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How to Succeed in College (and Life)
- Read in 12 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 7 key ideas
U Thrive (2017) provides the tools necessary to thrive on a college campus and beyond. Informative and actionable in equal parts, these blinks provide great insights and offer helpful advice on everything from alleviating stress during final exams to surviving nightmarish dorm mates.
Key idea 1 of 7
Good grades and success don’t bring happiness; rather, happiness brings success and good grades.
There’s a popular belief that one of the keys to happiness is to thrive at school and be successful in your endeavors.
As we grow up, we’re led to believe that getting into the right college, earning good grades and a spot on the school football team are all steps that bring us closer to happiness.
But this isn’t how life works. Earning degrees and acing exams are no guarantees of happiness.
Being accepted to a university certainly isn’t a direct precursor to happiness. When a group of college freshmen were asked to rate their emotional well-being on a scale of zero to one hundred, their average score was only 50.7.
We’ve also been led to believe that some jobs are a marker of success and are therefore more desirable. Being a lawyer is one such highly-regarded profession, but in one poll of over 800 lawyers, the results showed that they were the least happy of all white-collar professionals and, as a result, drank and smoked more than any of their counterparts from other professions.
A better way to think about life is to understand that success doesn’t lead to happiness; rather, happiness will help you find success.
Whatever field you hope to thrive in, be it business, finance, the arts, sports or entertainment, happiness and a positive mind-set will increase your chances of success. In 1997, an experiment at Cornell University had three groups of doctors diagnose a case. To lift their spirits, the first group was shown a bag of treats that they could indulge in later, the second group was reminded of how medicine was a humanitarian pursuit and the third group was given no encouragement whatsoever.
Both of the groups that had received positive encouragement performed better, diagnosing the case 20 percent faster and more precisely than the group that received no positive priming. This illustrates how positive emotions can help you perform better.
So, remember: let happiness into your life and move forward with positivity in mind. This will help you find success and make your dreams come true.