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One Thing Your Teachers Did Very Wrong

One Thing Your Teachers Did Very Wrong

The Teacher’s Great Deception

Let me ask you a simple question: What are your strengths? Let’s think for a minute before reading further.

You probably started your thinking process by listing the things you are good at. This is exactly what your teachers did very wrong, and it has had serious consequences in your life.

It was hard for me to believe that when I counted all the time I spent in the education system, the total number was 17 years. I’ve spent 17 years being graded thousands of times for everything I did. It’s just a long list of subject names along with A, B, C and others (or actually, in Poland, where I live, I could get 5 for being really good and 1 for being really bad at something).

Great Discovery

Let’s stop for a moment and think about it. For many, many years, you and I were receiving grades from our teachers that were supposed to reflect the quality of our work in every possible aspect. But here is the point:

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A strength is not just something you’re good at; it is something that makes you feel strong!

And how many people on the whole planet know what makes you feel strong?
Think for a minute.

That’s right. Exactly one.
It is you.

In my case I could get through 17 years of learning, receive thousands of grades, yet among the teachers, there was rarely anybody asking “what do you feel when you are doing this?” And I was the only one on the whole planet who could answer that question.

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This is why I could get the same grades in two subjects, but one was making me feel strong and the other was draining my energy. This is why I could spend hours studying the first one and researching additional information, while I was learning the other just to pass the exam and nothing more.

Try listing things that make you feel strong. It could be the same things your teachers told you you’re good at, but not necessarily. You helped the old lady while others didn’t care, and she smiled in return, so you felt strong. You woke up at 4:00 in the morning to see the sunset in the mountains while others didn’t care, so you felt strong. You were solving a difficult logical problem and 3 hours passed like 15 minutes, so you felt strong. Take a few minutes to make your list; it can really open your eyes.

Your strength

    Great Difference

    When you meet people, you can immediately tell if what they are doing is making them feel strong or not. They don’t even have to speak–it’s just one look in their eyes, and you are immediately aware. The same applies to you!

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    If you are fueled by passion and by doing something that makes you feel strong, you can work harder than anyone else. People can see it in 5 seconds, before you even open your mouth. This is why we love passionate people; their energy level speaks for itself.

    Do you know what Michael Jordan heard in 10th grade when he was trying to join the varsity team in basketball? That’s right, he was deemed “too short.” It is hard to believe and today it sounds funny, but this is exactly what your teachers did wrong–they can tell only what is external and rarely anything about the internal volcano that is inside you.

    Great Responsibility

    With that knowledge comes great responsibility.

    The worst thing about this pattern learned through education is that it continues in business world, and then your boss is the person giving you grades and, be honest, rarely asking about your feelings.

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    There is only one person in the world that knows how you feel when you do things. It is you who needs to take responsibility over your own strengths because only you can feel it. Do not wait until your boss guesses it, or until your partner recognize it–you have to find it yourself and be able to communicate it effectively.

    There is a secret inside you. Whenever you feel strong, stop for just one minute and contemplate about it. What is it that made you feel this way? Remember that others can only see the quality of your work, not your emotions.

    It is easy to judge other people according to the results of their work; however, their (and yours!) inner life quite often precedes the results. Let’s look at Jesus and the way he has chosen the twelve. Were they any known, great leaders? Spectacular speakers? He could see their potential before even they could see it.

    So, let me ask once again: what are your strengths?

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    Piotr Nabielec

    Author, CEO, Consultant

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

    “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

    Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

    You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

    Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

    1. Take a step back and evaluate

    When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is the problem?
    2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
    3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
    4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
    5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

    Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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    2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

    If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

    At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

    Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

    3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

    Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

    4. Process your thoughts/emotions

    Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

    1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
    2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
    3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
    4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

    5. Acknowledge your thoughts

    Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

    By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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    Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

    6. Give yourself a break

    If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

    7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

    A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

    Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

    After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

    8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

    As Helen Keller once said,

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

    Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

    9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

    In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

    1. What’s the situation?
    2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
    3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
    4. Take action on your next steps!

    After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

    10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

    A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

    Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

    For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

    11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

    No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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    12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

    No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

    13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

    There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

    After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

    Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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