Tutoring Campsie

Getting Ahead

Tutoring Campsie

We can be told that effort and dedication can make us successful. And there is a lot of truth to this. But it may not be the complete truth. Intelligence and ability, interest in a subject and natural potential all make a difference. We all know that some people find some subjects and pursuits easier than others. And we all know that any pursuit seems to require less effort when we find it naturally interesting, or when can see we are reaching a goal. So, what are some of the factors that help us succeed?

Curiosity and learning – Smarter people tend to be curious about a lot of subjects. A few smart people become apathetic and depressed, only to find that they can get past this when they find something that does arouse their curiosity. The cause and effect here may be complex, but we may need some curiosity in order to stay mentally balanced. Certainly, monotony and repetition is stultifying. This is hard to break out of. But being engaged in any activity, from comics books to quite meditation, will help.

Wanting success, but not competition – Individuals who try to get ahead by holding others back only seem to succeed in a limited environment. They like to be the big fish in a small pond, and refuse to leave the small pond even when a better opportunity comes along. This is being deliberately ignorant, which does not lend itself to curiosity or learning.

We will learn from working with others, more so than when working on our own, more so than when we try to hold others back. Fostering a cooperative environment will benefit everybody, at least when it is about learning.

Be flexible about conventions – It is easy to follow the status quo, and we can easily do this when we don’t really understand what is going on. But if we understand why the conventions are there we may well find there are other possibilities that were previously not easy to see.
Some conventions, like putting safety first, should always be followed. But if there is a different way to refinance a loan, build a sculpture, travel to you destination, cook your eggs, then consider these possibilities.

Chances and experiments – It is fine to take chances when learning (don’t do anything unsafe), but when we get to the real world applications (doing the exam, making a business decision) we cannot afford to take chances or make mistakes. Take chances when learning, and apply what you have learnt when making important decisions.

Some of us have a fear of failure. Perhaps we all do. But we should look at the cost of failing in any situation. When it is all done on paper or in a computer simulation, the cost is trivial. When we do it in the real world, when we take out a home loan, when we take a new job, the cost can be high. The Wright brothers did many experiments with model planes before they built the first real plane, which had minimal safety issues because they learn a lot from the little models. Experiment and learn with the trivial, and then be more knowledgeable when it comes to the important things.

Listening and observing – Other people will usually have something to contribute. Even the novice will have a few insights that an experienced person will miss. But they will also have a few misconceptions. Listen critically. Even when the other person view or belief is mistaken you learn something about other people’s misconceptions.

Positivity makes a difference, perhaps a very big difference. Few things work on the first attempt. But we either get it right on successive attempts or we might apply our time to attempting something else.

Be accountable for your actions – we cannot control everything, and some mistakes were not our fault. But even when it is not our fault it may still be our responsibility. Find a way to make things (at least the important things) work.

Delay gratification – It is all too easy to take the short-term pleasure and miss out on anything else. But sometimes we have to force ourselves to clean the bathroom, memorize a page of physics equations, or finish reading that one boring play for English Lit. Remind yourself that this leads onto other things that are more fulfilling.

Tutoring Campsie

Education aims to make us the best version of ourselves. Tutoring complements school education, and improves our options in life.

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