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Book-Street Smart Is the New Sexy

Book-Street Smart Is the New Sexy

The world is full of people who are either book smart or street smart. Book smart people are well-read and possess a wealth of knowledge. They’re experts at recalling, recognizing, and analyzing information. Characterized by their love of learning, book smart people are organized and prepared for any situation.

The street smart among us have worldly experience, which they use to make informed decisions about situations they encounter. They learn from their own mistakes and trust their judgement about people and circumstances.

Book Smart vs Street Smart

    They way you learn has the biggest influence on whether you are book smart or street smart.

    If you recall your time in school, you can identify book smart and street smart kids. Book smart students were disciplined and tried to follow rules. They usually made straight As. They spent most of the time in libraries reading and studying.

    The street smart kids were rebellious. They prioritized interactions with others over studying and reading. Class clowns are almost always street smart.

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    Book Smarts Read to Learn

    Book smart people learn from successes and failures of others through reading. They benefit from theories, models, and the insights of other people.

      But they may lack experience since they’ve spent most of their time intellectualizing situations. Their adherence to rules narrows their vision and prevents them from innovating. When faced with sudden changes, they have trouble reacting.

        Street Smarts Walk to Learn

        Street smart people adapt. Excellent situational awareness allows them to understand their environment, the people in it, and how they can use these things to accomplish their goals. They think freely without being held back by rules and solve problems creatively.

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          But they are likely to repeat mistakes made by other people because they didn’t learn from others’ experiences. They may trust their judgement too much and fail to see other options too.

            When Book Smart and Street Smart Are at the Wrong Place

            If you didn’t give a book smart person guidelines or the ability to research, the person wouldn’t know what to do. When they can’t sift through information, they panic. Imagine going to a foreign country where you can’t speak the language, don’t have a cell phone, and don’t have a guide book, and you’ll know the feeling.

            Street smart individuals don’t adapt in structured situations because they can’t use their knack for improvisation. Educational environments are often oppressive for street smart people. Street smarts often act out in school because they’re forced to learn in ways that don’t make use of their talents.

            Book smart people are most successful when expectations are clearly-defined. Government work and school settings are good for book smart people.

            Street smart people excel without rules or where they can make their own. Creative types, entrepreneurs, and working in start-ups are street smart.

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            When Book Smart and Street Smart Go Together

            A competent person has positive qualities of book smart and street smart people. This person possesses a strong grasp of facts, information, and precedents like book smart people. He or she could learn from others’ mistakes without repeating them.

            The street smart aspects of this person enable him or her to be adaptable and sensitive to the environment. They know the rules and understand when they need to be broken.

              Whether you’re prone to book smart or street smart, you can work a bit to become both and achieve big.

              1. Read What You Need

              Reading allows you to learn from others’ mistakes and emulate their success. When you read, the mental stimulation keeps your mind sharp and makes you better at solving problems. Analyzing details from books is excellent practice for tackling problems in the real world.

              Getting lost in a book helps you develop the habit of concentrating on one thing at a time. Increased focus translates into doing more work in less time. Find out more here about the Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day.

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              Choosing the right books and reading with purpose allows you to maximize your time. If you aren’t sure how to kickstart reading the good ones, check out this article How to Read Books You Aren’t Interested in but Are Useful for You.

              2. Put What You’ve Learned Into Action

              Consuming the written word doesn’t guarantee that you’ll use what you’ve read. Make connections to what you’ve read and put it into practice right away.

              The more often you make use of the information, the easier to remember it. If you don’t put what you have learned into actions, you can’t experience in your own way. Only with experience will you truly understand something and know how to react when things don’t go the same way as in the book or theories. Here’s a way to get you to learn really fast: The Only Way to Remember Everything You Have Read.

              Have the Best of Both Worlds

              You can be book-street smart and combine the positive aspects of both learning styles.

