Improving knowledge and developing skills are the two main aims of education. Attaining these aims requires a continuous and conscious effort. The ability to allow the information to transform and improve one's knowledge, and apply the knowledge acquired are critical to attaining success in education. It is important to note that, our mindsets about education influences the approach to it and therefore, the outcome.
As the good book says ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he’.
This applies to every aspect of our lives and will be used in a controlled educational context (e.g. School and University) in the narrative below.
In life, we are what we think and therefore, if we perceive ourselves as succeeding in anything, it starts from the mind and then expresses in the physical. If we perceive ourselves as succeeding in the educational space, so shall it be; and if we perceive ourselves as applying the knowledge from education to transform our environment towards creating an output, so shall it be. We all aspire to be educated in one or more disciplines and therefore, need to be ready to develop and acquire knowledge in that space towards creating a career and being employed in that field.
Pathways to excelling in education are diverse. However, three keys areas include: focus to learn, ask questions and persist to gain understanding.
Learning is a daily, continuous and iterative process. We never stop learning but can be distracted by the ‘noise’ and therefore lose focus. Noise as captured here is a distortion to one’s focus on learning caused by an external or internal influence.
In our current digitalised world, we are exposed to varying noises and distracted at every step of the way during our educational journey. We, therefore, need to put in extra efforts to maintain focus at every point in time. Notwithstanding, some distractions have positive impacts (e.g. opportunities for adjacent possibles) but the key thing is to ensure the learning occurs and it is managed. Our level of adapting to and managing ‘noise’ varies but one has to make a conscious effort towards attaining mental transformation through learning and always know that you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it.
Do you remember President Obama’s speech? ….. “Yes we can”
To excel in any educational space, one needs to ask questions. There is nothing like a ‘foolish question’. We all have different levels and speed to understanding a subject so we should never stop asking questions or feel shy to ask questions. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”. It is pertinent to have a humble attitude, look for the person who knows (the academic, friend etc.) and asks questions with the mind to adhere to the responses we receive.
You are better of receiving understanding of what you do and acting wisely consequently.
As with focussing to learn and asking questions, one may encounter varying hurdles and needs to have the ability to overcome any hurdle that prevents him/her from gaining knowledge, understanding and skills. These include external factors and personal attributes such as timidity, pride and fear, however, to persist, we need to have a positive attitude, burning desire, inner confidence and the ability to adapt and adjust knowing that we can do all things if we put our mind to it.