Self-Knowledge helps you make intelligent decisions
As you look through all the possibilities on this website or in a book on study skills, you could be overwhelmed by all the possibilities. You could work on reading skills, time management, beginning an exercise program, learning to control your temper, understanding what critical thinking is….. and the choices go on and on. Often, we are so overwhelmed with all the choices that we give up completely and continue to stumble through life as before.
Imagine visiting a wonderful ice cream store that offers 500 flavors of ice cream. Five hundred? You can’t imagine even reading the list. There is no way to choose. Some people will give up in despair and not even step inside.
Imagine a man, let’s call him Pete, who shakes his head in despair and says, “I always enjoy chocolate ice cream, that’s what I’ll have: chocolate.”
When the waitress asks, “Chocolate? Will this be chocolate fudge, chocolate raspberry, chocolate mint, French chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate-chocolate chip, chocolate pecan, double chocolate….
Pete might shout, “STOP. Please stop. I just want plain chocolate, plain, old-fashioned chocolate.”
I can imagine the waitress smiling as she responds, “Old-fashioned chocolate? That’s an excellent choice, sir. That’s one of our newest flavors.”
Pete might shake his head, knowing this wasn’t what he wanted, wondering what he was going to get. Too many choices are hard to deal with.
If I were to venture into a store like this, I might ask what the ten most popular flavors were. I might begin with what I like. I love nuts, especially pecans and walnuts, and I like maple and caramel. I could ask what they have with some mixtures of these. It helps to narrow down your choices.
Self-knowledge will help you choose the learning skills you need
Most of us think we know ourselves fairly well, but we rarely spend significant time evaluating our strengths and weaknesses, our skills, styles, interests, so we can set goals based on facts. When you are clear about which learning skills you consider strengths, and the areas where you are weak, when you know what skills you will need most for the classes you are taking, you can select a few areas that are most important and concentrate on improvement in these areas first.
Self-knowledge help you make choices about your education and future career
Some students aim for careers in fields that they have few skills for and that they aren’t really interested in. Someone suggested that it would be easier to get a job in that field… are you sure this will be true in five or ten years? They read somewhere that salaries are higher in this area. Your father wants you to follow in his footsteps or take over his business.
It’s good to consider all this information and more. You can read about all the people who went to Law school but hated it and left to become an artist. Others went through medical school and decided that what they really wanted to do was to direct movies. Some became teachers and after a few years decided they would be happier starting their own business. Wouldn’t it be helpful to begin with a careful consideration of what you are good at, your skills, and your interests as soon as possible?
This section is divided into three pages: