Many of my blog posts will focus on tips and strategies for achieving success at university, things you can do. Another group of posts will explore ideas or perspectives, things you should think in order to succeed.
Some students find it hard to see the value in learning specific things to think. They only want to know actions they can take, like how to read a text effectively or how to maximize study impact (see future posts). Actions are important. But ideas are extremely powerful, too.
Everything you think is an idea. You become comfortable with your ideas over time. They seem to become part of you, and new ideas can feel strange or even trivial. But on the quest for success you must be open to new ways of thinking. Our ideas, our perspectives on life, shape our entire existence.
Imagine that your TV falls off the shelf and smashes and you can’t afford a new one.
If you focus on all the sit-coms and awards shows you’ll miss and all those cozy nights on the sofa binge-watching mysteries, you’re bound to be upset and frustrated. But imagine, on the other hand, convincing yourself to see your destroyed TV as an opportunity. Maybe the extra free time will give you a chance to develop new skills or hobbies, or finally get outside and do that forest hike you’ve been planning. Or, perhaps the TV accident motivates you to find a better job so you can afford the things you want.
With the first mindset, when you’re focused on the demise of your beloved TV, you’re sad and angry. With the second, more positive frame of mind, you’re excited about making a change. The reality is the same; the TV is still broken. The difference is how you think about your situation.
Changing the way you think is one of the surest paths to increased success in your studies. Stay tuned for much more on this.