It’s NOT about the academics

Summary Keywords

academics, kids, parents, people, life, selective, build, burnt, writing, academically, read, child, day, bedrock, world, push, reason, goal, understand, work ethic, selective schools, oc test


Steve Xu


selective school and oc classroom without students
Steve Xu 00:12

Hey, parents, and welcome to tonight’s video. So it’s five o’clock where I am right now. And I hope everyone is doing well. Hope everyone’s having a great Sunday. And you guys getting ready for the beginning of the new week. So I just wanted to jump on real quick and talk to you guys about the title of the video. So obviously, you guys have seen the title already. It’s called “Tt’s not about the academics.” And I wanted to shoot this quick video, well, it might end up being an hour, who knows. I wanted to shoot this video to talk about academics and the role of academics in my viewpoint of academics and how it relates with the real world. Because I think what’s happened lately is that we’ve gotten a lot of people who’ve come on, and they’ve watched, you know, a couple of webinars here and there, they’ve watched me talk, they’ve watched me speak. And they’re like, their first impression I can, I can understand this is that, Steven only cares about selective schools tests. He only cares about scholarship tests. He only cares about academic standardized tests, and he doesn’t care about anything else in life.

Steve Xu 01:20

And it’s a very interesting thing to see. Because, you know, my viewpoints on this, I haven’t obviously spent any time talking about the role of academics in terms of the broader spectrum of things and the role of academics in terms of the real life in terms of real life application. But I always find it very, very funny that parents jumped to that assumption that hey, just because I’m running this, you know, big tuition center that they think that hey, look, Steven is 100%, full academics, academics all the way, you know, without academics, you’re gonna fail. That’s not the case at all. So I always preface my videos by saying that the advice that I’m about to give is for a parent who’s serious about getting into a top 10 selective schools or scholarship school, that’s a goal, right? 

selective school and opportunity class students doing tasks

So if you’re watching this video, don’t like get mad or get angry, or, you know, come at me with your, you know, hey, look, I want to build well rounded children that kind of spiel. If your goal is not to get into a top 10 selective schools, or a top 10 opportunity class or get a scholarship, that’s not your goal, then this video doesn’t apply to you. So I hope everybody understands that right? Number one, like if you’re going to come at me and say, hey, Steven, I don’t believe that whatever this is really dangerous. Well, if your goal is not top 10 selective schools, then this video is not for you period, right on none of my videos for you, right? So I want to make that clear. But more importantly, I want to make clear this idea of standardized testing and what my perspective is on this, right, because this is going to be the video that I give out to all my parents from now on.

Anybody who’s thinking of joining me, this will be kind of the go-to video that they’ll see on my standpoint about academics. And to be completely frank, my viewpoint is that it’s not about the academics. It’s not about the academics at all. And I know that’s gonna sound very counterintuitive, because it’s like, well, Steven, why would you be you know, running a tutor- a big tutoring thing? Why would you be talking about selective schools, whatever, all of this kind of stuff, when it’s not about academics?

Steve Xu 03:22

And I’ll be honest, it’s not about academics, it’s about choices. Okay, so let me explain what I mean. It’s not about academics, it’s about choices. So what you need to realize, and I’ll kind of start by playing devil’s advocate, and I’ll talk about kids who have gone through the academic system, and those kids who have come out the other side and done nothing with their lives, right. So I know many kids, right, I know, I’ve many, many friends who went to selective schools, right, selective schools is great as James Ruse, selective schools as great as Baulkham Hills, right. And they basically, you know, I would call them

Steve Xu 03:59

you know, like academic geniuses, right? These kids were very, very intelligent, very, very smart. They aced this selective schools test. And basically what happened was, they went on to, you know, obviously get into careers of medicine, law, whatever the typical, or some of them into commerce, and then now they’re working for big companies, and they’re doing okay, right. Now, the biggest argument that, you know, people generally have against, you know, these kids who do really, really well academically, is all Yeah, you know, they have really low self esteem or, oh, yeah, they, you know, they don’t really have any life skills, they can’t speak properly. They can’t do this. They can’t do that. You know, my kids, although they’re not, you know, so gifted academically, my kids are more well rounded, they’re happier, etc, etc, etc. Right? And I always see this kind of information. So let me play devil’s advocate. And let me talk about you know what those kids are actually like. So true, some of them don’t end up in

