Don’t lose your inner brat.

I’m not talking about losing the innocence and wonder of your inner child.

I’m talking about the snotty kid you used to be who laughed at rude words, instinctively gravitated towards their favourite things and wasn’t afraid to question the way things had to be done – or even if they had to be done at all.

School is really good at knocking all that chaotic energy, creativity and healthy dissent out of you. Sure, it equips kids with the mental tools to survive working life; but how much longer is the 20th-century ‘working life’ model going to last in the connected age?

Did traditional schooling really help us? Did it leave us any time to explore what we love to do most? Did it carve out a great big chunk of our school timetable to let us do exactly what we most wanted to do, or give us approachable older role models to help us develop as social creatures? No. It was about passing exams. Fitting the template.

Education runs the risk of making us jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none. If your innate passion for building things or meeting people or painting pictures got crushed and snowed under by maths homework, French tests, science textbooks, none of which you cared about… how are you going to remember what your passions were in the first place when it comes to finding a job?

And that’s the problem. We’ve been so standardised by learning what others think we should learn that we’ve forgotten the instinctive passions we were born with. We’re a culture on autopilot.

Rediscover your inner brat. Be selfish, stomp on a few toes, challenge accepted wisdom… and you might even remember that thing you most wanted to do in the first place.

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