              Instead of ruling out one school of thought, focus on learning, taking actions based upon what you learn, and accumulating experience. Get feedback so that you can revise what you’re doing and act again. Focus on improving yourself through many avenues, and you’ll achieve new levels of success.

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              Brian Lee

              Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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              Last Updated on November 11, 2019

              How to Find Your Keystone Habits to Change Your Life

              How to Find Your Keystone Habits to Change Your Life

              When a young CEO stepped in at the helm of a dying giant, his first task was to figure out what needed to be done to save the company. After he spent some time researching the company and the market situation, he came up with a simple plan which he introduced to the shareholders in his first speech as the CEO.

              He spoke just about one single thing–safety. Everyone in the room thought he was crazy and some people jumped the soon-to-be-dead ship.

              15 years later, he not salvaged the giant, but made it one of the strongest steel and metal companies in the world and made a global name of himself.

              The company is Alcoa and the guy was Paul O’Neill.

              But the story matters to us for one thing only and that is the relentless focus he had on safety and security in his company. Paul O’Neill said that his employees deserve to leave work the same way they arrived at it–unharmed.

              And it was this radical focus on a single habit in the company that made it great. A single focus on a single habit which had a massive ripple effect.

              This is known as a keystone habit.

              The Importance of a Keystone Habit

              A keystone habit is a habit which has the biggest ripple effect in your life which means that by implementing it, you will radically change everything in your life.

              It’s quite easy to spot the keystone habits which make your life miserable.

              Take overeating as an example. If you weigh 400 pounds, you’re bedridden and your physical health massively declines. You can’t function individually so you need help to even do the basic things like going to the toilet or walking up the stairs. Since you can’t move, you can’t go to your job so you probably lose it. And since you can’t move, you can’t go out and meet someone so your dating and social life decline as well. And as a formerly overweight person, I know how this sucks.

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              This is just one example of how a keystone habit creates a ripple effect which creates change in every sphere of our lives. So we better open our eyes and make sure that we use the power of the keystone habits for bettering our life.

              Why Less Is More

              A keystone habit is about one thing and, the one thing only which you do to radically improve your life. And a lot of people would, at this point, ask what are the best keystone habits to implement in their lives.

              And here is the big truth: Nobody knows and nobody can tell you exactly.

              Everyone is specific and has different things going on for them in their lives, so claiming something is always superior to something else would simply be irresponsible.

              So even though I can’t tell you what to see, I can tell you where to look.

              Every keystone habit can be situated into one of the following four quadrants:

              It’s either a physical habit, intellectual habit, emotional habit or a spiritual habit.

              Any keystone habit I ever encountered which changed the life of someone falls under these 4 categories.

              And the trick is recognizing what kind of habit right would benefit your life the best at this moment. Asking what the best keystone habit has the same effect as asking what the best book in the world is– it depends on who you ask and what your current life situation is.

              If you’re struggling with the meaning of life and want to find hope in this crazy world we live in, I would point you to a great book which recently came out called Everything is F*cked by Mark Mason. If you were a struggling parent of a 10-year old kid who just found out the perils of the internet, I would point you to a security app.

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              You get the point…

              But just because everything is relative, it doesn’t mean that some things aren’t better than other things. War and Peace will always be a great book no matter if it currently befits you to read it. And the same thing can be applied to keystone habits so let’s see what kind of keystone habits fall into the great category.

              Great Keystone Habits

              I have already mentioned how all keystone habits fall into one of the four categories: physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. So the following keystone habits will fall into one (or more) of these buckets.

              But before we proceed into the habits, know this.

              What got you here, won’t get you there.

              So if you already have a keystone habit which you implemented for quite a while now and you think it’s no longer working, you are probably right. We need certain things at certain times of development, but we need to let them go later on to grow to new levels. So use the habits to better your life, but don’t worship any one of them for your entire life.

              Physical Domain

              When it comes to great keystone habits in the physical domain, they all fall into two buckets:

              • Exercise
              • Food

              These two are the pinnacle of the physical domain when it comes to keystone habits. I don’t even have to tell you all the ways exercise helps you in your life.

