2020 not for the average mind

10 January 2020 | People

Chaze Nalisa

Do you remember when you had trouble reading in literature class, how the teacher would make you stand to read a passage, or God forbid, an entire chapter, as punishment for your poor reading skills? This probably only humiliated you and made you hate the literature class altogether.

Do you recall when the mathematics teacher made you recite the ‘toughest’ multiplication tables before you were allowed to take your seat, and if you got any of them wrong, you would stand for the entire thirty or so minutes of the class, as if to separate you from the ‘smart’ ones? That probably made you hate mathematics for life.

You might also recall the chemistry teacher that did not even bother to ask you if you understood the concepts that he or she was teaching, simply because you failed to conceptualise the previous chapters. This probably caused you to opt for ‘easier’ programmes of study at university, right?

Whether you can relate or not, this experience may have imprinted some limiting perceptions in the minds of many individuals, causing them to grow into adults who have set unrealistic boundaries of achievements for themselves, be it as professionals or even in their personal lives. However, it is clear that many young professionals today are quickly discovering that the labels they were given as primary and secondary school pupils or even as university students, to classify their intellectual abilities, are not their reality.

So many are exploring new avenues of income-generating opportunities and redefining success. One can see it, especially on various social media platforms; people are turning ‘simple’ hacks into million-dollar lifestyles. One cannot overstate how great the times within which we live today are. Yes, the fourth industrial revolution. You guessed right. We have been gifted with technologies to acquire instant information about trends and opportunities, and news as it breaks, anytime, anywhere.

Nevertheless, for a few others, the problem remains that because they were never above-average performers in years gone by, they can only achieve the acceptable or expected norm. In their mind, to outperform is sheer luck.

This new decade comes with a ripe revolution that is changing how we live, how we work, and how we communicate. It is reshaping government, education, healthcare, and commerce—almost every aspect of life.

Very shortly (probably already a reality in some economies), it can change the things we value and the way we value them. It can change our relationships, our opportunities, and our identities, as it changes the physical and virtual worlds we inhabit and, in some cases, even our bodies. The times we live in are not friendly to those that are trapped in the ‘cages’ they were placed in by an education system or an educator, for that matter.

For many years, intelligence was generally and loosely perceived as one’s ability to conceptualise information logically. However, the reality is that there are various ways to learn and to express understanding. In fact, there are seven in total, including logic. Several social scientists and scholars have stated that while some people prefer to learn using logic, others use visual aids, or thrive when learning using audio. There are also those who learn better through kinesthetics, linguistics or interpersonal interactions. The inability to perform using logic does not mean someone is incompetent or ‘stupid’, especially if their trade does not rely heavily on this learning style. Discover your preferred style of learning, accept it, respect it and have an open, limitless mind.

We see opportunities not as they present themselves, but as our mind perceives our competence and capabilities. If you are going to do great things this year, this decade; you firstly need to see yourself as a great achiever.

Do not turn this into a New Year’s resolution, this is a new world fact. Change. Unlearn what was imposed on you, relearn from the abundance that is available to you, and expand your vision. Being average minded is an external perception before it is an internal choice.

Happy New Year. This year, we are only winning and learning; failure is no longer an option. Let’s go!

*Chaze Nalisa, has nine years’ experience as a People and Organisational Development expert, with an Honours Industrial and Organisational Psychology (UNISA), Bachelor of Commerce Business Management and Industrial Psychology (UNAM

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