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I Hated School But So Grateful For It Now, As The Recycled Teenager - Paul D. Lowe & Richard Gerver

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On this episode of the World Game-Changers podcast, Paul is joined by Richard Gerver to talk about their relationships with school & education, and how that’s changed over the years.


  • When I look back to my education, and when people remind me of my first career as a teacher and  headteacher, when I left school at 18 I never wanted to go back into school ever again in my entire life, ever. I felt like a misfit. Arguably I was very privileged, my parents and my grandparents sold their homes and sacrificed everything to send me to a private school because it was their dream to provide me with the very best education they could. This added a considerable amount of pressure on me, especially as an older teenager, because I knew what they’d sacrificed, so how could I tell them that I hated it?
  • When I chose to become a teacher later – for the love of a young woman – in my very early 20s, that was when I first began to process my own experience more objectively. Rather than taking my reflex judgement of hating it in the moment and it made me a worse person for whatever reason, I was able to start to understand and unpick the learning I’d taken from that experience without even knowing it and reflected on, despite everything I felt at the time, how lucky I was to have been in that environment.
  • One of the things that we should become more and more aware of as we go through life, which I think is really pertinent in the divided and angry world we live in right now where people’s beliefs are shaped by their own lived experience and context, the wiser among us realize that actually to grow, evolve, learn, develop, find peace with the world, your world and the world around you, you have to be open minded enough to realize and respect that you need to be active in shaping, challenging and developing your beliefs. It’s only by broadening your own horizons, contexts and experiences that your beliefs become increasingly rounded.
  • So many conflicts, from the smallest to the most horrific, people become increasingly deaf to other opinions, values, other people’s experiences and almost do so just to protect their own viewpoint. Partly that’s been amplified by the fact we’re now living in a digital world where social media through algorithm and the way we build walls around our own content means that we tend to live in increasingly siloed environments. We’re living in a world of what I call curated ignorance and I think it creates a dangerous environment, especially for our younger folk, where they can’t see why they would ever look outside of their own belief system because of the confirmation biases that are constantly circulating and fired at them. Then what happens is when they have a like-minded cabal around them, it’s very easy for sophisticated manipulators in that cabal to say: “Anybody who disagrees with you is bad, evil, has your worst interests at heart. I think that’s happened throughout history, but it’s more pronounced and more dangerous now because of the digital space which preoccupies so much of our lives.

‘As a child, I was immensely creative. I was a writer, an actor, and artist; I went to an all-boys school that was highly academic, highly sports focused – particularly rugby’.

‘There’s no such thing as a bad experience if you process it in the right way, and learn from it'.

‘Beliefs can only ever be shaped by your lived experience'.

‘We talk a lot about the wisdom of elders; every time an old person dies a library burns down'.


Richard Gerver is a sought-after speaker, bestselling author and world-renowned thinker. His career began in education, first as a teacher and then as a school principal, when he turned the fortunes of a failing school and its pupils around in just two years.

Since the success of his first book, focusing on his experience in front-line education, Richard has devoted himself to advancing society’s thinking on learning, change, and how best to realize our full potential. He has since written several books on leadership and innovation, including the bestsellers Change and Simple Thinking.

Now regarded as one of the world's leading thinkers on human leadership and organisational transformation, Richard has worked with an extraordinary range of people, from elite athletes to former US President Barack Obama. Named UK Business Speaker of the Year three times, Richard has been invited to speak on the world’s most recognized stages, including TED, the RSA, and the BBC.

With his unique insight into our development from infants to adults, Richard helps us understand the nature of our personal and professional responses to risk, change, creativity, and development. His ability to connect experiences across many, often seemingly different, environments help individuals’ companies and organisations expand their thinking and their perception of their own potential.


Paul has made a remarkable transformation from existing for many years in dark, desperate despair; to now living a really healthy, happy and fulfilling life.

From an early age, he was in the vice-like clutches of the demon drink and constantly embroiled within a dark cocktail of toxic beliefs, self-hate and destructive violence.

Along with his empathetic and dedicated team of world-class coaches and mentors, Paul’s purpose is deeply transformational:

Developing World Game-Changers…
He is extremely passionate about helping others to find their purpose, have a voice and ultimately, make a real difference.  

This has been built on a long and distinguished history of heart-centred coaching and mentoring.  He has also been responsible for raising significant amounts of funds for many charities and good causes around the world; positively impacting and inspiring thousands of children – mainly from challenging backgrounds – within the UK & worldwide.

Through this World Game-Changers podcast and books, he has been involved in – including being a best-selling co-author – Paul also helps others to get their own inspirational messages and stories out into the world; as well as offering support to many charitable organisations, in their development & fund-raising.

Tel: +44 (0) 7958 042 155

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