Wouldn’t it be great if you could be guaranteed success at university? What great things could you go on to do if you achieved good grades? I am going to reveal to you the real secrets to succeeding at university.
Can success be guaranteed? Almost certainly! You see the secret to success is really quite simple. Most people overlook the foundations on which all learning is built. In fact nobody ever tells you this secret – not your parents, not your school and not the university. What is their advice – “work hard”!
Sorry! – I am not going to tell you that success comes easy, hard work is part of the plan but hard work alone does not lead to success. I have known thousands of hard working students that ended up with poor results.
Sure-fire success boils down to the fact that there are 2 types of learner – and learning is what it is all about. You will fall into either of these two categories and I have found that there is no grey middle ground on this one.
You are either:
* So curious about a subject that you just “have to know everything about it”, or
* You don’t really care
Don’t tell me that you care when in reality you will stop studying when the going gets tough, or you stop because the television is more interesting or you stop because things aren’t clear.
It is quite simple you are either so curious that you have to know, and it will keep you awake at night until you find out, or you really don’t care if you know it that well or not.
Curiosity isn’t something you were born with. It is something you can learn to switch on like a light bulb. Imagine what it would be like to know something so well that there wasn’t a question that you couldn’t answer. Imagine going in to an exam without a worry. Imagine what it would be like to have so much confidence that you ‘know’ there is no question that that you couldn’t answer. You can have all this if you are curious enough.
Curiosity is the underlying secret to success.
Without a ravenous curiosity you will never drive yourself to understand. At best you will learn many unconnected ‘snippets’ of information.
If you observe almost any successful person they all have the same trait – an enormous curiosity for knowledge. They don’t just read things and think “that is interesting”, often reading an article prompts them to ‘need’ to find out more. They will then research the subject, and keep on going, until the need for understanding is fulfilled. They don’t stop because it is “too hard” or they “couldn’t be bothered”.
Many times researching the answers to one subject will open up a whole new area of interest and generate many more questions that need answering. It is all inter-related and this is one way that experts ‘grow’ enormous knowledge. They don’t do it on purpose – they are driven to find the answers to unanswered questions.
Needing to know is important. “Needing to know” fuels your desire for understanding. Most people just surface learn – they listen to the lecture, they read the textbook, they get a good overview of a subject and then do nothing about it until revision time. These people have knowledge but they don’t have understanding.
If you really understand a subject then revision takes on a whole new meaning. It is more about clarity than memorising. Those that truly understand a subject never forget it and normally have instant recall of information.
If you really want to succeed at university then you must learn to understand. You need to use mind strategies to help you organise your understanding, you need to start reading around the subject – not just for the sake of it, but to answer questions that your own curiosity asks of you. Don’t give up on your understanding just because the answer to a question you have isn’t in the textbook! Go find that answer!
You need to ask yourself questions to see if you understand, you need to answer other people’s questions or questions from a textbook to check that you understand. When you truly understand the answers will be effortless and easy. You will have a confidence about a subject that others will both envy and admire.
If you want to know more about mind strategies to help you understand then please read the other articles at my website.
For now, be curious, be dissatisfied until you truly understand, enjoy your learning and work hard.
Be an expert.
© 2005 Max Wiseman
Max is a learning expert and believes that learning is the key to success in life. Visit his website for more inspirational and thought provoking learning articles.