The school of possibilities: it must exist!

The school of possibilities. Has anyone tried to learn of what courage is? Integrity? Nobility?


No? Why not?


We only discuss this yet we fail miserably time and time again when we go out in the real world.


Anthony Geremia of the Centennial College Blog wrote about::
“Once school ends, though, you’ll be off the guided rails, without that shared, linear life experience and that can be difficult if you aren’t prepared. Want to know how? Have an idea of what your game plan is when you graduate, what you’re going to do every day, and how you’re going to advance your career. College will set you up for career success, and provide you with guidance and direction, but it’s up to you to take the next step and put the skills you’ve learned towards that career you’ve always wanted.”


Does school guarantee success? Of course not! But they guarantee you learning new knowledge and skills to make you become an exceptional doctor, nurse, police officer, technician. But then when you started working, you don’t measure up from your performance reviews.  Here’s what happen:

  • You cannot manage conflict.
  • You cannot communicate effectively.
  • You cannot work in teams.
  • You don’t know how to be a collaborator or a visionary.


These are actually the essential skills to be a successful performer and to be a recognized leader.


Once you are employed, the reality looms: You have failed in another interview. How many times do you have to apply for the same job for 10x and still you didn’t get it? Worst part of it, you are already working on a contract role in the same position you applied for. Yet, you kept on failing for the interviews.


So, whose fault is that?

The teacher? The school? The school system? Or you just plainly don’t have it. Did you know that you just been robbed by $10,000 because you realize that after graduation, you didn’t actually have the core skills you actually need to be successful.


Here’s another truth: “Oh, I’m an immigrant. I’m a Doctor back home. But, I can’t get a job here!”

  • Have anyone asked you if you are fully aware how you “show up” for an interview?
  • Do you even consider to understand what affects the interviewer’s judgment in this new country?

So, how do you really “show-up” for your interview? How many times do you have to go to Employment Centre and just be told of the same thing over and over again. Still, without a job.  What actually went wrong?


Let me ask you this then: Did you even review the organization’s core values and whether it match yours? Oh wait! Core values – what’s that? Boom! You don’t even know what it is.


Didn’t you know this already: People hire you because of “you.”? It’s all subjective actually.


  • How would they see the real you if you yourself can’t?
  • How can you be promoted if don’t know how much you have grown as a worker.
  • How can you effectively lead teams and talk about your team’s goals, vision and core values when you don’t have any?
  • Do you know what are your goals, your personal vision and what are your core values?
  • How can you sustain success if you don’t recognize what is it all about?


 Now is the time to talk about courage, integrity and your possibility:

  • Learn it!
  • Have a discussion.
  • Have a homework about it.
  • Create projects.
  • Start looking at tangible results of courage.


School is not just an institution of students who are trained for future employment. Seek out learning….learn “you” first!

How? Coaching is one platform to invoke your empowered self where future leaders can emerge- it is the birthplace of better humanity and hope.  Seek it out. 




Comments (48)

  1. Jeri - Reply

    February 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    As a former high school teacher, I’ve seen on a daily basis just how far personal responsibility has gone out the window. It must be taken into consideration too how many people go to school and don’t think about the usefulness of the degree they are seeking and whether or not they will be gainfully employed when done. As with all else in life, education is a two-way street.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      September 12, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      I like what you pointed, Jeri that education is a two-way street. As an educator, you gave us the truth about what is education all about…its more than the walls and paper…it’s about the wisdom and application.

  2. Tim - Reply

    February 12, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Accountability should be the backbone of our society yet as the years have gone by that tenant seems to have slipped and eroded. The corporate world takes a hard look at accountability and I would say this comes as a bit of a shock to those not used to it.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      September 12, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      Tim, you just hit the nail on its head with this one. I coached and conducted leadership workshops in most organizations, much worst I argued several times the need for accountability to lead. This led me to write this blog, it forced me to go back from the beginning with where do we really learn accountability first. Sad enough the school was not ready to tackle it.

  3. andleeb - Reply

    February 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Nice post Mahal

    You are right we have to discover us first. What we learn in school, colleges, we have to understand not rote it and then I feel it will be easy for us to apply in our lives and it can benefit us in many ways. Immigrants mostly struggle to get the job according to their skills but at times we also see that there are many successful immigrants. It means that they have found them. I think this is all about exploration and exploitation.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      September 12, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you Andleeb. I always challenge the mindset of an “immigrant” because I’m one of them. I never want for any immigrant to use that status as an excuse why we can’t drive success…sadly many who does and I celebrate who does.

  4. Meredith @ The Palette Muse - Reply

    February 11, 2015 at 12:20 am

    It’s too bad they really don’t teach this in school, but then, I guess part of the lesson is to be able to learn it for yourself. If you don’t know yourself, then you can’t expect to be able to portray yourself honestly to a potential employer.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      September 12, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      I went through that thinking as well, Meredith. School does not teach because they are meant to be the secondary learning that will emerge. However, my exposure to most organizations and its workforce, I begun to wonder that I think it’s time school must focus in discussing and learning more of it as a priority.

