Eddy Zhong is the founder of a successful smart-watch tech company.
“Okay, cool,” you’re thinking, “but why should I care?”
Perhaps because he did it at the age of 16. And he did it after doing quite badly in his brick-and-mortar school.
In his TEDx-Youth talk entitled “How School Makes Kids Less Intelligent,” Zhong describes himself as a “straight C” student. And yet, he started up a tech company at 16, got featured by the Wall Street Journal in 2015, and is doing better than some companies started by Harvard and Stanford grads.
Zhong said: “There is so much more than just one type of intelligence. And while school can make you more academically intelligent-- it can teach you physics, algebra, calculus-- it is diminishing the children’s creative intelligence. It is teaching them to think a certain way, to go down a certain path in life. It’s telling them: go to high school. Get a diploma. Go to a good college, find a stable job. And if you don’t do that, you won’t be successful.”
This, as Zhong and many students who have chosen to take control of their own paths through the personalized frame of online schooling, is simply not true. Success does not follow a cookie-cutter model; it is diverse and vast and brilliantly explorative.
Zhong did this TEDx-Youth talk to remind students that “You can open your own doors… you can stray away from this conventional, narrow, and limited path that [traditional] education sets us upon. You can diverge and create your own future.”
After all, as he says, “No one has ever changed the world by doing what the world has told them to do.”
In what way have you sidestepped convention and found great success by listening to your own heart?