Advertising
Advertising

10 Reasons Why B Students Are Likely To Be Successful

10 Reasons Why B Students Are Likely To Be Successful

It’s an incredibly ironic belief that straight-A students will automatically be more successful than their B-average counterparts. In this day and age, there are so many stories about people who dropped out of high school or college to become world-renowned entrepreneurs. To be clear, these people didn’t drop out because they couldn’t hack it, but because they saw no point in getting a 4.0 while taking electives they had no interest in. They chose to create their own paths. Most “B students” are really “A students” that have chosen to focus on other aspects of their lives, while maintaining their grades as best they can.

Disclimer: This is no attack on A students — everyone learns and works in their own way. Keep doing what you’re doing!

1. They don’t waste time on frivolous studying

B students don’t love doing homework or studying for exams. Nobody really does, but B students don’t feel the need to make it a priority. Sure, they get it done, and they learn enough to pass the tests, but they also spend time outside the library. B students rarely turn down opportunities to go on adventures or do something fun because they have a project due later in the week. They understand that an impromptu adventure will do more for them in the long-run than remembering dates from a history book.

Advertising

2. They focus on other interests

B students are generally quite intelligent. They just don’t feel the need to learn only what their teachers tell them to learn. When they find something that interests them, they will put their all into it. Again, they don’t completely shirk their responsibilities. They’ll learn enough about a subject to pass with a decent mark. While they were earning that B-minus in chemistry, they were busy designing a new computer program, or learning to shred like Jimi Hendrix. You can’t put a grade on that.

3. They follow their passions

Along with having other interests, they don’t let school get in the way of their passions. Many A students graduate having no clue what they even like to do, since they spent four years making the grade to please their parents and teachers. B students, on the other hand, graduate high school with a sigh of relief, knowing they’ll soon be able to go to school for something they enjoy. When B students are able to finally enjoy their studies, something incredible happens: They become A students.

4. They’re more relaxed

B students don’t always need to be the best or get top marks. Yes, they still freak out if they fail a test. But, they don’t set unrealistic expectations for themselves, and are often pretty happy with the results they get. Even when following their passion, they don’t lose their mind when they don’t get something right; they just practice harder for the next time.

Advertising

5. They multitask

A students may lock themselves away for hours on end in order to study. B students, on the other hand, study in between reading up on the news, checking on other projects, and generally keeping up with the things that actually interest them. I’m not saying it’s good to have your phone out while you should be focusing on a task, but in most modern jobs you might have to juggle five different priorities at any given time. Being able to wear many hats is a necessity, and B students have practiced doing that for years.

6. They are “Jacks of all trades”

Although many B students have passions and priorities outside of school, many don’t know what their passion is yet. Because of this, they get involved in a variety of areas, testing the waters to see which they like most. In doing so, they often pick up enough to become much more than beginners in a variety of practices.

I’m not the best guitarist in the world, but considering it’s a small hobby of mine, I’m pretty darn good. Same with playing chess, fishing, writing, interpreting literature and poetry — the list goes on. My wife, who is in her final year of optometry school, tells me that a lot of people she’s met throughout her schooling are absolute master optometrists, but don’t have half the amount of knowledge I do about generally everything else in the world. I might not be a master at one thing, but I definitely am well-rounded enough to find a job in a variety of areas.

Advertising

7. They’re entrepreneurial

Since they tend to follow their passion, and not just regurgitate what their teacher wants them to say, B students often think outside the box. They see something that can be improved and they work towards doing so. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the practical, critical thinker is usually the one who isn’t afraid to go against the grain a bit. While A students tend to toe the line, B students are the ones asking why there’s a line in the first place. They look at the world from an analytical position, and question policies and procedures they don’t agree with. While A students keep the world moving, B students are the ones that want to change it.

8. They’re easy to relate to

My mother teaches high school English, and this year has had the pleasure of having an absolute genius in her class. As a teacher, she loves it because she sees incredible potential in the young man. The other students, on the other hand, groan whenever he raises his hand, and it most likely stems from the fact that they have no idea what he’s talking about half the time. He’s just on another level. Again, this isn’t a dig at him, as being incredibly intelligent isn’t a bad thing at all. However, there’s something to be said for the people who can take complex ideas and bring them down to earth, so “us normal people” can understand. Being well-rounded and well-educated, while also maintaining a sense of “being real,” takes B students much farther than good grades ever will.

9. They’re realistic

B students are realistic about their goals, their accomplishments, and their abilities. They set goals that are attainable, and continue to set more goals once previous ones have been reached. B students usually tend to downplay their accomplishments. This might be because they know they could have achieved more with a bit more focus, or because they don’t place huge importance on extrinsic rewards. B students know that there are some things they just aren’t great at, and they accept that. By eliminating the drive to be the best at everything, they often excel at that which they wish to excel at.