young selective student holding globe facing the sunset
Steve Xu 05:00

the most prestigious, you know, job positions, right. And that’s often the case of them not taking care of their public speaking, they’re not taking care of their communication skills, right. So they don’t work in the communication skills. They might get placed in a job where even though the academics are really, really high, like, they might get like 99 Plus ATAR, because they don’t do job experience because they don’t have other facets, right, they end up getting a similar job title, similar job position as somebody else who might have gotten a low ATAR. Right. And that’s happened countless times before, that happens all the time. Right?

Steve Xu 05:36

I’d also go as far to say that, like, the more academically intelligent you become, the more insulated you become, and also, the more likely you are to, you know,

Steve Xu 05:49

sorry, the less likely you are to have communication skills, right? So the more you study, the more you spend time with yourself, the more insulated you become, then the more difficult it is for you to communicate your ideas. And you see this with really, really intelligent people, right? The smartest people in the world, in fact, are generally the poorest communicators, the people who have absolutely nothing to say,

Steve Xu 06:09

are generally the best communicators, right? So you see, you know, I’m not going to name any names, but you know what I mean, by you know, public figures, you have everything to say, but they really have nothing to say, all right, there’s no substance. You know, they’re great communicators, but they have no idea. So I have no strong ideas, right. But anyway, that’s another point. My main point is a lot of parents go and start bashing on these academic people. They say, You know what, look at these kids, right? They went out, they did their academics, they got their 99 plus ATARs. But then you know what they failed? You know what I mean? Because, look, my kids are very well rounded. My kids are happier than theirs. My kids are, you know, all of this dah-dah-dah-dah-dah, which might be true, right? And so they go, they go and say that; they say, oh, yeah, look, my kids are so well rounded, I make sure that my kids happy, and make sure that I take care of my kids well being. And they go on to kind of denigrate and dismiss the academics. And I find this really funny because I come from both perspectives. And I want you guys to understand, it’s not all about the academics, and I’ll talk about this in a second, right? It’s not all about the academics.


Steve Xu 07:14

But it is about the choices. So just because, and this is kind of like a little bit of thinking skills for you guys, right? Like, just because there are some examples of kids who have got, you know, a very, very high academics, very, very good academics who come out and don’t do as well, because of their, perhaps, poor communication skills, and perhaps their lack of ability to, you know, talk to people like socialize. That’s not a reason for why you should not put your child to study, right? That’s not- that’s not a valid reason, like, surely you guys know that, right? Just because there are some people, right, who can’t communicate as well, right. And some very, very academically gifted kids who don’t have the communication skills does not mean that the academics cause the lack of communication, right? It does not necessitate and so it’s not a reason to stop you from going and pushing your child academically.

Steve Xu 08:10

And it’s always so funny, because like, even though it’s not about academics, I want to say this, that it’s always really funny, when parents go out and they start bashing these people. They’re like, you know, what, they can’t do anything. These people, they can only study. They’re only books smart. They’re not able to go to the real life da-da-da. I, on the other hand, take more of a balance of probability, right? And the other thing that I want to say is that a lot of these parents because they can’t teach their own kids to excel at a very high academic level, not only do they like kind of,

a selective student resting beneath a tree with her book on her face
Steve Xu 08:40

you know, put these academic kids down. But in addition, they say things like, oh, yeah, Tiger parenting is really, really bad. Or you’re these kids are getting old get burnt out, these kids are going to fail in life. These kids don’t have social skills, these da-da-da. And I get it. Many, many of those claims are valid, right? There are cases where kids get burnt out. Mental health is extremely important. It’s a very, very important thing. But again, we’ll talk about those issues later on. But again, is that a reason to not push a kid academically? Is that a reason to not like, you know, encourage a kid to excel academically? I don’t think so. All right. That’s number one. And the other thing that I want to say is that it’s often and I’m going to use what triggered right? It’s often parents who don’t have the kids sorted, who get triggered, right? You’d never be like, you don’t see this happen, you don’t see. Right. And I’ll give you guys an analogy in a second. You don’t see parents with really gifted kids come out and complain. You don’t see parents who are on top of the game who know exactly what they’re doing with very, very bright children or children that they push to a point where their kids are excelling at a very, very high level come and complain.

