Light BulbIn a New York Times article called “Need a Job? Invent It” published over the weekend by Thomas L. Friedman, Harvard education specialist Tony Wagner makes the argument for an education system that teaches children how to think/approach the world as opposed to teaching them how to become college students. In short, teach to life not to tests.  He highlights Finland’s system as a demonstration of how to cultivate innovators instead of just mindless worker bees.

His argument makes perfect sense and he goes on to give this great quote: “We need to focus more on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.”

Yes to every syllable in that statement and I would like to take it one step further and say that grown-ups who are done with formal education could also stand to adopt a Passion, Purpose and Play mindset.

I’ve written before about the importance of starting each day with passion and purpose. It goes without saying that those two things are also important to life in general and playing is a necessary and soul-loving thing to do.  Just imagine if more of us took the Passion, Purpose and Play approach to life.

The name of the article says it all too. “Need a Job? Invent It.” That statement is as simple as it is brilliant. It is real world advice on how to use the Passion, Purpose and Play model in your own adult life right now.

What’s your passion? What would be your self-invented job/career?

Demetria Irwin is a New York City-based freelance writer/editor. Follow her on Twitter, @Love_Is_Dope.

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  • The Times article was a great read! I seriously think they need to implement that kind of learning in black and latino heavy schools (like public schools for instance) before any of them…but realistically, I don’t think that will happen.

    Maybe I can innovate my own program… : )

  • As a soon to be college graduate, sometimes I wonder if it was worth it. I feel that I learn more and am exposed to more ideas outside the classroom. This is something that I am constantly thinking about.

  • I read the article and I agree, the interest in school drops as the years go on, once your in middle school it seems like you become a robot, you do everything out of routine, not because you’re interested in it. You know you have to do the work so you do it. What I learned in school and in college now, is nothing that is really going to help me once I get a job. We should be life and career ready once we come out of high school.

    I’m a communications major and I know my degree will be worth it once I’m finished, but I feel like I can still do what I want without one. It seems like in order to get a job and advance your career, it’s more about who you know and connections. And my dream career is one I won’t share on here, but I won’t need my degree to do so because I will be working for myself, it will just be icing on the cake. It’s all about motivation, you can get really far with a ton of motivation and no degree.