So far, in this topic on how to manage our emotions, we have focused on identifying and removing the negative emotions that hold us back in our studies. You have learnt how to deal with fear, which is one of the worst enemies of a student. You then discovered that you could use faith to eliminate all the negative emotions inside you. I defined happiness as the absence of negative emotions. Now, I define ultimate happiness as the absence of negative emotions plus an abundance of positive emotions. If happiness was the key to success, then,
Ultimate happiness is the key to ultimate success.
Happiness is quite an abstract concept. People, especially students, tend to struggle with such things. At school, we have been trained to find logical and structured answered to clearly defined questions written on paper. However, school teaches us nothing about how to manage our emotions. So, I understand if you don’t seem to find this topic interesting or useful. If you want to be an average student and not put any stress or pressure on yourself, that’s fine; you probably don’t need this lesson. However, if you want to become a Laureate, you’ll need to accept that the competition is going to be unforgiving. If you are serious about it, you need to accept that you’ll face a lot of pressure. You are probably familiar with the following quote:
Diamonds are made under pressure.
Pressure can either break you or make you into a Laureate. So, you need to have the best guidance to deal with it. Ultimate happiness is the best way to make sure that the pressure does not destroy you. This is why I’m placing so much emphasis on it.
So, once you eliminate all negative emotions, the way towards ultimate happiness is through the cultivation of positive emotions. When it comes to your studies, the 5 main positive emotions are:
Love – Loving all aspects of your studies such as the classes, the homework, the revision, the tests, the exams and so on.
Desire - Wanting to be successful in your studies.
Faith – Believing that good things will come, even if at the current time, things seem dark and gloomy.
Enthusiasm – Being passionate about and committed to your studies at all times.
Hope – Having an optimistic attitude that all your hard work will pay off.
There are other positive emotions, but, from my experience, these are the most powerful ones, when it comes to your studies. These are the emotions I have felt every day when I was on my journey to become a Laureate. These are the emotions that kept me motivated every single day. This solid foundation of positivity was key to unlocking my potential to become a Laureate. Fortunately, these emotions can be mastered through practice. They can unlock your potential too. Going back to our analogy of running a marathon, negativity and positivity can be described as follows:
Studying while carrying negative emotions is like running a marathon while carrying a very heavy bag on your back.
Studying with the help of positive emotions is like having a jetpack that enables you to fly past all the other runners. You go much faster than them while sweating much less than they do.
It’s clear that the power of positivity can never be underestimated. So, how can you become a happy student? The answer is simple: do things that make you genuinely happy. In other words, develop happy habits. These will, in turn, create an abundance of positive emotions for you. Thus, happiness is not something you pursue but something you do. For me, some simple things I did were:
Praying daily. For me, praying is a way to stop all activity, relax and reset your mind. This trained my brain to focus where I wanted it to.
Helping my friends whenever they were struggling with something in their studies. Explaining things to them or helping them with difficult questions brought me a lot of personal satisfaction. In fact, this is one of my main motivations for writing this book.
Playing football or badminton with my friends. Having fun while exercising is a great way to relieve stress.
Playing the card game Yu-Gi-Oh! with my friends. Doing things that make you revisit the best parts of your childhood creates tremendous amounts of positive emotions.
Playing video games (limited to 1-2 hours per day) on Fridays and weekends. There’s nothing wrong in indulging in your guilty pleasures from time to time.
Sleeping early and waking up early. I study best in the morning.
This is a list of things that made me happy. I’m not implying that yours should look like it. In fact, I don’t expect it to. Every student is unique, so, the key is finding the things that make you genuinely happy and then start doing them regularly. The Law of Habit will take care of the rest:
Habit is repetition. People repeat the same thoughts, the same actions, and the same experiences over and over again until they become part of themselves. - James Allen (adapted)
Hence, ultimate happiness can only be achieved by harnessing the ultimate power of your list of happy habits.
While it is important to develop a positive attitude inside of you, it is also imperative that you surround yourself with positive people and distance yourself from negative ones. Positivity and negativity cannot occupy the mind simultaneously. One or the other will dominate. It is your job to ensure that positive emotions are the dominating ones. In our analogy of running a marathon, this can be described as follows:
Each truly positive person you hang around with is equivalent to an upgrade to your jetpack of positivity. The more positive persons you hang around with, the more powerful your jetpack becomes and the faster and farther you can go.
Each negative person you hang around with is equivalent to someone holding yourself back during the race. Can you imagine running (or flying) with someone trying to drag you in the opposite direction? Well, negative persons pull you away from your dream of becoming a Laureate!
Here are some ways to recognise negative people. Often, they’ll be family members, close friends, and teachers:
You feel drained after spending time with them.
They are always worrying or complaining about something or someone (even you).
They discourage you from doing things you want, claiming things like “they have your best interests at heart” or “they want to protect you” and so on.
They are always trying to tell you what you should do.
They have a pessimistic attitude.
Above all, such people want you to be “more realistic”. They want you to be more realistic about your ambitions, more realistic about your chances of becoming a Laureate or more realistic about the amount of effort you are willing to put in. In short, they want to lower your level of positivity or happiness to a more “realistic” level. But here’s the truth:
Being realistic means being average.
As Will Smith beautifully put it:
Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocracy.
Thus, when it comes to your studies, the implications of your attitude can be summarised as follows:
Negative attitude → You’ll be a below-average student.
Realistic attitude → You’ll be an average student.
Positive attitude → You’ll be a successful student.
To sum up, the Key Takeaway is:
Do you have any questions or comments? Post them below!