Steve Xu 9:59

Those who don’t complain on my videos, right? Those people are in Scholarly right now, right? Again, I don’t want to promote Scholarly but that’s, that’s the simple truth right? As in the only people who are complaining the only people will say, Oh, this is so bad da-da-da are the parents who are failing, are the parents who don’t know what they’re doing.

Steve Xu 10:19

And so, you know, my viewpoint is that there are two types of people in the world. There are people who complain, and there are people who find solutions, right? That’s just my viewpoint, right? There are people who complain, and there are people who find solutions. I think as a parent, your duty is to find a solution, right? Not to say, Oh, this doesn’t work, because it didn’t work for my child da-da-da, and so it doesn’t work for all children in the world. That’s not the case, just because it didn’t work for your child just means that you don’t know what you’re doing. Simple, right? So I know I’m going a little bit ham right now. But this is basically what I want to talk about. 

It’s also really funny, because one thing kind of related to that and the whole idea of being triggered, is when you see like, for example, I put out a lot of webinars, right? And on my webinars, I’m basically just honest, I’m like, Look, this is the writing pieces. These are the writing pieces that my kids have written, right. This is a writing standard that I teach. And this is what I basically, you know, teach all the time, right? This is the writing standard. And, and you know, right now, just to give you guys some context, like I’m just going to pull something out right now. And hopefully, you guys will get an idea of the kind of writing standard that I kind of, you know, push my kids to, right? So this is just something that one of my ordinary year five kids wrote the other day, right completely unedited. This is just what they wrote based on a topic that I put out there.

multiple choice test of selective and oc test
Steve Xu 11:43

And oftentimes, what I get is I get comments like, wow, this was like the other day I saw in one of the other groups, it was like somebody asked for reviews in Scholarly and one of the parents was like, you know, this guy’s trying to sell like some kind of financial planning product, you know, the writing that he’s kind of shown from his kids is way beyond the level of year five and six and it doesn’t seem educational at all. And this should not be taught at schools, right? This should not be taught at all. No, year five should be put into this place. Okay, cool. So let’s have a read of this. This is a kid in year five, and as you guys can see, this is what they directly uploaded and completely unedited. “As I indulged in the luxury of the burger rich in ambrosial juices, I tasted an eruption of aromatic piedmont truffle oil interlocked with Italian Porcini mushrooms and a bulky beef patty, cooked with all the juice, flavor, and aroma an epicurean could ever taste in its life.” Now obviously you have an issue there, it shouldn’t be its life, it’s his life right? But anyway, let’s keep it going. 

“This surprisingly tantalizing elixir was wrapped in stringy cheddar cheese, melted to the fullest, all topped and bottomed off with golden brown steamed buns, sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds for an interestingly cozy texture and appealing outlook. While I was losing my soul for an electrifying explosion of salubriousness,” right, like read that: “losing my soul to” right? It shouldn’t be “from” but it should be “losing my soul to an electrifying explosion of salubriousness, I question my own eyes as a Maserati Levante Trofeo whizzes past my face.” So again, we have an issue there in terms of present tense, past tense. “Immediately, I lost my focus on the burger, and turned to face the road. I admired the way the driver professionally drifted, tire smoke, creating clouds in the air, the power of the supercharged V8 engine blew my face off as I stared at the dazzling car go by. The car had a super exquisite appearance; everything from the boot, the unique alloy wheel design to the ostentatious Maserati emblem, painted with a sleek space gray finish.” 

a maserati park outside a selective school
Steve Xu 15:00

the whole premise and why that is. Why do I go about doing this? What is the point of Scholarly like? And why a lot of parents out there who are kind of going, oh, yeah, you shouldn’t push your kids academically, you know why that’s not the right way to go about things. So I think the best way to tell the story is kind of related to my own childhood, right. So like I told you guys earlier in the other video, and many videos, you know, that I made in the past,

Steve Xu 15:29

the big reason why I built Scholarly was because I was so frustrated with the academic learning process myself when I was growing up, and I was in primary schools, and I was in, you know, I went to the top private schools.

