How do you see academic?
Your perspective determines a lot of things. In life, everything you do can be likened to some other things and it’s the correlation that determines what you do, can be, and have in that area of your life.
For example, when you look at life generally, how do you see it? Some people see life as a war; others see it as a game. The ultimate reality is that deep down in your subconscious there is a way you see life.
This is why Tony Robbins calls life “a metaphor.”
To Shakespeare, the world “is a stage.” Don’t forget, how you see academics will determine:
1. Who you become
2. What you do
3. What you have
Let me tell you how I see academics. I see academics as a game. A Game to be played and won. This means that it’s a sport analogous to hunting, farming, and football.
As a game, you either play to win or play to lose. Different leaders and winners have arisen in different sports.
There are names that are synonymous with different sports or games.
Those names are the leaders or the winners in it. Now check yourself out with these sports.
And the most important sport of all, ACADEMICS. That’s why I said academic is a game. Which of these sports do you associate with Tiger Wood, Mike Tyson, Drogba?
As you well know, all sports share certain things in common. In all sports, you have the following
2. Object of play
3. Method of recording scores- what makes for a score
Generally in every game, you are scoring against an opponent with an object of play.
If academic is a game as we all know it is, then,
– who is your opponent in the game of academic?
– what is your object of play?
– what is the standard of knowing when you have scored?
– And what are the rules that you must observe?
If you must win in the game, you have to first and foremost get acquainted with the correct answers to each of these questions.
Let me cut to the chase, your opponent isn’t your course Mates or classmates. This is the obsolete mindset in the present school system.
The old mental model system sold this falsehood to you and that has controlled your behavior and performance. You have to work with this consciousness that In this game, you are not in competition with your course mates or classmates.
Rather you are in a symbiotic co-operation with them to conquer just one enemy, the one opponent of humanity. I am talking of humanity’s worst enemy, our common enemy.
You need to get this and let it stick to your subconscious if you are going to win in this game of academics.
Permit me to be the little child that would dare say that “the emperor is naked.”
When you think you are in competition with your course mates you end up a local champion at best. Though with good intentions, parents sold this same falsehood to their children.
All maladies that have bedeviled us today stem from this falsehood that has been transmitted through generations and that is since the inception of western education.
Nothing in this book will help you win in this game against man kind’s worst enemy if you still see your classmates or course mates as the opponents that must be won. That itself is winning the game of school.
There is a game of academics and the game of school. If you win in the game of school and lose in the game of academics, you end up mediocre. The best part is to win both games.
In fact, cooperation and not competition holds the key to your winning. When I talk of co-operation, I don’t in any way refer to that kind of co-operation in the examination hall, as that itself negates the whole essence of the right spirit of playing this game.
Rather, by co-operation, I mean the one exhibited during the learning process, during the acquisition stage, and not during the testing stage. Finding a way to teach your course mates what you have learned holds the key to gaining mastery of your course.
This still remains your highest tool if the mastery of your courses is your ultimate desire.
Having said that, let me name who your opponent truly is. Your opponent goes by the name of IGNORANCE.
You are playing against ignorance Q.E.D
Who again is in competition with you? It’s IGNORANCE. Say it loud. I mean it.
What will you use to score against this worst enemy of humanity?
If you were in a football pitch, football is your object of play with which you score against your opponent. In academics, one thing remains the object of play, with it you can score against ignorance. It is called KNOWLEDGE.
I am afraid I must pause here to state unequivocally that what the educational system parades as knowledge is far from what true knowledge is.
Permit me to borrow the language of ‘White Head’ in describing this kind of knowledge our system of education is busy dishing out to learners.
White Head called it inert ideas. And went further to show that inert ideas is not only dangerous to society and their possessor but it is the root causes of all maladies.
There is little or no difference between inert ideas and ignorance.
The danger inherent in inert idea stems from the fact that it’s possessors parade themselves as possessors of knowledge, but they are not.
