If you google “How to become a topper”, “How to study like a topper”, “How much hours do toppers study?” or “What qualities do toppers possess”, you’ll find several search results regrading “10 rules to becoming a topper”, “20 rules to becoming a topper”, “7 genius habits that toppers have”, “study this way and you’ll become a topper” ,etc. and the boring list goes on and on. But who wants to read this crap from people who themselves have never scored an A grade in their exams and are simply rewriting pre-written rules regarding hard-work and success to steal some hits or likes on their videos, blogs or websites.
The irony is unmistakable.
If you read about the lives of “Great Minds”, you may find something in common among them. And by great minds I mean Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and many more, clearly not those who advise learners towards making their personal notes and then hiding them in a secret volt with a double biometric and retina scan where not even air can pass through. Like sharing notes would actually mean sharing one’s own mind? Notes sharing is simply notes sharing, you don’t share the intellect, just some pieces of papers with blue and black ink on them. If you might not agree, share your notes the next time you learn something and then await the test day. You’ll still secure higher than the ones with whom you shared the notes, but with one extra advantage. You’ll be a shining star in the good books of that receiver of those notes.
To avoid further digression, I must come back to the point. Great minds like the aforementioned have had one thing in common. They were all 2 armed, 2 legged, single brained human beings with intellectual capacities mostly similar to those of people with an average intellect. They were in no way special than a normal person because they themselves were normal people. Where they essentially excelled was their ability to contemplate and comprehend. Putting simply, they used to think a lot.
About 96% of the human population doesn’t think. 3% of the population thinks that they think and only a mere 1% of the entire 7 billion people population actually thinks. Where there are so many people who don’t think or don’t know how to think, being an exception really puts a glitter water-mark on one’s face. But why am I telling you all this? Why should we think when 95% of our education system inspires cramming instead of conceptual understanding, a phenomenon which is a close acquaintance of the term “THINKING”.
The great Quaid-e-Azam once said that “With faith, discipline and utmost devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile you cannot achieve”. Read it again and again, till you find the “term” genius in the saying of the Quaid-e-Azam. A piece of advice! Don’t read it again because you won’t find any. The Quaid knew that a genius intellect was not, is not and will never be worth the discipline and dedication with which a particular task in general can be out-performed by any person in particular. Anyone can excel, provided one understands one’s game. As Einstein famously remarked that “everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing its stupid”.
How to understand one’s game? Simple. Everybody is good at “something” and everybody wants to become “someone”. This something that one excels at should always be consistent with the pre-requisites of the potential someone that one wants to become. Like some are good at cramming, some at conceptual understanding, some at being creative, some at artistic work, some at mathematical science whilst some at any language’s literature. When the game has been identified, the goal should be then identified. How one wants to become that imagined “someone”. Out of failures or out of success. After this has been identified, the journey towards one’s goal begins.
Then comes the part where sustainable motivation and inspiration should be gathered for one’s goal. Inspiration and motivation with little intervals of time is necessary to keep one moving. Let’s take an example. I am currently a topper of my semester batch at my university for which I’m utterly thankful to the Almighty Allah as He keeps me going consistently through thick and thin. But I wasn’t always a topper. I had failed terribly at the secondary level of my educational years and was kicked ruthlessly out of a school, its name I’m omitting deliberately. I was never a brilliant student. I failed at quiz tests and was scolded extensively by my teachers. I never scored more than 64% on average and was looking for ways to avoid studying and indulging myself into kite flying, playing cricket or football or whatever game that would be available at that time, playing video games on computer, putting up skirmishes with school fellows and all the very same. I was average in sciences and mathematics used to be my arch-enemy, it still is undoubtedly. But I had a minimal skill for drawing and painting. I would not know how to cram but I would do great in creative writing. English used to be my personal favorite subject and all English subject teachers, my favorite teachers based on my childhood prejudice and also due to the reason that they all were conveniently lenient with me. And here’s an interesting thing to share with my readers. Despite the fact that I had been a hopeless failure in my school years, my teaches never paused to admire the intelligence and smartness they saw in me back then when I myself was incapable of conceiving the term “intelligence”.
But all the same I used to smile and marvel at the fact that my teachers would never insult me gravely in front of my parents and would rather honor me with being an intelligent person. Well time moved on, I entered my 8th grade and at the result day, I failed terribly with a mere 33% out of a hefty 100%. I was kicked out of the school and my parents though disappointed in me, took a ginormous leap of faith and admitted me in a school that focused much on creativity rather than cramming. And I remember I did my matriculation with a considerable 75%. Currently I’m enrolled in BS English (Literature and Linguistics) in a prestigious institution in Pakistan. I score very well here. I have a 4 SGPA and a 3.84 CGPA under my name and have been honored with a scholarship too (MashAllah- in case you didn’t say it). My fellows and juniors look up to me as a genius now. And my teachers, they keep on inspiring me towards pushing my pre-supposed limitations. I’m not a very consistent person. I’m not very hardworking either, but there’s one thing I know about myself. I never back out from an honest challenge. And this is the spirit that keeps me going of course along with the Almighty’s help and sustenance.
So, what did we learn from today’s not so boring revelations? You all are geniuses. You all are people of greatness and wonders. You all are already what you imagine yourself to be. If an average student and a failure at times can move towards being called a genius, then you all sure can. Its just about the moment you gain consciousness of yourself and acquire the one thing that can even move mountains and tridents. That is, self-belief. Know that you can and you will (InshAllah).