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Things they didn't teach you in school that you should know
By Sarah Muthoni Matu | Updated Nov 29, 2019 at 11:53 EAT
A student in class (Photo:Courtesy/US News)

Most schools capitalize on improving and praising intelligence quotient. Intelligence quotient (IQ) is what helps one to "know the book," solve maths, memorize things and recall subject matters.

Intelligence quotient will only take you far in life, but you need two other quotients if you want to go farther in life. That is the emotional quotient (EQ) and Social quotient (SQ).

Well, if you were taught these things in school, good for you because the majority weren't. There is a formal education that they teach in school, and there is the school of life. You woke up at 5.00 am when you were younger to cram the parts of a grasshopper (pun intended), so you would pass your science test, and that is part of formal education. Education is the initiative of both the parents and the school.

In Africa, we say it takes a village to raise a child, and a child belongs to the community because a child is taught and instilled knowledge by everyone: teachers, relatives, family friends, etc. It's not everything that society teaches us and some things we get to learn by ourselves. Education is a continuing process, and it never stops. Though we may not attend a class to learn, we never stop learning. This leads us to the first point.

Most schools capitalize on improving and praising intelligence quotient. Intelligence quotient (IQ) is what helps one to "know the book," solve maths, memorize things and recall subject matters. Children are graded according to their intellectual capacity throughout the school. Intelligence quotient will only take you far in life, but you need two other quotients if you want to go farther in life. That is the emotional quotient (EQ) and Social quotient (SQ).

Emotional quotient or emotional intelligence is self-awareness, which includes: emotional awareness, self-assessment, and self-confidence. Self-regulation includes: self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, and innovativeness. Self-motivation which includes drive, commitment, initiative, and optimism. A social awareness which includes empathy, developing others, service orientation, and political awareness. Social skills include: influence, communication, leadership, change management, conflict management, and cooperation.

Social quotient (SQ) is what makes people build a network of friends and maintain it over a long period of time. This is also known as networking, and we are constantly told to build networks, 'who you know.' Social capital in relation to social quotient broadly refers to those factors of effectively functioning social groups that include: interpersonal relationships, a shared sense of identity, shared values, norms, understanding, trust, cooperation, and reciprocity. Social capital and social quotient mean building your networks.

There is also another very important quotient known as the adversity quotient (AQ), commonly known as the science of resilience. This is one's ability to deal with the adversities of life, the ability to deal with problems, challenges, and changes in their lives. People with high AQ are able to be successful in their careers and life achievements by knowing how to deal with life challenges. They also maintain their health, vitality, and happiness. As much as school mostly capitalizes on IQ, there is so much we still need to be taught in life. People perish because of a lack of knowledge.

Having a mentor is also very important. A mentor could be in your career or your personal life. This person(s) is there to have honest conversations with you about life, offer good advice when you need it, and a person who wants the best for you. One needs an older person with more life experience to hold your hand and walk with you on the journey of life. Preferably, someone, you respect and look up to.

Unless you take a course on entrepreneurship or a business-related course, learn about doing business through experience by actually doing it or learn the business from people, most schools teach you how to graduate and get a white-collar job. This results in a lot of jobless graduates with little ability to create jobs for themselves, even having being so educated in their fields. Wealth creation is not something most people are taught. It takes the initiative of an individual to become wealthy. Skills like negotiation skills are important too. Ever heard a quote, "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you bargain for"? Well, learn to get what you deserve by learning and improving your negotiation skills for better business and work. Parents, too, should take the initiative of involving children on finances when they near adulthood; educate them on managing money, making investments early, introduce them to businesses, so by the time the person is a full-blown adult, they have considerable experience on finances. Also, parents should play a role in teaching their kids basic skills like how to cook. There are those kids who mature to be adults without knowing how to prepare basic meals. Children should also take up the initiative to learn. Your parents won't teach you everything.

The school doesn't provide lessons on marriage, how to handle relationships, how to be a good husband, what you should do to be a good wife, what is expected of you as a father, and the perks of motherhood. Most people take the initiative of learning about relationships and the opposite gender by themselves. And learning from others who are more experienced in the same. Parents also need to play a huge role in educating their children about relationships and marriages. Some people get in it, not knowing what to expect and later end up in break-ups or divorce over small things that should have been fixed. This is simply because they didn't know that there would be work that needed to be done to sustain the relationship, there would be compromises, and there would be times that you will not get along. So during the bad days, do you drop everything and leave? If it can be fixed, fix it.

In life, you will experience a lot of rejection. Rejection from jobs, people, businesses, even in relationships, if someone is not interested in you, they will reject you. You have a type when you are looking for someone to date, so do they. If you are not their type or they are not interested, or they have someone else, accept and move on. Some people were never taught about rejection at all. They won't hit on a girl because they have a fear of being rejected. Some people will go ahead and get depressed or even commit suicide if someone rejects them, they are rejected from a job or a business deal. Rejection is part of life. Not everyone will say yes to you or to your ideas. That's why we have a word like "No" that exists in the dictionary. And people do use it a lot. Accept the word and move on with your life. Accept rejection and don't fear it. It's just a "no." You'll get a "yes" next time somewhere else. Don't be myopic in life.

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You know those memes where they brag about cutting people out of their lives with big scissors, well, continue cutting everyone out of your life, and you will end up alone. School may or may not have taught you about the beauty of friendship and having good friends in your life. Maintaining good and genuine relations with people is important because friends are like family; they are there to celebrate with you, they are there to laugh with you, to share and do life with you, and they help you in times of trouble. Know your real friends and maintain good relations with them. Everyone needs friends. No man is an island.

Failure is inevitable in life. Nobody's life is a smooth path. Everyone experiences highlights and lowlights at some point or various points in life. More often, children are reprimanded for failing in school, and those that excel are awarded. Smooth seas never made skilled soldiers, and aren't the biggest lessons in life learned as a result of failure? Some people never recover from failures, not knowing that failures make people wiser, others learn from their own experiences and others use those failures as stepping stones to their success. If we take the example of Colonel David Sanders, the founder of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), whose image is used as a symbol for KFC, at the age of 65, he started travelling by car to different restaurants and cooked his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners. If the owner liked the chicken, they would enter into an agreement to sell Colonel's chicken. Sanders was rejected 1009 times before he heard his first "yes." It's amazing how the man started at the age of 65 when most retire and built a global empire of franchises selling fried chicken. If he would have given up from all the rejection he got and his failures, today, you wouldn't be devouring any KFC chicken.

Lastly, set goals, write your goals somewhere, and tick the list as you get things done, not magically waiting for things to happen. Remember that things take time, relationships take time to build, businesses take time to grow, and your career will also take time to scale up. I hope you enjoyed this article, and I'm definitely sure you've learned a thing or two. We need for a blissful society and not a neglected society.

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