There are four levels of knowlege
1. Unconscious incompetence
2. Conscious incompetence- Emotional
3. Conscious competence- Mental
4. Unconscious competence- physical
Inert ideas belong to the third level of knowledge. “Conscious competence,” Here, the learner is expected to recall information. You are aware of what you do. It demands your conscious awareness.
At this level, you need to think about it before you recall it. This isn’t knowledge at all. Let me ask you. What is your name? Did you think of it? Of course not. If you must think of it before you answer it, you don’t know it.
The knowledge I am talking about here is that which is at the unconscious level. It’s like second nature. It translates itself into physical reality. It is at this point that cognitive scientists can assert that all knowledge is DOING and all doing is knowledge.
The two are inseparable.
If you are a driver who has been driving for years now, you would realize that you don’t need to think of how to change gears or press your clutch pedals or think of the next process in the art of driving. You just do it.
But recall also, that, that was not how it all began. When you started, the first day your coach probably told you the steps, and you learned it mentally before you finally took over, and told yourself it’s now time to press the clutch pedal while simultaneously increasing proportionately the pressure on the accelerator pedal. You were conscious of these steps.
This is learning at the third level of knowledge. It is the knowledge at the mental level. It is not the kind of knowledge needed if you would be on the highway. Do you see the danger now?
The school system prepares the drivers who are at this level of knowledge and sends them out to drive on the highway of life only to cause inevitable accidents.
It is true that before what you learned can be practiced, you must have learned it mentally. However, ending there is what is referred to as inert ideas.
If they are medical doctors, they end up forgetting surgical instruments in the bodies of their patients. If they are engineers, they build bridges that collapse after some months. In fact, they are a menace to society at large.
As I have already stated, the knowing that scores against ignorance is that which has translated itself into it’s a physical equivalence.
‘Remember you don’t know a thing if you don’t make any effort within a time frame to recall what it is.’ No matter how much of it you remember after, it’s a waste.
That’s why White Head who happened to be one of the greatest educationalists of antiquity warned the educational system against producing carriers of this kind of knowledge.
The third category is that all sports have set standards to be met if one will end up a winner in that game.
Based on what I have already stated, winning in this game isn’t merely by:
– passing examinations
– coming first in all examinations
– coming out as the best graduating student or giving the valedictory speech.
In as much as it is none of these, it does not equally exclude them.
There are five categories of winners in academics. Howard Gardner and Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi, listed them in their book: “Changing the world.”
The summary of their work is that you are a winner in the game of academics when you become a creative Genius.
Howard Gardner pointed out at least five different kinds of creative activity that
appear to apply to all Geniuses:
Every Genius falls into one or more of these categories. All Geniuses are able to:
– provide a solution to a well-defined problem: This kind of work is often used in the course of training. The discovery of the double helix by James Watson and Francis Crick. Freud and Einstein exhibited this form of creativity several times.
– The devising of an encompassing theory: we see the development of a widely in-comparative theory as in the example of Freud studying the unconscious and of Einstein pondering over the riddles of relativity.
They not only reconfigured the original or existing data and concepts but points the way to future lines of research.
– The creation of a “frozen work”: most artists working alone or in collaboration creates some kind of work in a symbolic system. That work can then be evaluated or examined in the distant future.
– The performance of a ritualized work: some works can only be appreciated in performance and the creativity in here is chiefly in the particular characteristics of the specific performance.
– A high stakes performance: In this variety, an individual actually carries out a series of actions in public in other to bring about some kind of social or political change. A typical example is Gandhi and Martin Luther Jnr.
The fourth category is that all sports have well-defined rules.
If you desire to win in any sports then, you owe it to yourself to get acquainted with the rules governing that sport.
What are these rules in the area of the mental gymnasium? They are the rules governing remembering. Call them the laws of the brain.
What are these rules governing remembering? Playing by the rules is a key that without fail will unlock the Genius in you.