A teacher’s answer to his students.


I believe in the thinking that young men don’t need courage, they have enough of it, what they need is GUIDANCE. Most of time I meet students among various questions the one they ask most is that WHAT IT TAKES TO EXCEL –TO ATTAIN A COMPETITIVE LEVEL ACUMEN AT A CHOSEN ENDEAVOUR and how to execute ones potential towards a specified goal. As a final year medical student and a pre-medical teacher, I put my sincerest efforts to answer the question. The groundbreaking points i realise are;

1. Grit is better predictor to success than IQ.

2. A constant factor that provides an uninterrupted motivation.

3. Law of practising. 4. Feedback loop.

5. Willpower is an oil tank that exhausts.

6. Self defeat.

7. Daydreaming.

8. Attaining an ‘’OK PLATEAU’’.

‘’Grit’’ as defined by American dictionary is, ‘strength of mind, great courage or fearlessness’. Though high IQ is blessing, it is not all that one requires for success. Most of time we are shocked on comparing the career accomplishments, that the kid with genius IQ, the one all teachers were damn sure would present that changes the world, had spectacularly struggled with his/her career. Pointing intelligence might not be the best indicator of success.

Angela Duckworth a famous psychologist says, ’the secret of outstanding achievement is not talent. Instead it is a special blend of persistence and passion that she calls ‘grit’. Being gritty is ability to persevere. It is about being unusually resistant and hardworking, so much that one is quite unshakable in the face of obstacles, hard times and even failure, willing to continue, willing to go on and on. Motivation weans off with continuous effort. It is very well perceivably exhaustible. So to recharge yourself with motivation u need a factor. Fortunately nature has some kind of factor already installed in everyone. What you need to do is to find that factor, chisel it out to use it. To me personally, for most of the students of valley the factor stands out to be ‘unmet financial needs, the poverty’. To a lesser degree it can be your school friend you are in competition with, your family status and affiliations etc. This factor provides you a desire to perform an action that can be either directed towards positive stimulus or away from negative one, as well as towards seeking phase or liking phase. LAW OF PRACTISING. To control your mind you need to know how it works actually. It can be understood with an example. Imagine your brain is like a vast space with areas like seeking food, sex, happiness, anger, jealousy, etc. And you have a glowing blub in your hand. The part of the brain space you bring the glowing blub in, lights it up and gives you the same desire and puts in some state corresponding to very area of brain. For attaining extended concentration all you need is to hold the glowing blub at the desired area of the brain. Distractions tend to get the glowing blub here and there. Law of practising states that more you practice some kind of work more you attain the inertia that helps you keep the glowing blub at a point for prolonged time focusing the work of interest. Feedback loop….that allow you spot the errors as they occur and correct them, much like dancers using mirrors to see their reflection for modifying the step. Ideally that feedback comes from an expert may be a teacher, brother, father, friend, anyone who watches you working and the mock tests do quite well the very job. Never run away from these tests. Your own self can be the best feedback provider if you are enough desirous and ration in doing an evaluation respectively. Working without feedback lets loopholes pass unnoticed which cripple the building of success. The feedback matters and the concentration too, not just hours. Willpower is an OIL TANK. As the later exhaust so does the former. A person who consumes his willpower doing/refrain from doing something actually saves less of it to do something more useful or refrain from something more devastating. According to a study men who stop smoking have been found to cheat more on their wives. Foe a student, don’t add factors that consume your willpower. One of the worst of all the willpower consuming vampires is the LBW{love before marriage} the haraam relationships that i should point specifically. Quite well there are a lot of others too, find them and let them go. SELF DEFEAT. One should never be self-defeated. It is devastating more so for an aspiring student. I remember an IAS officer narrating an incident of his life where people would say, ’those who go for UPSC are TEES MAAR KHAN’ and his jerky reply would be that he too is a TEES MAAR KHAN. If one believes he is less than them {those who did the job} then he will never be like them, copy it never ever. Defeated before footing the battle is the worst kind of defeat one can get.

DAYDREAMING defeats practice, those of us who browse TV, FB, mobile phones etc while working out will find it difficult to reach to success. Paying full attention seems to boost the minds processing speed strengthen the synaptic connection and expand or create neural network for what we are practising. At least at first, but as u master how to execute the ne routine, repeated practice transfers control of the skill from the top down system for an intentional focus to bottom-up circuits that eventually make its execution effortless. At that point you don’t have to think about it-you can do the routine well enough on automatic. A student has to be conscious of all this how these usual things defy his purpose of working effectively. While studying you have to be away from all these gadgets. Once you feel you have done much, or a skill you pursue is automated to a degree you hit an ‘OK PLATEAU’ ceasing to grow and stalling at the proficiency level. If you are going for your success you need to continuously shift any form of inactiveness described as autopilot and back into active, correction and attention. One should never feel that he no longer needs a concentrated practice. If one gets to believe so, no matter how much he practices the improvement will be negligible. There should be a conscious effort to counter react the brains urge to automatize.

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By Urfan lone from Lolab, the author is currently Pursuing MBBS in GMC Srinagar.