Steve Xu 15:43

I went, I was in the top opportunity class, right, at the time, right? I got into the top selective schools James Ruse. So I went through that process, and I understood how inefficient and just how absolutely time-wasting everything was, right? It was just a complete waste of time, right? The way that everything was taught was completely inefficient, right, and I just felt like there was so much time being wasted, right, on academics. And so my main goal when I came out, and I was like, let’s build Scholarly was how about we shortcut the amount of time that we spent on academics, so that the time that we spend on academics, we can ensure that the kids actually come, you know, you know, really enlightened scholars, they can read, they can write at an extremely high level, so that later on in life, number one, they never feel the burden of academics. They never feel insecure because of academics. They never feel like they don’t- that they can’t hold themselves in a conversation with somebody because they don’t understand them intellectually. 

That was my goal, alright? And, from my honest, opinion, like it’s worked, right? Like, you know, a lot of the kids that we have in year seven, we teach to a year twelve level. A lot of the kids that we have in year five, we teach to a year nine level. The only reason why we do that is not because we’re extreme. It’s because that’s just the way that you’re meant to be taught, right? It’s just that society now is just so slow, right? Like teaching at school is just ridiculously slow. It’s not just, you know, primary school, in high school, and whatever, it’s, it’s University as well. We’ll talk about that in a second. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just, you know, society is becoming a lot more PC, right? Society is becoming a lot more soft, right, nowadays, compared to you know, what it was in the past. But let’s just talk about that for a second. You know, the things that you learn from basically kindergarten, if you’re year six at school, can all be compressed in like, two years, right? Like, if you take the average sixth grader, right? An average kid in year six, if you give me a four-year-old, I could probably make that four-year-old get to the year six’s kid level, like reading level, writing level and maths level. If you gave me like a couple months with the four-year-old, I would probably be able to turn that four-year-old into a sixth-grader, right? 

a selective student doing arts activity

It sounds pretty extreme, but if you have good coaching, and you know what you’re doing, and you’re not wasting any time on social media, and all this other kind of stuff, you will be able to get that kind of result, right? The only issue, the only reason why, you know, we extend the process out and why schools extend the process out is a couple of things. Number one, standard for teachers is way too low. You can’t have like, you just simply can’t have teachers with low ATARs teaching academic content, right? It’s just not possible. Number two, the system’s broken. And, you know, kids aren’t pushed hard enough, right. And again, third thing, a lot of it comes from the parents, right? So if the parents don’t want it and teach you at school, or the schools push too hard, then you know, it’s not going to be too good for the kids, right? So those are the reasons why it happens. And already kids find it really, really difficult. Kids finding overly stressful to deal with these things. Not because the things are stressful, not because the thing is actually difficult. It’s just because number one, they’re not taught properly. And like I said before, you know, most of these kids aren’t given a solid foundation or built a solid foundation at a very young level. So that’s the problem. Now, let’s go back to academics and the main topic of this video in which I say it’s not about the academics

Steve Xu 19:19

What I mean by it’s not about the academics is my vision has always been let’s empower kids. Let’s build strong kids, right? And let’s use academics as the bedrock, right? Because when you’re in school, true, you can do sports; true, you can do all this kind of other stuff like music and whatnot. But really the only thing that you are going to carry with you into real life is going to be academics, right? You need to learn how to read, you need to learn to write, you need to learn how to do basic maths, right? Like every single person in the world needs to do that. No matter if you’re an entrepreneur, whatever, right? You need to learn how to read, write, and do basic maths. So my standpoint is, yeah, you could probably play sports, but again, does that carry with you to your actual life? Not really. You could learn to play a musical instrument. Again, does it help you in real life? No, unless you become a musician or a sports person, right? So academics is really the bedrock of everything. And my initial goal was academics is such a basic proponent of life, that you just need to master it, right? Academics is the most basic thing in the world. It’s like the instruction manual to your life, right? So the instruction manual isn’t everything, but it’s the most basic building block of success. It’s like, you know, whenever you read anything by billionaires, billionaires say, what, what, what do you need to do? You need to read. The more you read, the more the more you can earn, right, the more knowledge you get, right? But again, reading is kind of like the instruction manual reading is kind of like the education like if you all you do is just read all day long, right? 

