If you can deny your talents, if you can conceal them from others or, even...

If you can deny your talents, if you can conceal them from others or, even better, persuade yourself that they weren’t even given to you, you’re off the hook.

And being off the hook is a key element of the industrialized school’s promise. It lets parents off the hook, certainly, since the institution takes over the teaching. It lets teachers off the hook, since the curriculum is preordained and the results are tested. And it lets students off the hook, because the road is clearly marked and the map is handed to everyone.

If you stay on the path, do your college applications through the guidance office and your job hunting at the placement office, the future is not your fault.

That’s the refrain we hear often from frustrated job seekers, frustrated workers with stuck careers, and frustrated students in too much debt. ‘I did what they told me to do and now I’m stuck and it’s not my fault.’

What they’ve exchanged for that deniability is their dreams, their chance for greatness. To go off the path is to claim responsibility for what happens next.

– Seth Godin

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