If you believe your fair-to-middlin’ performance in school is a sign that you’ll never be a roaring success, you might want to think again.
It turns out that while valedictorians and salutatorians typically do quite well in adulthood, thank you very much, the average college GPA of millionaires is just 2.9, equivalent to a B-minus.
So, what gives?
According to Eric Barker, author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong, the inherent nature and structure of formal education has a tendency to reward the kind of behavior that makes for a good student, but does not so great a job of validating the dynamic traits of which millionaires are so frequently and naturally possessed.
Barker notes that “schools reward students who consistently do what they are told,” but it’s typically the case that those who often make a significant impact somewhere along the line have a record of shaking things up, and thinking unconventionally.
Additionally, says Barker, “schools reward being a generalist,” while society seems to do a better job at handing over its strongest, “real world” accolades to those who singularly devote themselves to a particular passion, and take it further than anyone who has come before.
Addressing his assessments with Business Insider, Barker said, in part: “Valedictorians often go on to be the people who support the system — they become a part of the system — but they don’t change the system or overthrow the system.”
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