Opening speech to the MYX students. Recording to remember it.
I call it the disorientation speech, as at MYX we have issue with the term “orientation.” We generally have issues with any terms that imply a “way” or education being “done to students” instead of them owning it. At MYX we disorient students. We challenge them and allow them to “get lost” to then be found.
Opening speech, Fall Miami 01
It is with incredible pride that I welcome you, the inaugural class of MYX, the pioneers who will help define what education means and what it will look like for generations to come.
Now let me tell you a true story of 22 strangers picked to live in a house, learn together, play together with the goal of finding their purpose and the skills to make that purpose come to life.
At first glance these strangers have nothing in common. They are from all different backgrounds, they are at different places in their lives, some have extensively traveled, and some have never been away from their hometown, but yet they all find themselves here.
However, these strangers will soon learn that they have something very much in common, an inner drive to want more and ask for more from life. They recognize that their backyard is not the only backyard and are here to find something. That something may be a friend, a job, or even an unknown desire yet realized. But they are all here to grow and become a better self. That is a powerful common trait.
Back in the day, when college commenced, you would be paraded into the auditorium of the university. Famously, they would say “see the person to your right, see your person to your left.” The odds is one of you will not be here at the end. One of you will not make it. This was said with pride. A “brag” if you will. And they were right. That is a factually correct statement. 30% of the students will not be there after the first semester even.
I have a very different message for you today.
Look to your right and look to your left, all of these people are integral to your success. They are not your competition. You aren’t even taking the same coursework. You aren’t even both “freshman.” No, these people are your tribe, these people are going to be part of your success. They not only will be here at the end, they are critical to you getting there. And their role ten years from now you can’t even imagine. They can be potentially your first clients, investors, or even better your future best mate at your wedding.
You can now sit taller. As know this, you never walk alone, you have each other.
While you are in “school” and will get the credentials to launch what is next for you, I encourage you to spend equally the same time on your studies as these people. They matter.
I don’t just say this as a sweet thing to say, but I say this as a researcher. The largest return on investment of higher education is network and the experience. Education gives access to people you would never meet. It allows you to build networks based on a mutual shared experience. They are powerful networks.
And each of these people right here, represent hundreds of others. Everyone here today didn’t just pop out of the sky, but are the result of other people, places and thoughts. Learn their stories and in them you will find yours.
I want to end with this…
At MYX you will see this motion (hand wave motion) often. It refers to a wave. It is our way to show agreement, but its origin is deeper. At MYX we study how people learn and perform best to make an educational experience that is truly holistic. We are not the only ones deep in this research. Our bed fellows include the US military, Google Innovation labs, and thousands of other researchers who have discovered a state called “flow” that has become the nirvana of brain waves. Many seek to get into this state. Team Six is able to operate as one due to entering a state of flow, where their individual existence is one with their fellow warriors. It allows them to work as one and accomplish things we can’t imagine without even uttering a word. And at Google it allows them to think and work together creatively to invent the tools of tomorrow.
At MYX we seek for flow and have created what we call waves to create such a state for you to flourish. During disorientation you will learn each one, but I will start introducing just one tonight.
BE HERE NOW. This exact moment will never repeat. This moment may be one of anxiety, fear, as you embark on a new journey, but live it. Embrace it. Be HERE NOW. THis is an opportunity of a lifetime. Own it. Lean in. Feel it.
You are part of something bigger than yourself. You are the pioneers in creating a model of education that can give people like yourself purpose and choice. Let’s do this class of Fall 2021!