What they don’t tell you in school about how to be successful

For a few years now, I have been very much engrossed in the idea of the ‘secrets of success’. Sometimes I feel like there is some sort of ‘special sauce’ that some people add to their lifestyles that enables them to become successful, know what to do, how to do it and when. Do they meditate? Do they all wake up at 5am? I feel like the kid who turned up late to class because of traffic, and missed the lesson which taught the recipe. After an insightful conversation with colleagues and friends today, it seems i’m not the only one who believes this.

It seems that hard work in your chosen field might not be the only way to get ahead. It also seems like good strategy and tactful thinking to elevate your hard work might also not be enough. When it comes down to getting a big investor on board, attending an interview, making new friends, going on a date or even trying to get a better seat on a flight, it seems that your commitment to your lifestyle, appearance and wellbeing goes half, if not most of the way to securing a positive result.

From having nice teeth to healthy looking skin, a slick suit to polished shoes, an impression of looking after yourself is desired by most people who would be interacting with you. No one likes to admit this is the truth in the fear of seeming shallow. However, it seems that the effort one may put in hard work in your field, might have to be matched by the hard work you bring to your own appearance and general lifestyle, in order for the stakeholder to believe you are a good investment, partner, employee, client etc.

Instead of focusing on the widely covered negatives on this topic, I am going to [for a change] comment on the positive. I know and believe the negatives exist and I think it is unfortunate that we have to concentrate on our appearance, however I do think that young people should be aware that this is how the current global society operates so that they can make their mark and use this society to do so, if they wish.

It is, first and foremost, a good thing for individuals to become healthy, fit individuals – which much of the time can be seen through aesthetics. It is a widely believed view that the attitude you bring to your own wellbeing is a reflection of the attitude you will bring to work and relationship. As children or even young adults, we should be taught the importance of healthy lifestyles as a tool to being successful, not just as a stand alone entity of a gym class or food tech class.

This does not only apply to food and exercise, but also mindfulness and self awareness. We teach children how to use a fork and knife and brush their teeth as this is important in their day to day life and future, yet we don’t tell them, for example, that it is important to meditate for their day to day mental health. Considering many successful people consider meditation an important part of their daily routine, it seems that it would be useful to develop such habits from a young age through the education system.

These are a couple of the most important lifestyle features that I feel are not taught enough to children and young people. However there are many more from public speaking to increase confidence, to resource management so children understand how to manage what they have, to politics which are all so poorly covered in many education systems. Although I wholly believe that a varied and stimulating academic program is necessary for young people to discover their passions and choice of field, the practical nature of those very fields must also be taught early on, whilst the importance of well-being needs to be seen as the path to be successful in those fields. This is the secret sauce.

Over and Out.