              From better hormonal regulation, to energy levels, to looking better, to feeling more confident, to increasing your lifespan and the quality of your life, a keystone habit of exercising is one whose effects you will feel fast.

              When it comes to food, it’s literally the building block of your life’s energy. If you eat garbage, you will feel like garbage–garbage in, garbage out. And your energy levels are one of the most important factors you need to regulate in your life if you want to achieve anything.

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              None of your dreams will ever come true if you eat a massive bag of chips every single day, which makes you drowsy and lifeless no matter how much ambition you have.

              But the physical domain is just one of the four domains so let’s jump to the next one.

              Intellectual Domain

              There are many great intellectual keystone habits we can pursue, but I will just name a couple of them which most of you who read the article will find relevant:

              • Reading Books
              • Writing (columns, articles, personal blog or diary)
              • Learning new languages
              • Learning a new skill set (copywriting, coaching, cooking…)
              • Teaching your skillset or your life experiences

              All of these have their own benefits and can massively improve your life and the life of people around you. When you, for example, learn a new language, you don’t just learn a new language, you learn a completely new way of thinking and form unique connections in your mind.

              But we don’t stop here, we have two more domains to cover.

              Emotional Domain

              This is a difficult one because, for one, it’s really hard to measure it in any quantitive way. You can’t just call your wife every single day and think that by doing just that, you are a good husband. It doesn’t work like that.

              I wrote about the problems of measuring emotional habits before and I won’t go in-depth about it here, but I will just mention that measuring these kinds of habits requires your and yours only subjective analyses. It’s like giving yourself a daily score of 1-10 on the question of “Did I do my best to be a great husband today?”

              The keystone habits of the emotional domain are one of the most complex and difficult ones to pull off because they require most people to change things they do in relation to other people.

              If you want to be more sincere and honest in your emotional responses, that means that you will have to make some people angry by doing that. It can be a difficult conversation you need to have with your spouse or with your friends, maybe a disagreement with your peers and colleagues, or a deep look within yourself with an honest look about your actions and mistakes.

              Emotional domain keystone habits improve your life in any stage, but since they make us do uncomfortable things, they are the last ones we pursue.

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              Some of the examples would be:

              • Telling yourself that you are the only one who is responsible for your emotions and keeping that standard
              • Calling out passive-aggressive in people
              • Speaking your mind even though you know it will bring disagreement
              • Dealing with your own problems first before pointing fingers
              • Asking for feedback constantly, both positive and negative ones
              • Deciding to be vulnerable even though it means risking being hurt

              The things I wrote above are probably the most difficult things you can ask someone to do, but they are also the most rewarding things you can do in your life. If you want to achieve greatness, you need to be willing to dare greatly.

              And last, but not least, are the keystone habits of the spiritual domain.

              Spiritual Domain

              The keystone habits of the spiritual domain are our connection with things which in our lives that have a higher purpose than just ourselves. This is the place where feel the connection with our communities, with Higher Beings, with God or Emptiness or whatever you want to call it.

              The spiritual domain is the strongest as a guiding force in life and some of the keystone habits of this domain include:

              • Finding your life’s purpose
              • Living your vision of life
              • Sacrificing yourself for the achievement of something bigger than you
              • Nurturing your inner voice and connection with the Spirit

              To some readers, this might seem like woo-woo, but I can assure that it isn’t. This is about the spiritual dimension of every individual and if you disregard it, you will annulate a part of you which will become a problem.

              The Western world currently faces a major spiritual crisis where people feel disconnected with anything in their lives which has a higher purpose than themselves. That’s why people are miserable even though they lead an “objectively” rich life where they appear to have everything but still feel like happiness is not in their lives.

              If you read all the way up to here, you found at least one keystone habit which can help you right now in your life.

              All that is left now is to implement it. As the famous adage goes:

              “Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing.”

              Now you know, it’s time to do.

              More About Habits

              Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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