  5. Doreen Pendgracs - Reply

    February 10, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Interesting post. We can be given all the tools and knowledge in the world, but if we don’t have the drive and determination to apply them, all will be for naught. Teachers can teach, but the students must take that knowledge and apply it in their lives. Our possibilities are indeed endless, id only we open our hearts, our eyes, and our minds.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 10, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you Doreen. Truly possibilities are endless when one sees that perspective to be. Yes, I agree it requires openness from our body, mind and spirit.

  6. Marquita Herald - Reply

    February 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Passionate and interesting perspective Mahal. I would like to agree with the commenter earlier about the issue of immigrants. My husband’s family is from Nicaragua and they were considered quite affluent and well educated in their country, yet they struggled to find employment in the US equal to their experience and credentials. There are of course many factors to why things happen the way they do, but that’s why I always hesitate to apply labels to anyone since I prefer to think of each of us as unique in our own right.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 10, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      I appreciate the acknowledgment Marquita, thank you!

      And to add to your point about the immigrant’s situation, this is an interesting point for me yet I find it concerning, again, whether the struggles are opportunities to push through or an excuse. There are several immigrants who are very successful who started from nothing yet there are those who are still contemplating of why things are not good for them.

  7. Erica M - Reply

    February 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    The one thing I wish they had told me in college is that there is more to being successful than being smart and being knowledgeable. You are so right in that what someone hires is YOU. Your personality, your integrity and how you position yourself as a needed asset. My husband was super nervous when he went in for an interview for his current job because he was the only person interviewing for his position that didn’t already work for the company. The thing is, he is so likable that I think that gave him the advantage. His boss wanted to work with him. It isn’t just about your ability. Thanks for the post!

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      I hope your husband got the job.

      That was exactly my point, Erica. Thank you for echoing that being smart and knowledgeable is not enough. This was exactly the sentiment I had which gave birth to this blog, thank you for pointing that out that.

  8. Tim - Reply

    February 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    These days it seems the “proper education” is a thing of the past. Going to college is a good thing for some and not so good for others. Much has been made of those very wealthy folks who never attended college. Success and failure go way beyond ones education. I am not saying people should not pursue an education; just that education can come in many forms.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      I agree with you that “education can come in many forms” yet people often lack that awareness to utilize such wisdom into action to move forward to success.

  9. Pamela Chollet - Reply

    February 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    This is an interesting Mahal. I do blame part of job seekers apathy, lack of abstract critical thinking skills and a poor sense of individuality on the educational system. From the time a child enters pre-school they taught, “everyone is a winner”. If a student doesn’t get an award for coming in first, he or she is given one for effort. Many young people today entering te job market don’t know what not winning feels like they have never had to try to win, why should they now. We learn by, not getting the prize what it takes to get the prize. In addition, students critical thinking ability has declined because teachers spent a large amount of time, instructing from manuals designed to meet new standards. Our children are taught how to memorize facts rather than understand concepts. However, it’s not all the schools fault and Parents need to be much more involved filling in the gaps.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Great points Pamela. I share your passion about the lacking awareness of our young competitors nowadays. Likewise, regression of creativity and innovation from the educational system does not show much of being a good role model to the students.

  10. A.K. Andrew - Reply

    February 9, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Good post Mahal. We definitely need to learn responsibly for our selves, and the way we represent ourselves in trying to find work. I was surprised you included the immigrant experience, as a new immigrant can present themselves in the best possible light and they may never get the same caliber of job they had in their home country as their qualifications are often not recognized.

  11. Alice - Reply

    February 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I agree about personal responsibility and wish to take it one step further: schools are not an alternative for your parenting. Schools are for educating and not for raising your kid. Schools are there to help but not to provide a social support system to soften the blows of a failing economy. Sending your kid to school does not absolve you of any responsibilities and start seeing school as an integral part of your life instead of just another thing you need to deal with.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      You are not the first one Alice who pointed about the responsibility of the parents who impact the success of their children. Great points that I really didn’t paid attention. Thank you for that.

  12. Catarina - Reply

    February 9, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Personal responsibility is crucial in life. If you wait for others to do it for you you will be disappointed. We all learn from life. What’s the difference between formal education and competence? Exactly, experience. We learn as we live and without knowing it suddenly master abilities that were unknown to us in the past.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      I agree that responsibility is crucial Catarina. While education gave us a formal information, the willingness to experience life and as a learning tool will provide us the best strategy to live at our fullest potential.

