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The Requirements for Success

November 28, 2017

What are the requirements for my success? What helps me to successfully implement my goals and expectations? Broadly speaking, personal success has two main pillars: expertise and personal skills. This is not a vague assumption  but recognized and confirmed by leaders in business and science many times. Academic knowledge is nowadays easy to obtain, it is - at least in the parts of the digitalized world - everywhere accessible and comparatively easy to learn. Any student today can bring his teacher into an embarrassing situation by googling the latest insights about a topic to than surprise the teacher with the latest facts. Personal skills, on the other hand, are difficult to learn. Why? I give you 3 ideas:

  1. Experiences: We are shaped by experiences with our family, peers and other surrounding influences in a certain way. Deep impressions can not simply be wiped away as they got connected to certain convictions. These in turn influence the development of the above mentioned personal skills.

  2. Habits: Habits are stronger than new insights. When we are used to react to situations in a certain way, we not only need good arguments to change our habits, we need a new habit to replace the old one. This is way harder to learn than learning for a math test.

  3. Learning: Skills cannot be memorized. They have to be practiced -  again and again. But where is that possible today without being afraid your potential mistakes would be fatal?

Social skills are closely interwoven with one's own self-awareness, the awareness of the environment, discernible options for action and their (conscious) application. Thus, if we teach skills in schools and colleges, we should make sure that we don´t leave it with a few written workshops on values ​​and strengths. Skills are action-oriented. Therefore, learning must also be made possible through experiences and by practicing in a consequent process. Abstract values ​​i.e. have to be brought into the context of one´s own actual behavior and experiences.

We won't achieve this with self-study lessons for your career choices. It takes an experienced person to initiate a process of action, reflection, reapplication, and improvement. A person guiding  discussions and social interactions pointing out ways to foster one's own career path. By that self-motivation can arise in students, which reduces learning resistance and thereby benefiting the whole educational system in many ways.

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