If all you do is just, like, read books about business, you’re never gonna be able to build a great business. But without reading those books, you don’t have a foundation. Does that make sense? So in other words, the way that I view academics is very much the same thing is that academics is not everything. It’s not about the academics at all. But if you don’t have academics, like life is going to be quite difficult for you. And academics, like I said, is the instruction manual, the bedrock, the foundation, from which you can build everything off. That’s my standpoint. And so my viewpoint all the time was how about, let’s just get the academic sorted, let’s just get it out of the way, right, so that by the time you’re 18, you’re not wasting any more time learning useless things. You can start going out into the real world, and you can actually start experimenting and learning what people call life skills. But for the time that you’re in kindergarten or year twelve, you can’t work, you can’t do anything. And really all the extracurriculars, yeah, might be good for well being or whatnot. But I mean, at the end of the day, what’s going to be useful for your life? Academics, right? And so that’s my viewpoint. 

a pile of selective and oc books

Now, I know a lot of parents are going to come out and say, hey da-da-da, like, look at where you’re coming from. If you’re a bright parent, you’re not going to get triggered by what I say, right? It’s just like, whenever the government comes out with like, something about the economy, you don’t hear rich people freaking out. It’s always people who don’t have money who start freaking out, am I right? So like, again, you really need to look at yourself, and instead of having like a victims mentality and saying, da-da-da di-di-di, like, relax. Look at yourself carefully. And if you’re getting angry, if this video makes you angry, you really need to have a good look at yourself and figure out what like, why does it make you angry? Is it because your kids aren’t doing well? Well, you have two options. Like I said in the other video, if your kids aren’t doing well, number one, you can give up on them. Or number two, you can actually start working with them and try to find out solutions and you you don’t give up no matter what; you don’t give up. You just keep on trying to find a solution. Right? 

 Now, let’s go back a little bit and let’s talk about you know, that mindset and why that mindset, in my honest opinion, is not going to serve you in the real life. So I’m pretty sure everybody in the groups has seen those, you know, the comments where parents are like, oh, yeah, look, Steven, we 100%, you know, we care about our child’s well being, we don’t believe that the selective schools is the end all be all. We don’t believe that the selective schools test is the end all be all. We don’t believe that the scholarship test and oc test and selective test is end all be all. And the thing that I want to say to that is I 100% agree. Selective schools test is not the end all be all, right? Scholarship is not the end all be all. But it is something. And I think what you guys need to realize is how- the way that you do one thing, like a really want, like people say okay, academics doesn’t define you, your ATAR doesn’t define you. That’s great, right? That’s all good, right? But in a way, it’s like saying, like,

Steve Xu 23:59

in a way, it’s, I was gonna say something I’m not gonna say it. But in a way, it’s almost like saying that, you know, these basic constituents don’t matter, right> Does it help? Of course it helps, right? Does it matter? Yeah, it does because the reason why it matters is because the way that you go about doing these oc test and selective test, the way that you go about training these oc test and selective test is a good reflection of the way that you can approach life. And if you guys want to just compartmentalize and just bring everything down to just one component, it’s just work ethic. That’s it. It’s just work ethic. It’s How hard are you willing to work? That’s it. If the only lesson that your kids learn from going through this academic route is just to build a routine and have a strong work ethic and be able to work towards a goal. That’s all they need. Right? They don’t need like they don’t need to get into selective schools now if they have the work ethic and they have the right program, they’re gonna get the result. Right. 

It’s not a matter of you know, if they can’t get the result they’re gonna get the result of that the right work ethic they got the right training, they’re gonna get the result But let’s say even if they don’t get the result, from this training, from this rigorous training, the one thing that they’re going to develop is a work ethic. And that’s something that’s extremely useful in life, like you guys know, you gotta work hard for what you have, right. And so I’m not saying that all academics are going to come out and you know, become these great, you know, leaders of the future or whatnot. But if we look at the vast spectrum of probability, right, going to university is better than not going to university, right? If you look at the vast spectrum of probability, going to a selective schools is better than not going to a selective schools, right? So I think these are just important considerations that parents need to think about instead of like, you know, letting your insecurities talk, right? Because whenever I see these long paragraph, or these page long things, all I see is insecurities. Right? That’s all I see. Like you guys can have an opinion. But all I see is insecurities, right? Like if you’re unhappy with how your child is, maybe you want to reevaluate your goal. 


