Reading Time: 5 minutes
When I talk to many of my friends and associates, many talk about how school had been the best times of their lives. Times when we didn’t have to worry about mortgages, careers, spouses and retirement plans.
It was a time when many of us had our first kiss (or more if you were advanced), make your best friends and pick your grades that would help shape your career.
Our parents drilled into us importance of English, Maths and Science but there were other subjects that you just had to take to hit your GCSE quota. But as I’ve started on my new journey of learning to code, I realise the ‘softer’ subjects were actually just as important to master, for whole life success & happiness.
1) Food Technology
Ahhh the memories… For most of us, food tech classes were about cooking rubbery burgers and trying to set your mate’s school blazer on fire. But understanding food nutrition, is absolutely critical to your health and well-being. An article in the Healthy Eating Guide stated that:
75 percent of healthcare spending goes to treating preventable chronic diseases, most of which are diet-related…
Thus via food we can make a substantial contribution to how long we live! Food also has a significant say on how happy we are & how energised we feel. To change careers is really, really stressful… so I needed to change some things in my diet to help keep me centred. So since I’ve cut down on my dairy products, took it easy on the coffee, drank more water and killed the fizzy drinks, I feel more healthy, more alert, less anxious and full of va-va-voom. Try & cut out that can of coke or Starbucks coffee for a month & see how you will feel – small changes can make a massive difference.
2) Physical Education
Generally, most peoples experience of PE falls into two camps:
- The all-star athlete that dominated in every event and had the whole school eating out of his/her hand.
- The poor guy/girl who couldn’t do any sport to save their life and wanted a lesson to finish as fast as possible (me).
But even if you work in an office, physical activity is critical for good health and performance.
I don’t generally when you code (or do any knowledge working job) we are mostly based at a desk, I’ve realised how drained I can become physically after a long coding session. We are not robots and we need to actively maintain all parts of our bodies.
As I’ve grown older, I have realised that my whole body is not just a vehicle for my brain and it needs proper maintenance via exercise.
And no, you don’t have to become Arnold Schwarzenegger either.
There are many low impact exercises that you can do such as Pilates, Tai Chi, and even taking a walk in the park. I have found doing such exercises rejuvenate me & are great for generating ideas. Step away from the computer & move, it will do wonders for your code.
3) Personal & Social Studies/Religious Education
Whenever I saw either PSE/RE on my school timetable, I smiled – not because of all the enriching knowledge I would gather but because I knew I could go to sleep… Literally. When I did pay attention, all the teachers talk about cultures, gods & philosophy bored the heck out of me… This would never get me a real job so why bother? But as I’ve grown older & made my way in the world, my knowledge of different religions and cultures have proved invaluable.
One day I was doing a temporary cover teaching job in a Hindu school and I was helping another teacher organising a play about Diwali, very special Hindu festival to celebrate good defeating evil. Diwali was a subject that we read about in school so as we were going through the plans, the teacher was really impressed with my knowledge of the characters and the customs and she told the headmaster of my deeds. Long story short, this led me to getting more teaching gigs in the future.
Wait a minute, don’t worry – I’m not trying to convert you to any particular religion or belief. Regardless of what ever your belief system is, there is one thing that binds them all together: people. It doesn’t matter what computer language you learn or what start-up that you found. If you don’t know how to work with other people, treat people well and communicate effectively, then you are at a real disadvantage no matter how good you code. Awareness and respect of other people’s cultures and customs show that you’re knowledgeable, respectful and empathetic: And this is the ultimate skill to master.
Thurgood Marshal said that “in recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Thank you for reading! What do you think of the subjects I chose? Did I miss any out? Please comment below or tweet me @karlwebdev.
See you next Thursday!