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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 April 7, 2020

              The Secret to Success Is Failure

              The Secret to Success Is Failure

              You see a job that you’d love to do; and, you decide to go for it.

              You submit your application, and then are pleased to find a few days later that you’re invited for an interview. This goes well, and you begin to have quiet optimism that a job offer will be coming your way soon…

              It doesn’t.

              Instead, you receive a letter saying thank you — but, they’ve decided to go with another candidate.

              At this point, you could allow yourself to feel defeated, sad, and perhaps even a little angry. These are normal responses to bad news. Yet, it’s not wise to let them fester and disrupt your goals. Successful people don’t let failures kill their dreams.

              Sure, they might temporarily feel deflated. But, very quickly, they pick themselves back up again and begin planning their next steps towards success.

              How about you? Do you currently feel embarrassed or guilty about failing?

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              Don’t worry if you do, as most of us have been programmed since childhood to see failure as a bad thing. Yet, as I’m going to show you in the next few minutes, this programming is dead wrong — failure is actually an essential part of success.

              Don’t Be Tempted by Perfection

              The first thing I want you to think about is this:

              Resisting failure is, at its core, seeking perfection. And, perfection doesn’t exist.

              That’s why perfectionists are also likely to be chronic procrastinators.

              As Psychology Today noted in their article Pitfalls of Perfectionism, people who constantly seek for perfection stop themselves from engaging in challenging experiences.[1] That’s because these perfectionists are less creative and innovative than the average person — plus they’re less likely to take risks. Add these factors together, and you have someone who is overly focused on their own performance and is always quick to defend themselves. Unfortunately, these traits prevent them from having the necessary focus when it comes to learning new tasks.

              Let me be clear: Striving for perfection is not the same as striving for excellence.

              The former is a fool’s quest for the unattainable; while the latter is really just about doing our very best (which we can all obtain).

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              And, there’s another problem that perfectionists have to deal with. Namely, when they fail to reach their ideal, they feel dejected and defeated. And — as you can imagine — repeat this often enough, and these people can end up feeling bitter and depressed about their lives.

              So, forget about seeking perfection, and instead, focus on always doing your very best.

              Why Failure Is Good

              I recently came across a Forbes article Failing Your Way To Success: Why Failure Is A Crucial Ingredient For Success[2] that helped explain why most people are opposed to failure.

              The article referenced the work of two world-renowned psychologists (Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky), who were awarded a Nobel Prize for their work. They discovered something very interesting: the effect of a loss is twice as great as the gain from a win.

              Have you ever thought about that before?

              What it means is that failure has a far greater negative impact on us than the positive impact of an equivalent win. It’s no wonder then that most people are afraid to fail.

              And, here’s where it gets interesting…

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              Amazon (which along with Apple, Facebook and Google, is considered one of the Big Four technology companies) has a culture that is tolerant of failure. And Jeff Bezos — Amazon’s founder and CEO — believes that this culture is one of the main reasons for the company’s big achievements over the last 25 years. In a letter to shareholders, he said:

              “Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.” 

              The truth is, failure can open up a world of exciting opportunities for you.

              How does it do this?

              By constantly showing you new avenues to travel on. And, by helping you learn from your mistakes — so you can be better next time around. It also helps you identify what’s not working for your life, and what is.

              So instead of seeing something as detrimental to success, you should see it as a tool FOR success. A tool that will help you to continually refine your journey in life.

              If you still need some convincing that the secret to success is failure, then take a look at the following excerpts from our article 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On:

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              • J.K. Rowling encountered a catalog of failures shortly after graduating from college, including: being jobless, the breakdown of her marriage, and living as a lone parent. However, instead of giving up on life, she used these failures to propel her to write the Harry Potter fantasy series — the best-selling book series in history.
              • Walt Disney didn’t have an easy start either. He dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt to join the army. Later, one of his early business ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt. He was also fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” (Yes, you read that correctly.) Was he defeated by these failures? Just ask Mickey Mouse.
              • Michael Jordan had this to say about the power of failure: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

              Embrace Failure, and Prepare for Success

              I hope this has been an eye-opener for you.

              Failure has long been branded a leper; but in reality, it’s a healthy, essential component of success.

              The trick of course is to develop the mindset of a winner. Someone who sees failures as stepping stones to success — and defeats as important learning experiences.

              So, are you ready to embrace your failures and take the proud road to success?

              I sincerely hope so.

              Featured photo credit: Bruce Mars via unsplash.com

              Reference

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