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In his book series, Rich Dad/Poor Dad , Robert Kiyosaki is a little critical of our educational system. You can read the books and discover for yourself why he holds these opinions, but I just thought I’d share a couple of his viewpoints here. One of the issues he takes with the system is that it falls short when training students to think critically and creatively. He believes that the system isn’t necessarily teaching “wrong” answers, but is teaching “old” answers.

The following is an excerpt from Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing.

Here are some examples of right answers that are old answers:

  1. Can humans fly? The correct answer prior to 1900 was ‘No.’ Today, it is obvious that humans are flying everywhere, even in space.
  2. Is the earth flat? The correct answer in 1492 was ‘Yes.’ After Columbus sailed to the New World, the old right answer was obsolete.
  3. Is land the basis of all wealth? The answer before the Industrial Age was ‘Yes.’ Today, the answer is a resounding ‘No.’ It takes an idea and knowledge…Once you prove you know what to do, the world is full of rich investors looking to give their money to you.
  4. Doesn’t it take money to make money? I am most frequently asked this question. The answer is ‘No.’ In my opinion, it has always been ‘No.’ My answer has always been ‘It does not take money to make money. It takes information to make as well as to keep money.’ The difference is that it has become much more obvious that it does not take money or hard labor to make a lot of money.

It seems what a “right” or “correct” answer is has become a matter of perspective. I think we should bear that in mind when making strategic decisions.

Anyone who says businessmen deal only in facts, not fiction, has never read old five-year projections.” – Malcolm Forbes


Jenny Hester said -

Was having a similar conversation with my father this weekend past. We were discussing how following rules and learning “correct” answers creates a society that values left-brain thinking so much so that left-brain processing dominates. Not a terrible thing considering that rules keep us alive. Imagine rush-hour traffic if every driver took their own creative approach to getting home! But what happens to invention, original thought, novel problem solving, personal expression? I read an author that thinks that by the time we are as young as 4, many of us have already been told so many rules, creativity’s practically been “ruled” out of us! So, we wondered, since it’s a no brainer to use left-dominant thinking (rules), how can we foster right-dominant (abstract/creative) thinking?

You have written a good tool for this! By thinking the “right answer is a matter of perspective”! I practiced this today when out with my almost, two-year old. He wanted to ride his bike through muddy puddles in a dirt road. My first thought was the obvious “oh no.” Then I thought again. What would it hurt? So we road through the puddles. Then he got off his bike and we ran through the puddles, splashing mud and water everywhere. By the time we got home, muddy and soaking wet, my right brain was tingling it was so happy with itself. Now to carry this into vision planning for my biz. Thanks for the post!

March 21, 2012 @ 2:25 pm