Young people in Western societies are told they will likely have at least 6 careers, yet school and university curricula are not keeping up with changes in the outside world. As the result, students learn less about themselves, social skills and how to adapt in societies around them. What would you think if educational institutions evolved to focus more on empowering young people to develop physical, emotional and moral well-being rather than emphasize competitive test results? What kinds of changes would you propose in order to help people reverse the epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness that is perpetuated by current addiction to economic growth?
Awareness of what you like or dislike about yourself is the first step to developing a clearer sense of who you are. How you see yourself contributes to your attitude and whether you accelerate or hinder your own life learning. As you grow to feel grateful for all your experiences, you will also see open-ended benefits in the following:
- Concern yourself more with making others feel good about themselves than making them feel good about you
- If you're unable to clarify your vision in ways that motivate yourself and others, then its time to revise it
- Raise your awareness about issues you need to know, not necessarily about what you wish to hear
Many people talk about success. Some people offer step-by-step models and invite you to follow their lead. Other people offer courses, podcasts, CD-Roms and DVDs to give you insight into their personal triumphs. You can find books about people who have achieved their goals and call this success. What does all this mean to you? Maybe it gets you excited about doing something new. Maybe it makes you feel you're not yet where you wish to be. Maybe you don't have a plan to develop or distinguish yourself.
Its important to recognize that if you don't yet have a clear idea what success would mean to you, the only person who could change how you perceive and understand success is you. For you, perhaps success relates less to the idea of finishing a task than to the process and what you learn about yourself as you prioritize the plans to get there. As you convert the goal into steps, you would also benefit from listing obstacles that you think hold you back. Consider mentors or other people who could potentially assist you to overcome these obstacles. You may also have your own revelations.
Once you create a vision of what you seek, you need to find ways to motivate yourself to make it happen. Psychology suggests that you are most likely to be motivated by a) feelings of yearning b) fear of loss and c) the desire to love and be loved. As you clarify your notions of success, and begin to identify how you could measure results, focus on what you will gain and how this will enrich your life.
Superachiever Steven K. Scott has come to expect criticism, problems and failures. Rather than become defensive, make excuses or rationalize failures, he accepts responsibility for results of his efforts, he retraces his steps to recognize what he could do differently, and he takes a new approach based on wisdom. He reminds us that no worthwhile success in any endeavour is ever achieved without encountering adveristy.
"The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done." -Mother Teresa
Risk-taking is not a quality that interests everyone. You likely have your own opinions about what is or isn't worth taking a risk. When you consider your personal life, you may make generalizations about the sort of person who appeals to you.
Consider this University of Maine (Orono) study:
Men thought the opposite sex would be attracted by risky stunts such as bungee jumping and fast driving, a study of 48 men and 52 women found. But in contrast, women said it was a turn-off, claiming they preferred more cautious people for partners.
However, the team from the University of Maine in Orono said those who took risks for the thrill were likely to be respected by fellow men. Lead researcher Dr William Farthing said: "Men thought women would be impressed by pointless gambles, but women in fact preferred cautious men."
However, Dr Farthing said women were attracted to men with a high-status, so if the risk-taking meant a man was respected by his friends they could then become attractive.
What is your reaction to risk-takers?