “logic” to argue any of the above statements I have made here. And that is EXACTLY the beliefs you hold that are causing all the struggle in business.

The above paragraph is from my last post on the lies people believe about starting your own business. The article was written as a reflection of part of a lesson I conducted and is also an excerpt for my upcoming book : How Never To Lose Money In Business Again.

I can foresee that when I put across any of the 7 Lies people believe about business it might trigger unconscious responses such as, “That’s easier said than done” or “my situation is different” or “it might work for you but you don’t know what it’s like in my business.”

Success principles are universal in nature. God doesn’t design life in such a way that He plays favorites. That a person even has those arguments coming up for them and are skeptical that something works is a reflection on what EXACTLY is going on in their mind that has caused the struggles with business in the first place.

If a success principle doesn’t work for you with the same level of ease it has for the other person it’s either because you have a very strong Affective Barrier in place OR your comprehension of the full message is incomplete.

Here’s what’s going to happen if you are convinced that the 7 Lies People Say About Business is actually true but first you must be sincere that you are convinced and then test your conviction by going out and speaking your truth and you will encounter the following :

  • it’s easier said than done
  • it might work for you / your area / at your age – but it won’t for me (insert excuse here)
  • if it were that easy everyone would’ve done it by now
  • my situation is different
  • I’ve tried that but it didn’t work out for me

and other related sentiments in that neighborhood.

Now, if all else fails they will then turn to you, the messenger and attack you : “What makes you think you are qualified to say this?” or they might dismiss the entire message by saying, “The writer / speaker is only saying that because it makes money for them but it’s not really true in their life.”

Alright, let me first take that last argument because that happens a lot to the nicest people I know – they really believe writers and speakers and trainers are out there to cream their convictions and make them pay to become believers. They honestly believe that the sole purpose of trainers, speakers and writers who write about business and wealth is to make money off them.

First things first : if you have anything against the idea of making money from another person that’s your clue on why you’re struggling to make more money or getting more lucrative ideas.

I can already hear the comeback, “OK, there’s nothing wrong with making money but you must offer value to people and be genuine, not lie.” 

It’s funny how people assume it MUST BE A LIE or a scam if it doesn’t work for them. I’m not saying scams don’t exist and people don’t lie in business but to me it’s almost impossible to not be able to see a scam or a lie unless we wanted to convince ourselves at some level that it is NOT a scam or a lie. Usually, it’s GREED that helps us convince ourselves it’s not a scam or a lie.

Now, back to people who think writers, speakers, trainers are only saying what they are saying to make money. We’ve now established that any belief that it is NOT OK TO DO SOMETHING FOR MONEY is a limiting belief, rather it is perfectly OK to do ANYTHING for money. And, yes,  some people CHOOSE to do self-destructive things that force them to live a life of darkness. If a person is an illegal organ harvester or a prostitute how are they going to tell their friends and families and fill up a tax form about what they really do? The person would be forced to live the consequences of choosing self-sabotaging means of making money. When a person lies their ability to evolve higher spirituality is thwarted. And what is the point of being born a human if we cannot experience the greater emotions of our divine self, of peace, love, safety, awareness and happiness?

The only time you should question yourself on whether or not it’s OK for you or anyone to make money a certain way is when your own morality is in question. If your own morality is not in question then you would not project that doubt and question other people’s morality. Now if you don’t doubt either your own morality or other people’s morality when it comes to making money then you will no longer hold any beliefs that go against, “It is perfectly OK to do a thing for money.”

The Message vs. The Messenger

The message and the messenger are two different things. A messenger, a writer or speaker, gets paid for their ability to craft a message for delivery. A writer spends time and effort researching and reporting and deserves to be paid for that effort to disseminate knowledge. They are not “selling” you absolute truth – they are being paid for their efforts to report on someone else’s truth, or the effort to tell their truth and packaging the story up with literary devices and eloquence. Would it constitute lying if the news they deliver, when checked against the archives of Time and Space, proved to be not 100% true? It wouldn’t if the writer or speaker feels no moral hesitation nor doubt what they are presenting and continue to believe in their rightful duty to report or deliver the message.

Does this mean we are not allowed to be skeptical of “the truth” spoken from a podium or by an authority?

First of all we need to understand that there is no such thing as “absolute truth” when it comes to the beliefs and opinion of one flawed human being versus another. There is just my version versus your version.

For a person who has a working model that comes effortlessly to them someone else’s lie, whether intentional or not, would be very obvious. Take language competence in English, for example. So many times I’ve come across people who have what I would describe “substandard” English, non-native but Caucasian looking people, or Asian people who have spent years abroad, teaching ESL. I’ve also come across foreigners who lie about their nationality without realizing that their accents, whether a feigned one or their original one, comes through in the way they put things in context or their choice of diction.

If one is competent in an area one would INSTANTLY be able to detect a non-working model. If I were very good at managing my finances I would be able to tell when a company or business is mismanaging their money. If I were good at making lucrative real-estate deals I would be able to tell when a deal would not turn out lucrative.

As such I would feel that skepticism isn’t necessary if you have mastery in that area. If you don’t have mastery and you got scammed or cheated just tuck it as an experience under your belt and work on that area of competence. This is true of love, of money and of relationships with people. So often I hear people claim they have been “hurt”, “jilted”, “rejected” or “betrayed” in things related to love/sex, money and relationships with other people.

I do know what it feels like to be hurt, to be rejected. And that is because I did not have mastery in the area of self-worth and self-love. Once I developed more competence in those areas it feels as if I now have a self-healing mechanism within where I get over a disappointment in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. I don’t take a lot of things personally and when I do I just check in with myself and learn the lesson.

Can We Trust People In Authority or Anyone In General? 

My short answer is : Yes.

The only person you need to ask that question to is yourself. Can you trust your own judgments on what you see, hear and believe? If you cannot it simply means you have not acquired enough information or mastery to be able to tell whether you can or cannot trust your own judgment.

A very common thing I hear in business is “the fear of trusting others”. One level down there is only the fear of not being able to trust yourself and there is usually a story behind that that goes FAR BEYOND a specific incident that triggered that “I told you so” response. If you can’t trust yourself and other people that’s a recipe to never be happy or feel safe and peaceful.

The End of Struggle and the Beginning of Mutual Respect.

A good reason to trust someone else is to look at where you’re STRUGGLING IN THAT AREA you’re asking for advice or solutions on. You’re struggling with something the other person is not struggling with and I will talk more about this in my next article on Hiring Good Employees.

I understand that a lot of scams are birthed from a premise of people needing solutions to areas they are struggling with. Rather than be wary or being ‘careful’ I suggest an attitude of going forth in life and then taking the lessons that come up. People struggle in finding love, reciprocity, meaning, direction and more wealth.  We have a choice to adopt a “be careful” attitude or adopt a “let’s see what’s the lesson here.” attitude. Any area we get “scammed” or  we feel we’ve lost out on in life is an opportunity for our shadows to come up to the light. And that is the whole purpose of life – not an accumulation of money and things but to experience a rebirthing from our shadows into our higher selfs.


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Filed under Context : the thoughts behind the blog., Education 2.0 for 2020, The thing about money