Maybe you don’t, your goal is not getting into a top 10 selective schools. If that’s not what you decide for your child, that’s fine, right? But then you don’t need to be in this group. If your goal is to get into a top 10 selective schools, then I want to help you. You know what I mean? So I think the new rule is if you want to comment on my post, ask yourself again, are you aiming for top 10 selective schools? If you’re not, don’t comment, there’s no point. I’m not gonna listen to you. The other thing that I want to say is, I think personally, that a lot of parents who are like kind of on the edge right now, who are like unsure what to think, you don’t really know, you know, how far to push, you don’t know what to do with your kids. I think at the end of the day, there’s two things you need empathy with in terms of understanding kids, but you also need to understand that the kids are like, these kids know what they’re doing, right? So, you know, I think that the marker for when to stop pushing in Western society is when your kids start crying, right? So I know a lot of parents, you know, told me, oh Steven, my kids start crying. They start, you know, getting mad. They start, you know, chucking a fit. They start throwing a tantrum. And so you know, I don’t want to push any more, because they’re chucking a tantrum, which means that they’re upset which means that they’re unhappy, which means that their well being is being tampered with. 

Okay, so look, I think the advice that I’m going to give right now is, again, you need to take it with a grain of salt. But kids cry when things get uncomfortable, right? Kids cry when things get difficult. I think everybody understands that, right? So if every single time your kid cries with something’s difficult, and you tell them, hey, look, you don’t need to do it, you don’t need to do that anymore. Or you just stop because you think it’s too tough. You’re actually doing your kid a huge disservice. And the reason why you’re doing a huge disservice is because later on in life, I mean, unless you got all the money in the world, where you can just keep on selling off the properties to generate cash flow for your kids. I mean, you kids, at some point in time are going to need to go out into the real world and start working. Right. And working is tough. It’s not easy. Right? Working is really, really difficult. So, you know, when you see, you know, kids crying, and again, if it’s- you need to, you need to determine the degree, you need to determine the intensity. That’s why I say take this all with a grain of salt. But, you know, when parents tell me, you know, their kids are crying, or the kids are going through that kind of pain, and I’m like, well,

Steve Xu 28:26

in a way, get used to it. Like, make sure that they have a good program but more importantly, they need to toughen up a little bit, right? They need to kind of get used to it. And I get it, like, sometimes there’s too much pain, right? And too much pain is obviously not good, right? But if you kind of just- through the process of progressive overload, and just put in a little bit of pain here and there, make them do some things which are just a little bit uncomfortable here and there, they’re gonna become strong, and become stronger and stronger and stronger by the day. And that’s what we’re looking for. Right? That’s all we want. We just want to build strong kids for the future. We want to build competent kids for the future. We don’t want our kids to be wimps. We don’t want our kids to be weak. We don’t want our kids to go out thinking that they’re absolute champions and absolute geniuses and whatnot, and then be crushed by the real world. 

What Good Does It Do?

What good does that do? And so I know a lot of parents who, you know, do these comments, think that their kids are, you know, geniuses in their own regard, and very, very smart and whatnot, and all this kind of stuff. And I’m telling you like the aftermath of what you’re doing, like what you’re doing is good for now. Right? What you’re doing is you’re protecting your kids and you’re keeping the kids in a little bubble. What’s gonna happen is one day when they go out and they realize that they’re nothing more than a menial job, right? Or they’re nothing more than a mediocre, like uni degree, or that they’ve missed out on their dream career because you’ve told them that they’ve been perfect their whole life and they haven’t exposed themselves to enough pain. Then the person that is going to be suffering, the greatest amount of pain is going to be them at that point in time. That’s what’s going to happen because you protected them, it’s called the snowflake generation. I’m not sure if you guys Googled it, Google it’s called the snowflake generation that’s happening now. And I get it, I understand why a lot of parents are doing that. Because they think that life is very much like what it was 30 years ago, life is very much like what it was 40 years ago. And it’s not. And so for me, the way that I tell my kids is you need to view academics as this game, right? 

