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11 Life Lessons That College Won’t Teach You

11 Life Lessons That College Won’t Teach You

College life is something that teaches us many things. It tells us how irritating and annoying can people be in the beginning; yet at the end these people are the ones whom we call our best buddies. The most amazing part is that the college life allows us to define our selves. We choose our ideologies and perceptions about life. We experience first time freedom to develop and define our own unique existence.

The endless teasings, the first crush, the first group of best buddies, the first hangover, the first night out, the best enemies, the bunks, the professor’s questions, and much more: college life teaches us many things.

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    With so many memories and lessons learned, it could be surprising that there are a few things that were missed. Here are 11 life lessons that you won’t learn from years at the university.

    1. The courses and classes can’t be used much.

    The guy who sits next to you in the office may not have taken the same course that you did. The two of you may belong to different academic backgrounds, still you both earn the same respect and money. No one asks you what you learned in college, but you have to learn things on your own and finish the task which your boss “assumes” that you learned in college. College is over and now life is beyond the lectures and textbooks.

    2. In life, skills matter.

    The person who supervises you might just be younger than you. However, you will call him “sir”. In college a junior, who may be elder to you, respected you because you were senior. That was college, where respect was given. In real life, respect is earned.

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    3. The art of communicating.

    You may had escaped the Personality Development classes in college but in life you realize the importance of communicating well. You might need to propose a girl, you have to ask for a salary hike, or you may want to discuss issues with your neighbors. Communication skills are something which can make or break you.

    4. How to judge people correctly.

    In college a person is your friend or foe, but in life you just can’t guess what relationship you share. A “somebody” at office may proof to be a “nobody” at the time of need. A good friend at the office may cut off your chance of promotion because he has to make his own way. So you have to learn how to identify the traits of people around you. Actions may contradict the words.

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      5. You check yourself: what you say, how you say and to whom you say.

      In college you could abuse and fight with your batch mates on one day and the other day you found yourself busy with the same people because you had to complete an assignment together. But in life it is a different story. In college your friends and the others knew what you mean by your words, but in life people will perceive you as per their perceptions, not as per your words.

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      6. Networking and social connections always help

      In college your friends could be your world. But in life you can’t sustain without networking and social connections. You need a job referral; you need a new house; you need to start a business; you need to start your social activists group. This all means you need good relations with people.

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        7. Saving money isn’t easy.

        The quest to explore life, the thrill of being 100 feet in the sky, the joy of savoring the red wine in a vineyard, the scuba diving experience with the corals and sea creatures. For any of these adventures, you need some savings, which isn’t easy. Your paycheck will always have somewhere else to go–buying food, clothes, paying the bills, visiting your parents. And you’ll notice there won’t always be a lot left over after this.

        8. In relationships, actions speak.

        In college life, a romantic relationship thrived on sweet words. But in real life actions speak. You look at the person; you observe his/her actions and notice how he/she makes you feel. So be careful about the words you use, but also be careful about your actions and gestures.

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        9. Making mistake is fine but it must be a new one each time.

        Each mistake allows you to learn something. It leaves you with a lesson. But to succeed you must make a new mistake each time, so that you always get a new lesson. In college it was okay to ask the same silly question to the same professor again and again, but in life if you ask the same questions or make the same mistake again and again you will labeled as “dumb.”

        10. It is important that you keep marching ahead. Life is a journey, not a destination.

        When you were in school, you only wanted good grades. Once you reached college, you wanted to be famous. When you got your job, your next aim was to get a promotion. After being promoted you wanted a free holiday ticket with family, and so on. Life moves on and on and every moment you have new expectations and aspirations. So just pay attention to the little joys and keep moving ahead.

        11. Everyone is really busy, so you need to take care of yourself.

        Everyone around you is fighting his/her own fight. Even a five-year-old has his own challenges and tasks to do. Everyone is busy thinking about himself, so take care. Yes, you need to love and care for the person whom you see in the mirror because college is over and your friends aren’t there.

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          Last Updated on April 6, 2020

          10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

          10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

          Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

          Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

          Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

          So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

          1. Be Authentic

          To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

          Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

          Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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          2. Listen

          Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

          To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

          Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

          Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

          3. Become an Expert

          Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

          You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

          4. Lead with Story

          From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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          If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

          5. Lead by Example

          It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

          ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

          We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

          6. Catch People Doing Good

          A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

          Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

          7. Be Effusive with Praise

          It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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          Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

          8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

          I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

          The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

          If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

          9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

          The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

          The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

          If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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          10. Understand Your Lane

          If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

          Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

          You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

          Final Thoughts

          Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

          It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

          More Tips About Making Influence

          Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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