Advertising

10. They are self-defined

B students are not defined by a grade given to them by a teacher who is a master at that specific subject. They define their accomplishments and worth by what it means to them. The grade doesn’t matter — the experience does. It’s incredibly possible that many A students can go through high school without actually understanding anything, simply regurgitating notes the teacher gave them. However, it’s also possible that B students can perform above average most of the time, and earn A’s when they truly comprehend a topic and put their all into it. But again, the satisfaction does not come from earning a higher grade, but from knowing the job was done well.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

More by this author

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One 8 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Ever Stop Loving You 8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart 14 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Trending in Productivity

1 How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas 2 Habits and Motivation: Master Both for Big Results 3 How to Improve Concentration and Sharpen Your Attention at Work 4 10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It 5 How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

Regardless of how creative you already consider yourself to be, there’s a good chance you would like to level up your creative abilities.

You might want to write a better song, think of better solutions to problems at work or around the home or maybe paint a picture.

In any case, the good news is that creativity is not born: it’s made, and each one of us has the potential to be more creative and come up with incredible ideas.

“Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The definition of creativity is broad, and reminds us that creativity is not limited to artists or musicians. It does however require that we have some kind of impact on the domain in which we create.

Creativity also emphasizes values.

“The process of having original ideas that have value” — Ken Robinson

This makes up for what Csikszentmihalyi misses out. For instance, we can make a change in the world without adding significant value. Any destructive act, like smashing a window, creates change, but it doesn’t necessarily create valuable change.

In short, there isn’t one single definition of creativity It’s up to us to find a definition that feels true and useful. When you know what your standard is, It’s much easier to embrace creativity and start to cultivate it.

And in this article, you will learn how to be more creative and take a good look at what goes into the creative skill:

1. Cultivate Focus

In order to create, there needs to be a focus on creating something, whether it’s a song, a theory, a product, or a sculpture.

You could also call this “drive” – it’s the initial spark that drives the solution to a problem, or the will to get on your laptop and start typing.

However, it’s worth noting there are different stages to the creative process: the divergent stage and the convergent stage.

In the divergent stage, we want a broad focus – we want to be willing to let in lots of different inputs, ideas and insights. This is the time for brainstorming all possible ideas and solutions.

In the convergent stage, we start to narrow our focus, like a camera lens. At this stage, we start to drill down to a handful of ideas or solutions, discriminating throughout the process.

How to cultivate focus?

Advertising

Take a 20 Minute Walk

Walking away and getting your heart rate up is the best free tool you have in regaining your focus.

I know it might seem counterintuitive to take a break right when you’re at your busiest, and especially when you’re drowning in your massive to do list, but the effects it will have on your clarity and ability to focus are undeniable.

Walking is physiologically proven to release stress, and clear your mind. In fact, most of my most brilliant ideas (and some pretty terrible ones too) have occurred on my daily walks.

If you give this technique a try, what you’ll find is that you’re much more productive than you were before you took a breather.

Over time, if you do these walks daily, you’ll quickly find that your to-do list starts to feel a lot less significant, and a lot more doable. It’s all about keeping razor focused, and that’s what short daily walks will gift you.

2. Build a Structure

When I wake up in the morning, I start the day with a structure in mind. I know that 15 minutes will be dedicated to meditation, 30 minutes to coffee and reading, 20 minutes to yoga and so on.

The structure of this morning routine might be boring, but the act of each task in itself has the potential to be, on some level, “creative.”

The point of structure is that it gives you the space to make time for something you want to do. It helps you carve out the time to do your creative work. Once you begin that thing in itself, you are free to go about it however you’d like.

Without structure, we can lose focus and can feel overwhelmed with possibility. If you’ve ever looked at a blank page and felt too overwhelmed with possibility to make a mark on it, you’ll know what I mean. How much easier it gets when you are given some guidelines or a deadline?

The trick is finding the right amount of structure for you and your creative needs. Too little structure and we feel overwhelmed. Too much structure, and we risk feeling limited and stifled.

Again, it’s worth thinking about creating in those two stages: divergent (less structure) and convergent (more structure.)

How to build a structure?

Create a Morning Routine

Your morning routine doesn’t have to be rigid or so arduous you dread waking up. In fact, it should feel like the opposite. When you get a routine that works for you, you’ll look forward to starting the day.

We all have different needs and preferences which can shape our ideal routine. In the book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, you can be inspired over 160 different creators’ daily routines, from Charles Darwin to Pablo Picasso.

Experiment with any that take your fancy, and see how you feel with a bit more structure to start your day.

You can also take a look at this article about morning routine for inspirations: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

Advertising

3. Find Motivation

There is a theory that suggests: people will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself — not by external pressures. This is also known as intrinsic motivation; a drive that comes from within.

Think of a time when you did some of your best work — chances are you were totally absorbed in what you were doing, to the exclusion of everything else. You were completely focused on the work itself, barely noticing time flying by.

Now think of a time when you felt under pressure to perform. Maybe it was an exam, or a commission for an important client, or maybe your boss had told you “there’s a lot riding on this.”