You need to view academics as this game that you’re going to play, because later on in life, you’re gonna play this game and the job market; you’re gonna play this game, like in in terms of, you know, when you work; you’re going to play this game when you have kids of your own, right? And the world doesn’t really care about your emotions, right? Nobody really, nobody really cares about your feelings. So you could feel as if this is unfair, you could feel as if, hey, selective schools is such an unfair system, or it shouldn’t be there. Boohoo, what’s going to happen? What are you going to do? Like you got two options, either do selective schools or don’t do selective schools. You’re going to complain about it, nothing’s gonna happen. And so it goes, it goes back to like, you know, you need to examine your own triggers, and figure out why you’re getting triggered, why are you upset? Why are you unhappy? Is because you’re not good enough? And I know, I’m gonna get a whole heap of comments. But like, at the end of the day, like, you guys can attack me. I’m sorted. I’m fine. You know what I mean? 

I’m just trying to spread what I believe is my truth. And I know that parents who believe in the same way that I do will come out and they’ll, they’ll be like, Yeah, it’s all good. But this is just how it is, guys. Like, the world is becoming more competitive. If you think that academics does not matter. And in a way, it doesn’t matter, because it’s not everything. But I think I lied to you guys at the very beginning with the title when I said, it’s not about academics, academics is like 1%. And you need that 1% To get into the other 2%, which is communication, which is, and then you need your work ethic, and all that kind of stuff. But academics, by itself is a fantastic stepping stone to building work ethic, and the most important thing in the world is work ethic. Right? Now, again, I know what parents gonna say, parents gonna say, Oh, look, Steven, but my kids are all rounded, and this and that and that and that. Look at the pattern of thinking. What is your pattern of thinking? Well, you’re trying to justify why your kids are still smart when they’re not smart. You’re trying to justify why your kids are still gifted when they’re not gifted. So instead of trying to justify things and, you know, prove things to be true in this and that, how about you just work on your kids? And just how about you just work and build them? Right? 

an angry parent talking over the telephone

Instead of trying to justify to me like, I don’t care. You know what I mean? Right? So instead of like, you know, I can understand why you’re getting angry because I have a very good ability to trigger people, right, to make people angry and to, to elicite kind of reactions out of people, because I’m polarizing, right. And that’s great. But you wouldn’t believe as so many conversations that I have with parents who messaged me, or teachers who messaged me, and I’ve gotten a lot of messages from teachers. And I’ve gotten a lot of messages from parents. And again, at the end of the day, it’s like, guys, let’s do some self-searching. Instead of blaming other people, instead of blaming the message. If you don’t like it, leave the group. But if you want this goal, and you have a goal, I’m going to try to teach you guys how to get there. The last thing that I wanted to say is, you know,

Steve Xu 33:23

I wanted to talk a little bit about work ethic, and I wanted to talk about, you know, the common fallacy that people have that, oh, people who are academically gifted burn out and people who are academically gifted do this and that. So like I said, in the other video, you kid really has two options. Number one, they can become an entrepreneur, right, or they can become a worker, right? Or an employee. Most people in life become employees, right? Because trust me, when I say this, the entrepreneurs’ path is a lot more difficult than the employees’. And most people just don’t have the self-discipline, direction, etc. To become an entrepreneur. So most of your kids, I’d say 90% of the kids are probably going to be employees. If you’re gonna go down the employee route, yeah, public speaking, communication skills, all that kind of stuff is important, but you need a degree. You need to prove yourself out in the academic field. And this is just what life is gonna be like, it’s not me making this up. It’s just what life is gonna be like. 

Every friend that I have, no matter how dumb they are, they all have bachelor’s degrees, right? Every single kids got a bachelor’s degree now. Right? So that qualification obviously has gone down in terms of value. So your kid most likely by the time that they grow up, if they want to be employable, then either get a master’s or at least some kind of postgraduate qualification, which means again, it comes down to the academic thing. Now, the other thing that I wanted to kind of quickly mention is a lot of parents have this problem with pushing because they think that all kids gonna get burnt out and kids going to do this and that. It’s like, no, the kids won’t get burnt out. The kids will only get burnt out if you do it incorrectly, but if you do it correctly, if you do it properly, if you train them properly, if you train a muscle properly, right, you’re not going to burn out. Right? If you go through a system of progressive overload, your chest muscles aren’t going to break when you do a 100-kilogram benchpress. It’s not going to break right now, right? If you go and you do 100-kilogram benchpress, right now, like and you’ve never trained on benchpress before you’re going to die, right? The bench is going to crush you, right. But if you start off at 20 kilos and go to 25, and go to 30, then go to 40 and go to 50, then go to 60, then go to 80, and then go to 90 then go to 100. Right? Through that system of progressive overload, you’re gonna be fine. So burnout is not a problem for majority of you, like no one’s getting burnt out here. Okay? 

