For most of my school years I did the bare minimum to pass. Especially in high school. I wasn’t shooting for straight A’s. I just wanted to make sure I graduated on time.
There were some subjects I found interesting, and because I found them interesting I paid more attention in those classes and studied more. But even my best effort in those classes didn’t result in A’s.
I realized early on that school wasn’t going to be my thing. That for me to excel in school it would take just about every free moment I had (and that still might not be enough). But I had other interests and other things I was good at, outside school. I figured I’d be better off focusing more on those pursuits than I would by focusing more on school.
It turns out that twenty years after graduating from high school (barely) I have no regrets about my scholastic performance. I still think doing the minimum to graduate was the right way to go. Because even if I had excelled in school I wouldn’t have become a doctor or an engineer or anything like that. I’ve never been interested in professions like that. Everything I’ve ever wanted to do was potentially doable without a university degree.
My main regret from my school years isn’t that I didn’t pay more attention in class or study more. It’s that I didn’t spend more time learning on my own, like I do now. I wish I had read more books about things I was interested in. I wish I had looked for answers to my big questions and followed my intrigues. This is what I’ve been doing for the past 10-years and it has lead to some success. Including a self-education that I couldn’t have gotten in school.
If I had learned in my teens what I know now about investing, I would likely be a millionaire at this point (or very close to it). If I had read books about the origins of the bible or the doctrine of grace I might have avoided a decade of binge drinking, and started my blog much earlier.
But that’s all hindsight of course, and even hindsight is not 20/20, because we can’t know for certain how changes to past decisions would have played out. If I had done things differently, I might have missed out on something important that I have now. Maybe things are meant to be the way they are?