Notice the difference? In the first memory, you were driven by intrinsic motivation, which made it relatively easy, even enjoyable, to be highly creative.

In the second memory however, extrinsic motivation was breathing down your neck, distracting you by whispering about the rewards for success and the horrible consequences of failure: likely making it harder to focus on the task at hand.

For this reason, intrinsic motivation, if you can find it, is what separates the good from great creative work.

This isn’t to say only internal motivators help. I personally get motivated by luring myself to work with a good cappuccino at my favourite cafe. That will get me ready to write or edit or whatever I’ve been avoiding.

How to find motivation?

Connect to Your “Why”

Your “Why” is your fuel: the thing that drives you forward, that gives you a reason to do what you’re doing.

‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ — Friedrich Nietzche

When you have a reason to do something, a purpose or a goal that matters to you, you can connect your daily actions to it. Then, each act becomes infused with meaning and you find that intrinsic motivation comes naturally.

The trick is to remember your “why” and connect with it on a regular basis.

Think about how you want to feel on a daily basis. What would you like to accomplish in the next year? What would you like for yourself in the next five years? How about in your lifetime?

Ultimately, the tasks you face on a daily basis, or at least some of them, will connect to a greater purpose if you follow this path and you will find you feel more motivated to create and less resistance.

If you aren’t sure where to start looking for motivation, this will help: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

4. Be an Expert in a Chosen Domain

Research has shown that just as expertise in one domain does not predict expertise in other unrelated domains; creativity in one domain does not predict creativity in other unrelated domains.[1]

Advertising

So just because you can paint a pretty picture, doesn’t mean you can creatively solve a mathematical problem.

If you’ve taken one of those tests like the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which will ask you to think of a bazillion uses for a pencil, and scored well, unfortunately this is only an indicator of divergent thinking skills. It is not a predictor for creativity all round.

The good news is, you can train your creativity in your chosen domain. Much like a muscle, you can isolate exercises to strengthen it.

Of course you can still do a total body workout – or atotal creativity workout – but it means your creativity-training exercises need to come from a wide variety of domains; not just thinking up uses for a pencil.

How to become an expert?

Make a Mastery Training Plan

Following our physical workout analogy, it’s worth applying the habits of great athletes to your chosen creative domain. For example:

1. Decide what area/s you want to work on

Much like a tennis player who decides they need to improve their serving technique, you can decide what area within your creative domain you want to improve at. Get specific.

2. Decide how much time you can dedicate

Most of us don’t have all day to train like a pro tennis player might, but you can likely squeeze 20 to 30 minutes in a day, if you want to. Whatever the time you can allow is, decide to dedicate yourself to it.

3. Review your progress

Finally, in order to check your progress, you can take regular reviews. Decide what your metrics are, and take time each week to check in with yourself.

How many days did you practice? How did you compare to the previous week? This kind of review can help you stay on track, and actually creates more intrinsic motivation as you see yourself develop.

5. Create a Conducive Environment

A psychologist in 1943 proposed that behaviour is:[2]

“a function of both the person as well as the physical environment they are in.”

I would suggest that the act of creating is a behaviour and that, even though it begins as an internal process, it’s very much affected by and even dependent on the environment we are in.

Advertising

I started noticing how environment affects me when I worked in an office. Over time, I realized that the more people who were in or who were talking, the more distracted I was. If I got to the office early before my coworkers arrived, I was twice as effective.

I was even more effective if I was at home. Now that I work from home, I know I’m even more effective when in certain coffee shops. Ideally, places that have high ceilings, gentle lighting, some barely noticeable background music – and excellent coffee.

It’s these little variations in our environment that can really shape our creative output.

If you’re an introvert, you probably do your best work alone. If you’re an extrovert, you probably do your best work in the company of others.

This isn’t to say you should find one way of doing things and stick to it: in fact, varying your environment from time to time is a great way to stoke the creative fire too, which we’ll touch on more later.

How to create a conducive environment?

Add or Subtract Stimuli

Novelty in our environment has been shown to stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases our desire to seek out reward.[3]

If you’re looking for creative motivation, adding some novelty into your environment can be just what you need.

On the other hand, some people are highly sensitive and when it comes to having too much stimulation in their environment, they find it difficult to focus.

Experiment with working in different environments. Note how you feel. Note whether you do better creative work or have more interesting ideas when you’re alone or with others.

Try listening to music, people chatting or try being in complete silence. Try a dimly lit room, try working in bright sunlight.

In each case, note how you feel before, during and afterwards and rate the quality of your work.

The Bottom Line

Creativity is not one particular skill or talent one can have. It comes in as many broad and unique flavors as there are people on this earth.

To be more creative, take little steps each day. Acknowledge where and when you feel most inspired, motivated and original and spend more energy in those areas.

More Articles About Creativity

Featured photo credit: Sticker Mule via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next