a selective student resting beneath a tree with her book on her face

A big reason why kids do get burnt out is when you know, for their childhood, they just relax. And then in high school, they’re slammed with all of these different assignments. And because they don’t know how to write properly, because they don’t know how to read properly. And because they didn’t start early enough with their foundations, that’s why they got burnt out. Otherwise, you’re not going to get burnt out. Right? If you know what you’re doing, and you build it up over time, you’re not gonna get burnt out, right? I know this, right? There are kids in China who practice piano for 12 hours a day, right? Those kids don’t get burnt out. Right? You don’t hear about burnout happening to those kids, right? You only hear about burnout happening to kids who you know, aim for some really high goal and they try to do it in a very, very short amount of time. With no prior training, then you’re gonna get burnt out. So the solution to every single parent here and I’m pleading you guys, if you have a young child, 4-5-6 years old, you got to start them early. And if you start them early, they’ll be fine. Because they would have built up their pain tolerance, they would have built up their resilience, they would have built up their strength over time. But if you start them in year five, like what most parents do, and you just chuck them in a coaching college and expect whatever, like your kids obviously going to get burnt out. So hopefully that clears up the whole burnt-out confusion. Right, kids aren’t gonna get burnt out.

Steve Xu 37:10

Kids are a lot stronger than you think. Right? The only kids who get burnt out are when they study 12 hours a day. I have parents who come to me who complain about you know, kids studying one hour a day. And I’m like, like, what are you guys talking about? Like, you do realize that at some point in time, when your kids turn 18-19-20-21 years old, they’re going to need to work for like eight hours a day, right? Like nine hours a day, right? Five days a week. So I mean, it all comes down to a matter of perspective. And it all comes down to how realistic you are with the future and the way the future is going. If you’re delusional, you’re not going to do very well. The world is not like it was 30 years ago, okay, I need to keep on repeating that to you guys. The world is not like it was 30 years ago, okay? Jobs aren’t going to be that easy to get; house prices are going to keep on going up; and the wages are largely going to stay the same, and they’re going to be more competitive to get jobs. 

You know, academics is not everything. It’s far from everything, but at least it sets a bedrock for future success. It doesn’t define you, right? Nothing in life defines you. You could come up with an idea and suddenly work 80 hours, 90 hours a day after having completely flunked school, right? And that’s possible. It’s unlikely though. And the other thing that I want to say is stop thinking that your kids are geniuses, right? I keep on having to get into this kind of like scuffle with parents who come and they’re like, you know, Steven, Steven, you don’t get it. My kids really smart. I’m like, No, your kid is not smart. Right? They’re just not smart. Okay? They’re not a Richard Branson, they’re not going to come up with some random entrepreneurial idea that’s going to make them billions and billions of dollars. They’re not like that. That’s outliers. Don’t bring in outliers. Okay, if we talk about generalities, if we talk about probabilities, most people are going to be what? Employees which means that they need academic qualifications, and nobody cares about if they went dance class when I was seven, or if they did sport for like five years. Nobody cares. And that’s why it’s painful. We know everybody knows academics is painful. 

So I think I’m gonna just part this message with, look, academics is not everything, but it’s definitely something and it’s definitely a bedrock for future success. So I think if you’re a parent out there who’s kind of thinking, look, Steven, what do I do? You know, I’m a bit confused right now. I see your videos. I understand what you’re about and look if you have any inkling in trying to create writers who can write like this, then what I highly suggest you do for the parents who are watching this is send me a message or alternatively, go on and fill out the form. That’s it for me today. Thanks, guys. And I’ll see you guys all very soon. Bye.

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