This needs a little bit of an introduction but once you get it – I believe – this can make school significantly more enjoyable.
Whenever you’re having trouble deciding what you want to do in life, use this strategy.
Can’t pick a college major? (Not sure if you even want to go to college?)
Don’t know where you want to go or what you want to do?
Can’t decide if the latest relationship is going to last?
Try thinking about it this way (and see if it solves itself:)
What can I do that guarantees me the most options in the future?
So… if you’re looking to decide on a college major and you’re stuck between engineering and philosophy…
Well… which degree gives you more options…
Engineering majors can be engineers, designers, businessmen at engineering firms, project managers, assistants, teachers, inventors, etc…
Philosophy majors can be… teachers… and… um… assistant professors… and um… serve coffee?
Now… that’s not to say don’t become a philosophy major.
That’s just to say – if you wanted to be a philosophy major – you shouldn’t need to debate it. You’d ignore my advice anyway. And that’s cool.
People that are committed don’t mind taking the more difficult path.
(When I was young, I didn’t care how unlikely it was that I’d become a famous musician. I joined a band and tried it anyway.)
When you don’t passionately know the answer, your default choice should be –
Which gives more options in the future.
The most important thing: don’t get tunnel vision.
Students are always telling me, “I can’t pick my major” but have they even considered not going to college? Considering this is blasphemy to many people but it’s absolutely essential to consider.
College isn’t the one route to success. It’s just one route. And it’s a route that locks some students down with 30 years of student loans to pay off. Delaying those student loans 5 years isn’t going to hurt you if you follow this advice.
But here is the example I consider most important for you…
Are good grades worth the effort?
I’ve shown studies become suggesting 1 point of GPA can increase your salary by ~13% (or something like that.) That’s the equivalent of an extra car payment or something each month for most US workers. Invest that money and that’s millions and millions of extra dollars over your career. (That’s retire early kind of money.)
But… forget about that…
The reason you should get good grades –
It gives you options.
In highschool, good grades mean you get to pick from a wider variety of colleges. With perfect scores, you may be able to get into MIT but any college in the world would still love to have you. If you’re a D student then you might have to settle for whoever takes you…
That’s fewer options.
In college, good grades mean you have more internship options. You also have more job options. But you can still take the jobs you would have gotten without the good grades.
Good grades open doors. You don’t need to take them.
And EVEN MORE IMPORTANT –
Developing a system to get yourself good grades – isn’t only about “working hard.”
It’s about working smart.
And when you learn to get good grades by working smart – you’re using the same strategies you’d use to get good jobs by working smart. You’re using the same strategies you’d use to make money by working smart. You’re using the same strategies you’d use to live better by working smart.
Knowing how to learn – and what to learn to maximize your results
is a lifelong skill.
I use it everyday. I use it on this blog. I use it in my 9-5. I use it to help my friends solve their problems.
(And half the time I do this my friends are kicking themselves because after I tell them what I noticed – they are wondering why they didn’t see it before… It’s not rocket science. It’s a unique type of observation.)
KAIC (How To Kick Ass In Class) gives you the most powerful of these skills. It teaches you how to win in class so that you can win in life. More students than ever having been reading it (and I’m super grateful for it.)
Using these skills gives you options that “working hard” can’t give you. There is only so much time in the day to “work hard.” Working smart can bring you limitless improvement without ever running out of time or energy.
It’s a more pleasant way to live.