  13. Ramona McKean - Reply

    February 9, 2015 at 12:58 am

    You touch on so many valuable points, Mahal. There are the valuable skills of “relatedness,” as distinct from head-level matters that involve what you know. (There’s got to be a better word than “relatedness.”) I’m thinking of the conflict management, communication, teamwork and collaboration skills you refer to. Between the lines I hear you refer to pro-activity; for example, taking the time to actually find out the organization’s core values and mission statement. Asking oneself, “Am I aligned with this organization?” would seem fundamental to me. Then the statement I like the best in your blog: “Learn you first”! Not super easy but a vastly important endeavor that can truly call on personal courage. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you Ramona for pointing out the essential yet poignant subject about “you.” I agree, not easy, however it continues to dramatically affect organizations to meet performance excellence because of this missing piece among employees and leaders.

  14. Ken Dowell - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Thinking about education I don’t think it guarantees success and I don’t think lack of education guarantees failure. It could best be described as a tool you can use to help you achieve success.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Wow Ken, you simply bottom-line my whole post: “Thinking about education I don’t think it guarantees success and I don’t think lack of education guarantees failure.” That is awesome!

  15. Sabrina Q. - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    So true. When preparing for a interview, we all need to figure out why we should be a part of the company not just for the money, but for the reasons for working there. Taking ownership is so true. It shows us and them we are capable and willing to handle the job at hand. Thanks for sharing, this is great!

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Thank you Sabrina. You simply point out what is essentially and realistically lacking nowadays. I still love your optimism.

  16. Michele Harvey - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    All possibilities emerge from the inside out. Core values, integrity, creating projects in order to grow your experience…awesome lifecoaching blog as well.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you for the acknowledgment Michele. Yes, core values are essential to create our pathway to success.

  17. Lenie - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I think education for the sake of gaining knowledge is a perfect background to a successful career. Thinking education, that is a little piece of paper, will be enough to get you past the first rung is the first sign you will probably fail. It may open the door but from that point it’s up to you. Great post..

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 9, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you Lenie. I’m a firm advocate that education is a must and just like you said it should not stop there.

  18. Donna Janke - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    People do need to take personal responsibility for their lives and careers, and be willing to continually learn, and look objectively at their own skills. I don’t know if I call that courage, but there is certainly integrity in it.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 8, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you Donna. I am grateful with all the comments here. Everyone agree that personal responsibility is a must.

      When and how personal responsibility emerge without courage, without integrity? One must be fueled with these values before we can truly take responsibility.

  19. Beth Niebuhr - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Oh yes, personal responsibility. It seems to have gone out of style. It’s great to read the words of a young person who understands the concept.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you Beth.

      Interesting point…”gone out of style” yet it remains a yearning for everyone.

  20. Kire Sdyor - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Mahal, we just discussing this very issue today. Those of us who didn’t rely on school to give us all the tools we needed vs. our children who believe that just having the piece of paper is good enough. As I said to my oldest who didn’t think he had the experience for a job he was looking at after college, I have NEVER been qualified for any job I have gone after and I have NEVER failed to get the job, succeed at the job, and move up in the corporation because of the job. Nobody is handing us anything, we need to go out and get it.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you for sharing this Kire.

      I’ve been on both sides of the coin….education is not enough anymore although remains critical for most organizations and companies.

      I wrote the article for everyone to help increase the awareness that success is about courage…and this must be discussed, prioritized and valued. They need to be instilled in young minds to create a global change to push humanity forward…and that’s the possibility that I want to see when we start taking steps to do so.

  21. Christine Larsen - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I don’t like acronyms much at all, but then there’s IADOM – ‘It All Depends On Me’ – and I must change my mind. Of course, having a solid and positive parental lead set the foundations for us to face the ups and downs Life presented… and survive them. And also, beliefs learned from ordinary working-class backgrounds that nothing would change unless we worked at it, and never, ever gave up… these were extraordinary gifts.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      I like your acronym IADOM Christine. I will definitely use it with my team.

      Is success in our DNA? Is this the chicken-and-the-egg issue? Interesting points.

  22. Patricia Weber - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Mahal this post speaks to me most about lack of self-responsibility these days. I could feel someone happening on the post and – blaming people for their lack of this and that. The truth is, and I don’t remember the public speaker I heard say this, we are each 100% responsible for anything amiss in our relationships. Not 50/50 but 100%. Many people are far away from this. Insightful post.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you Patricia! I absolutely agree with you about giving it at 100% than giving half of you.

      Blame exist all the time. When does it stop? Until the “I” becomes an absolute focus for growth mix with compassion and hope, our lives, work, team and community would be better.

  23. Jacqueline Gum - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Ah yes…personal responsibility. I think it’s been de-emphasized in the last years with a lot of political clout behind it. Is it courageous? Or is it just the right thing to do?

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you Jacqueline. Courage is knowing and doing whether the perspective is right or wrong, just the same it’s a perspective.

  24. shachar - Reply

    February 8, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Great post Mahal. We are responsible for our growth. I believe we need to grow at all times. Those who do that have a better chance of succeeding. Have a coach is one great way to grow with the help of an experienced helper. Not always you must do it all by yourself. Thanks for the reminder Mahal

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 8, 2015 at 9:02 am

      Thank you Sachar. You are emphasizing accountability piece and success does require the ability to ask for help. Great comment!

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