What is a successful education? Can you measure it? Can you plug in a bunch of numbers in a formula? Can you pour it in a test tube and light it on fire to see what color it turns?
You would think that out of ALL the billions of dollars in inputs, and ALL the competition involved, people would have a pretty solid answer to this. What is a successful education? As a matter of fact- what is success? How do I know that by pouring my blood, sweat and tears, into an institution, which will yield the best results? Is a small liberal arts school better than a larger more internationally recognized one? Where will I benefit and grow the most? All of these questions seem to boil down to one thing- what do I value the most? And believe me, regarding the existential crisis that followed, WAS A COMPLETE PAIN IN MY ASS.
But worthwhile nonetheless…
After hours of flipping through website after college website, and I begin to notice all the ways Universities market themselves, to seem less like a enormous institution that may view students as statistics, and more like… yes it’s true…
A really hot, sexy one too. With great hair.
After all, with all the time, energy, dedication, money and effort to get yourself into a certain position in the first place, wouldn’t you even call it a long term relationship? (Sin sex of course… unless some weirdo out there figured THAT one out…)
I have a feeling someone out there thinks I’m NUTS, so allow me to explain.
While in South Africa, my good friend, Lauren Honican, provoked some interesting ideas about the values we thought were necessary to happy, positive growth- well, specifically in men- but any relationship really- a business partner, a marriage, a friend, an education- you name it. Thus, shouldn’t it follow that to find a good match for who you are, be it boyfriend, friends, career or school, you should hold all of those aspect of your life to the same standards as you would a date?
Appearance is always the first step. Regardless of how some people judge for believing that- call it shallow, insincere, say what you will- it was pretty simple to concede that “Yeah! Who wouldn’t want a good looking person to spend time with?” Of course that isn’t everything, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t hold weight in my perceptions. Besides being hardwired to prefer sexy people, good looks tend to correspond with good hygiene, like someone with a great smile brushes their teeth, general health and fitness, like exercise and a healthy diet; while all of that spills over into someones confidence and psychological standings. People who are secure in their body image tend to be secure and confident in multiple fields. Not to mention they’re easy on the eyes- so bonus.
Second, and much more difficult to gauge, would be curiosity. We as a culture are drawn to those who are curious and have a sense of adventure. When schools promote the “intellectually curious” to travel in study abroad programs or boast a immensely diverse campus, we feel we can grow and experience more about the world in a safe, nurturing environment. This would be an especially vital trait in a business partner, wouldn’t it? If they aren’t curious, then what are the chances they are looking for new innovative ways to challenge and expand your market, not to mention your own skills as an entrepreneur?
For now, my last point is the need to maintain a certain level of mutual growth. Especially when dealing with traits like curiosity, and especially in romantic relationships, i.e. marriage, long-term relationships etc.- does your partner advocate your growth? Just as importantly- how do you find ways to benefit from theirs? Anthony Robins put it quite simply, “Everything is always in a state of movement. You are either growing or you are dying. Guaranteed you won’t be happy doing the latter.” Even in careers- if you don’t feel you contribute to your business’s growth, or you feel they hinder yours’, how happy do you think you’d be?
I’ll be bringing up several more values in my next blog, so for those of you looking for a challenge- don’t worry, relationships aren’t this simple. Many of these ideas stem from a book from my favorite personality’s expert Rick Foster, called “How We Choose To Be Happy.” Most definitely a book that helped with my personal growth and awareness about the people I surround myself with. Highly Recommended.
Today, I leave you with this- How many of these values do you incorporate in your day to day relationships? What other traits do you value instead? And what traits do you value the most? Experiment with these three- See what happens when you shift your current values around to see how that affects your relationships with the people around you. More to play around with next time!
Leave any thoughts about the story behind above in the People’s Perspective! Thanks for reading! This is V.V.V., and I’ll see you on the wire!