21st Century Skills | SELF-AWARENESS vs. PRACTICALITY

 Recent study shows that we no longer have to guess how our future selves would respond when asked the question “…if you could go back in time, what is one thing you would have done differently” 

 

Before I dive into the question above that your aching to find out, let’s look at some facts to satisfy all of the analytical thinkers that would otherwise click off without seeing some form of numbers. As for the intuitive thinkers, I’m sure the title satisfied your cravings for eternity.

Many studies have been conducted in the past regarding peoples past decisions that they would have done differently if had given the chance to go back in time. Now lets put it into perspective.

Psychologytoday.com conducted the most recent study on the same topic, asking hundreds of adults what their biggest regret in life was and if given the chance, what they would have done differently.

The results showed that the three biggest regrets that these middle aged adults were having were categorized by, and in the same order as, Education, career choice and relationship choice (as in spouse).

The category of education, being the top regret was then subcategorized into two of  the most common forms:  A.) Not getting enough education, and B.) Not applying themselves more in school.

Now, before we get into the other two biggest regrets, I would like to establish the main reason that all these adults seemed to have thought the same ideas in terms of past education.

The biggest realization I had when taking a look at this study is that both of these responses stemmed from the same problem…

But why was it so clear to me of the problem yet these grown adults seemed to have either not come to realization with themselves yet or they just figured that this was the most “practical” reasoning.

I feel so strongly about the idea I am about to present to you that when first reading this article i was in awe to an extent that I was beginning to think these adults were lying to themselves.

Now let me ask you a simple question. Is there one thing you enjoy doing that you could do all day everyday regardless of whether you were forced to or not? If I were to pay you to learn more about that certain something but you had to put your uttermost effort into it, would you accept the offer? Of course you would! Why would anyone refuse the opportunity to learn more about the thing they love, when you do it for free every chance you get.

Wouldn’t the combination of knowing what you love and in what areas your strengths are help you in determining who you are as a person. Wouldn’t this set you on a more clear path for what education, career and relationships you should invest in without even having to step foot in the door?

Now where am I going with this. “Determine yourself before you determine your major”. Trust me, you’ll not only be doing your parents bank account a favor, but more importantly you will be doing your future-self a favor.

This doesn’t solely apply to the college and job aspect of things, but life as a whole. Which leads me to the next two biggest regrets, career and relationships. Once again stemming back to self- awareness of oneself. Now more than ever it is not only our right, but our responsibility. There has never been a better time to discover an unknown passion or strength in ourselves, without having to invest our entire life wondering why things didn’t work out as planned.

What is self awareness you may ask?

self-awareness: conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires.

But wait, studies also show that there is a correlation between education and income, usually resulting in stronger marriages and a more stable family life.

Yes, but in the mean time, while divorce rate in America is still at around 50% and poverty is everywhere, this argument can stay at rest. Until that random degree you picked based on the annual salary it “promises” becomes the solution to all of your problems, instead of going as “undecided” in regards to a major, try going as “unaware” instead.

That being said, education nor the school system is the problem, its the lack of knowing what is “right” versus “wrong” education when it comes to personal preference and talent.

Before deciding that you’re going to spend the rest of your life playing Pokémon go, there’s two quotes that I think take a huge part in this concept. The first, more common quote says “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. While this may suitable for some, the demand for binge watching the patriots while simultaneously taking a bag of Tostitos to the face, is non-existent. Bringing me to the second quote that I heard from a mentor stating something along the lines of: “Don’t do what you love because then you run the risk of dreading it by doing it every day, pick the second one.”

If anything was taken away from this let it be this. Develop knowledge in both analytics and the understanding of your intuition, and better yet learn to develop a balance of both.

The first quote being: “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life” would be your intuitive way of thinking, whereas the second quote would be a combination of both. Analytical in the aspect of perusing something in the realm of your strengths while intuitively knowing to pick something that you enjoy.

Finally, the key to creating this perfect balance in a world where people are usually biased toward one or the other, is that you must be aware of oneself and know from which end of the spectrum are may be thinking in.

In the end it is your choice and ultimately your regret. Decide now to develop these skills that could save you from going down the wrong pathway in your education, career and even marriage.

 

"My goal isn't to motivate you with my story, Its to motivate you to create an amazing story for yourself."

Christian Axios
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