11 Rules You Will Never Learn In School

Given the recent events of Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO of Apple it would be appropriate if I highlighted one of the best speeches he ever gave – Stanford’s commencement speech in 2005.  But I already did that over a year ago, so you can read it HERE.  Instead I’m going to talk about the speech Bill Gates gave about 11 rules you will never learn in school.

If you want my honest opinion, Steve Job’s speech is better, so if you haven’t seen it yet you should click the above link and watch it.  If you’ve already watched Jobs’ speech then continue on to read Gates’ rules – some good takeaways within.


Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping — they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.


Happy Wednesday!



4 comments so far

  1. chad on

    Thanks Abdel, didn’t know that might have to check that book out!

  2. Abdel on

    Apparently it’s not from Gates but Charles Sykes in Why American Children feel good about themselves but can’t read

  3. Abdel on

    It resonates a lot with me. I wish i would have known this 15 years ago.

  4. Nick on

    Number 8 is a great one. So glad I didn’t have that shit when I was in school.

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