Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Know Yourself, Know Your Friends and Know Your Teachers

To thyself be true. A rather unfortunate situation is to see students running around from lecture theaters to classrooms, clamoring to put some information into their heads without a hint about who they are and how they are best suited for learning whatever they want to learn. While they should not put off their studies entirely, they should not put off the knowledge of self.

Funny, isn't it? You don't know yourself, you are scrambling to know others, your friends and teachers. Hilarious, right?

It is important to know that in knowing yourself, you will know what kind of friends to keep, and how best they can fit into your life. So, how do you intend to do that without knowing yourself?

Do you attempt examination questions without reading the instructions? You may, carelessly or because of familiarity. While you may do that severally without dire consequences, registering for a course and not knowing what the lecturer requires, is to gamble at excellence; failure and success hanging on a balance. You want to be free to determine your own success, and success is never by chance.


  1. By your likes: What fascinates you, what are you passionate about?

  2. By your dislikes: What infuriates you, what are you 'passionate against'

  3. By your beliefs: This has been the greatest determinant, that I am aware of , of how people define themselves. Why don't you ask yourself "why"? Why you must be crazy: Albert Einstein's Perspective, is another article you need to read in this blog. Truly, our limitation is not our limited resources, but our limiting beliefs. I can almost say for certain that about 80% of how you see yourself, you were made to see yourself that way. You were programmed to have that outlook on yourself and on the environment. 

  4. By your fears. You may not know why you have your fears, but you should know that you are who you are partly because of what you fear. Just like your sets of beliefs defines you, what you do not believe also define you. What you will allow, what you will permit, even when you do not want it, what you will not go for, even when you want  it.

  5. Religion:  I could have put this together with beliefs, but I think religion defines us more when we put our trust in it. What I mean by religion is not just the religion but the core of your religion. Your trust in a Higher Power, who in most religion is called God. While some claim not to have a religion, that in itself is a religion. True Christians (pardon the adjective), believe the bible is the ultimate law to guide them, and it has the description of who a man and a woman is. Muslims, too believe the Qur'an is the ultimate guide for godly behaviors. If you actually believe in the God of your religion, your belief will ultimately define how you see yourself.  
Sometimes too, our cultures, families and nationalities are allowed to define who we are and how we see others relative to these factors. Some we see as inferior race, others as superior. That I call 'giant nonsense', but it is always there.

Law of associations: The people you associate with will ultimately become the mirror with which you will see and evaluate yourself, and this rather unconsciously. Very soon, how you see yourself will be how your friends see you, mind you, not necessarily by how they see themselves. 

One of the greatest mistake you can make is to think that the man or woman holding the chalk or the marker, standing by the board is your 'one-and-only' teacher. Another mistake, is to think little of that man or woman, as far as academics is concerned. He or she, may not be anything more than your course teacher, but they hold the key to the colour of your grades.

Knowing your teacher starts with you. Respect them, value them. You may not value their values or share the same opinion on various issues, but as far as the subject is concerned, value whatever they know. You may know more than them at certain points, but they will grade your papers! This may look ironic, but you need to  rise to their level. Obey their every instructions. Do your assignment the way you are asked to. You are quiet, but your tutor assigns marks for class participation, go out of your ways to participate.

Summarily, make your teacher happy, and you are more likely to smile at the end of the term or semester.

Don't forget to sound like your teacher when you are writing your next exam. The teacher will not want to downgrade him/herself.

For further reading, check this out: Knowledge and Learning Check.