Academic Grades; What they say about your future?
Success is not the amount of cash you have but the value you are able to add to yourself and to the world around you. Someone once said, “Wealth has nothing to do with bank balance but has everything to do with how long one can survive after the loss of one’s main source of income”. Many earn good and project a picture of envy but soon after loss of job or retirement, they become exactly opposite of what they used to be. However, someone who adds value even when out of job, his or her creative value would always make way for him or her.
Contrary to what we were taught, academic excellence is not same as life success. What comes after the age of 25 is what determines success. I need not tell you that the best and most successful entrepreneurs are either college drop-outs or 3rd class university graduates. This is not to say that first class graduates are not doing very well, however, generally academic success leads to a kind of nonchalant attitude and a feeling of overconfidence which often leads to a life of 30days make one salary.
A typical First class or second class graduate wants to look for a juicy job that pays well-overboard salary, then grow with the company after which they retire, full stop end of life. A drop-out or 3rd class graduate, on the other hand, realises he is at a disadvantage, so he gets to work, either starting a business, hustle or going into professional certification, from there creates a servicing firm which will ultimately grow and hire the new sets of first class and second class graduates, then the cycle continues. The paradox of academic excellence is in its inherent risk of breeding life failures and people who actually end up not living their dreams or should I say not attaining ground breaking height.
The truth is, while graduates with excellent academic results are relaxed, waiting for the sun to shine, the dropouts and the 3rd class graduates work hard to make their own Sunshine.
Let me share my own person experience with you. I graduated from a University in Nigeria and in my set till date the most successful person is a guy who finished with Pass grade. Having realized his academic deficiencies, he went into business, from getting motor spare parts on order for people to importing and clearing assistance. Now he is a big motor dealer with quite a number of outlets in the South West Nigeria. In my secondary school days, (Boys only Secondary school) Jide didn’t make a single paper. I recall when he went to collect his Secondary School Certificate result he was told to write 6 (which is supposed to mean Credit grade 6) as he was about writing it, the teacher said, “make sure you write the 6 upside down” (meaning a 9 which implies Fail grade 9), then the teacher said “write it for all the subject you took!”. But today he owns an auditing firm with first class accountants working for him. In my primary school days, in the early days of private primary schools in Nigeria, Taibat seems not understand what goes on in class, she practically struggles with everything and anything that involves reading but today she owns a mall in the United States (written about this before in THE PAST MATTERS LESS ).
My point is academic excellence is not a measure of how successful one will be, what seems as an advantage now may soon turn out to be a disadvantage and vice versa. I have learned something in my life, it is not what people think of you but what you think of yourself that really matters and that academic declarations do not count as limitations when it comes to life success. The main things one has to focus on are:
1. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, what treats lies before you and how you can surmount them then identify the opportunities ahead of you and how you can place yourself well enough to take advantage of them. Simply know yourself.
2. Don’t let your focus be on how to make money rather focus on how to add value. People can always take your source of income but no one can stop you from adding value and the price of a value added is whatever you call it. Even when you are employed, don’t just relax and earn, add value such that you become forever relevant.
3. The easiest way to make wealth and fame is to solve a problem. There are many problems in the world waiting to be solved. While people who are smart and purposeful have continued to earn fortune from solving them. I am not telling you to become a savior but as little as organising lessons for student re-writing certificate exams, running a daycare centre accessible to many big companies, consultancy services etc will ensure you do just fine to start with.
4. Keep adding value to yourself. The best investment is not in properties but in person. Whatever knowledge; by book or practical, one has gathered is like an asset designed to improve one’s self worth and value. Learn new things especially something that can help you on your path to success.
5. Start first then perfections after. Most great ideas die at the embryo stage because most brilliant people lack the mental strength to act their dreams. They want the idea to be perfect first before they implement. This is one act the 3rd class and drop-outs have mastered, they start first then they find ways to make it perfect along the way.
6. Keep moving forward. It will be tough at first but one has to dig deep and find reasons not to quit. People will have different opinions, there will be castigations and reasons why it will never work but it is just one of those things. In the end, it makes it more awesome when you succeed.
A bad academic grade is not a one way ticket to the gallows of failure, in as much as it is expected of one to always give one’s best. What we will become in life is not defined by anything outside us, it all lies within; our success or otherwise. This is practical, this is what is happening all around, it is reality and it is a choice we have to make if we want to succeed.