No easy way out

Erikjan Lantink
3 min readDec 2, 2022

The sh#t they never taught us in school.

That’s the title of a nineteen-hour audiobook I completed last week. Nineteen hours I spent while traveling abroad, driving around Prague, or at home when I didn’t feel like reading from a book.

The authors, two passionate Aussies, read through 100+ books, noted the most important lessons, and made an entertaining book out of it.

The book got my attention because of its title.

First, titles with the word shit of fcuk in it (yes, deliberately written in full without other characters) create intrigue, whether you like it or not.

Second, while I enjoyed school for some part, my biggest lessons happened after school. University creates a general foundation and helps you find your way in life, but it primarily taught me where to look for stuff.

The real stuff is out there.

That brings me to the book’s main message.

Never stop learning.

It’s a simple, compelling, and perhaps obvious message, but it’s not that easy to stick to.

Ego and time get in the way.

Ego because many believe they know it all, walking around with an inflated ego. Time because many are too busy chasing their (money) goals.

When you’re busy managing your ego and chasing your fortunes, learning often gets in the way.

The borders of our comfort zones are often hard to cross.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing or losing face. We stick to what we know and do well. That’s where the rewards seem to be.

But that strategy hardly works forever.

Suffering is inevitable for all of us. We can’t walk away from the challenges in life which put us to the test.

Setbacks often happen when we expect them the least. Therefore it makes sense to be prepared.

Preparing means accepting there’s learning in almost everything we do in life. Accepting that we’re forever a work in progress.

Even when we’re on top of a mountain and everything seems to be coming our way.

Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)