I was discussing with a Professor yesterday in the cause of the chart, he said something shocking, he said, “chasing grade in school instead of learning in a major cause of failure and poverty in the society today.” He continued, Today real life successful people never chase grade in school but were chasing knowledge and skills against today norm. Three striking example of such are Fredrik Taylor – Research in operation, Bill Gate – Microsoft and Ben Carson – Neuron Surgeon.
According to Bain, the author of “What the best College Students Do” there are three types of learners: the surface learners, this group do as little as possible to get by through university; the strategic learners – this group aim for top grades in the university (first class, second class upper) and not true understanding; and lastly the deep down learners – this group seek for knowing, they want to know why something is blue instead of been red, they want facts instead of assumption and eventually leave the university with a real, rich education.
You can browse for Ken Bain book and get the detail analysis of a host of real-life deep learners: young and old, scientific and artistic, famous and host of others. I have come to realize that successful people in the society is not usually the best in the class but those who started pursuing their dreams early enough even while in the university.
Before I move on to discuss the common traits or secrets of greatest students ever, I like to state categorically that having a good grade in school does not mean you are chasing after grade but rather when it become a top priority over knowing or learning. So don’t misunderstand me.
Secrets of Most successful Students
Set A real and Achievable Goals: One secrets of most successful students is that they envisage their future a forehand. An adage says, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” You must know the reason you are in school, set achievable targets, set working plan on how to achieve the target, stick to the plan and success will be yours.
If you have passion or talent that you want to pursue in life start early while in school, set plans on how to blend it with your main study so it won’t conflict with each others. I have come to realize that Grade don’t pay you in real life but your skills and passion. If you have passion of becoming an athlete start on time even while in school.
Chase Passion/Dreams not Grades: In real world passion, talents, skills makes you relevant rather than grade. For instance, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the popular astrophysicist said, “He was “moved by curiosity, interest and fascination, not by making the highest scores on a test.” As an adult, he points out, “no one ever asks you what your grades were in real world.
In real life Grades become irrelevant and passion, skills, ambition and innovation becomes eminent and all inclusive. Top Ivy League school like Harvard University understand this, and they attach importance to it as criterion for gaining admission into Harvard university.
Don’t Get Discouraged by Failure: Most people fail in life because there teacher told them that they are brainless – not intelligent and useless. The more story a man tell in life depends on number of failure and success he has enjoyed. Ben r teacher told him that he is brainless and advised him to forget about schooling, yet he was not discouraged today he is a presidential candidate in the world greatest country.
An educator rightly put it this way, “There’s no way you are going to get it right every time.” So just keep your head straight on your passion and you will always get it right. This is top-secret of world achievers, they never give in.
Reading and Thinking Actively: One way to stand out in your profession is to think beyond the realm of others. Relate every study to yourself and how this particular topic will affect you and the society. Try to find out the practical value of every topic in the society – what the topic tends to solve, this way you become genius in no time.
You can learn from the experience of Dean Baker, one of the few economists to predict the economic collapse of 2008. Baker according to Bain, is always looking for arguments in something he read, and then pinpointing the evidence to see how it was used. Baker became so fascinated in the university by the way economic forces shape people’s lives. His idea was gave rise to Freaknomics by Stephen Levit, Where Steven explore so many societal issues.
Develop a Lifestyle of Achievers: To be great you must have knowledge of what greatness is about. When the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitable. Study about the people you want to follow their footstep. Learn what makes them unique in their study, find out what they do that you are not doing currently, find out their best strategies, and their thinking pattern and implement all to your study.
Ponder on the big Questions: Until you start asking the big question of why, how and where come about this concept, ideology, theory and many others, you won’t be propelled to go deeper. Top students often ask questions and in their quest to discover answer to same, led to their discovery.
As noted by Bain in his book, Jeff Hawkins, an engineer who created the first mobile computing device, revolved his studies around four profound questions, he wanted to explore: Why does anything exist? Given that a universe does exist, why do we have the particular laws of physics that we do? Why do we have life, and what is its nature? And given that life exists, what’s the nature of intelligence? The quest for answer gave him leverage for his achievement.
Assist Others in your Journey to Greatness: One way to develop your skills and passion is in the place of helping others. A times we might not really know our unique purpose in life and potential until we step out there to help others. Most great professors today started by just helping their friends in the university, and from there discover they can teach very well.
When you help people get to where they are going in life they will in turn help you to get to where you are going to in life. Top students always look for opportunity to add to the community, solve people needs and from there the inspiration comes, and it is another secret of fast learning.
Researchers and not Readers: Top students all over the world engage in conscious research to discover truth to some hidden questions. Researchers don’t mind grade but readers are after grades hence no time for research while still in the university. University is meant for research not just reading to pass exam. Top student achievers engage in research always to answer the big question.
Of course you know that when knowledge is not pursued instead of grade, the primary objective of going to university is truncated leading to waste of resources. If you know other secrets of top student achievers that you know, or what helped you in your own study please do share with others.