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  • At Praxis, Commitments Are Better Than Rules

Earlier this week we held the opening seminar for our April participants. After going through Kicking Ass 101, having them meet their advisor, and getting advice from participants in later stages of the program, we reminded them of one critical component to their success:
Everything in this program is optional.
Nothing is mandatory here. We explain why we think each deliverable in the curriculum is important and what the benefits are, but the participants choose whether or not they follow through.
With this flexibility comes responsibility. Just as your fitness coach can’t change your physique if you don’t show up to the gym and put in the work, we can’t get our participants an awesome apprenticeship if they don’t commit to doing what it takes to grow.
This doesn’t mean everyone must follow our rules. If something in this program isn’t working for them, our participants are expected to challenge it and work with us on coming up with something that suits them better. Every time a participant has approached us and been willing to work, we’ve been able to help them develop a plan that works with their goals.
We are here to push our participants to become the best possible versions of themselves. We are here to offer our participants a set of difficult challenges harder than anything they’ve ever seen.
This isn’t arbitrary or because we think we’re superior, but because that is what we are in the business of doing. That is the product we offer.
T.K. Coleman, our Education Director, puts it this way:

“Praxis is not the kind of product that can simply be purchased and sat on a shelf. Unlike the books you buy, Praxis will challenge you if all you do is send us a check and then disappear. Unlike credit collection agencies, we expect more from you than paying bills on time.”
Why? Because that’s not how Praxis works. When you pay for Praxis, you’re not paying for a job. You’re not paying for an e-course. You’re not paying for a degree. What you’re paying for an experience that’s going to challenge the hell out of you. You’re paying for an experience that’s going to push you to become a superior version of yourself.

Unlike a package from Amazon, our product can’t be delivered to you without us simultaneously demanding something from you: your honest commitment to whatever you say you want us to help you create. We’re not just here to give you value. We’re here to make you more valuable.

Praxis doesn’t lock people in. If a participant decides the program isn’t for them and they want to pursue a different path?
No problem, they are free to leave.
We help them transition out of the program, send encouragement their way, and we won’t harbor ill will. If their heart isn’t in it for any reason, there is nothing we can do to make Praxis work for them.
As James Carse writes in Finite and Infinite Games:

“Rules are not valid because the Senate passed them, or because heroes once played by them, or because God pronounced them through Moses or Muhammad. They are valid only if and when players freely play by them. There are no rules that require us to obey rules. If there were, there would have to be a rule for those rules, and so on.”

Participants choosing to participate, being able to fit the program to suit their goals, and the ability to exit the program at any time means that they are playing by rules that they agree to. No one is forcing them to do anything they don’t choose to do.
If a participant is all-in, we are all-in. They will get results because they’ve chosen to get results. There is no other way.