Master Student | The Most Important Life Skill

What is the most important Life Skill? How is it possible that some people seem to effortlessly do well in school, at work, in business, and in life? What is the one thing that all successful people have in common?

The secret truth is that all successful people are master students. 

Master students have mastered the science, art and skill of learning how to learn.

The most successful people that you know, be it at school, at work, in business, or in life learn–>apply–>relearn–>reapply better than anyone else that you know.

If you want to be and do your best with less time and effort, then improve the way you learn! Most people do not do as well as they could because they have not given any thought to the most important life skill: learning how to learn.

Master Students are the Most Successful Employees

Your ability to learn and apply new information will determine how quickly you advance in your workplace.

More importantly, your ability to learn will determine if you have a job in the first place. We are in the middle of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Technology, robotics and artificial intelligence are replacing “traditional jobs” in all industries. According to The World Economic Forum:  

“To embrace this change, we must focus on upskilling and reskilling.”

According to Forbes, over 60 million jobs in the U.S. have been permanently lost as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed companies to fast-track being less reliant on real people:

“Banking and financial services employees, factory workers and office staff will seemingly face the loss of their jobs—or need to find a way to reinvent themselves in this brave new world. Millions would need to be reskilled to cope with the change.”

Everyone will need to learn and acquire new skills throughout their life. Optimize your learning: Maximum results in Minimum Time. Become a master student!

Master Students are the Most Successful Students

Good grades in high school are not a good predictor of grades in University.

A research paper by 2 university professors, Felice Martinello and Ross Finnie, is consistent with previous research. Their comparison of the average grades from students’ last year of high school to first year of university revealed:

  • About 23% saw their grade plummet by TWO letter grades or more!!!
  • Nearly half of the students saw their marks decline by ONE whole letter grade!
  • About 25% maintained averages consistent with their high school marks
  • 2.5% of students saw their grades improve

Most would think that it is the weaker high school students’ who experience the biggest drops, but the opposite is true: the students that have excellent high school averages are the ones that experience the highest drops in their marks!

Some other surprising findings from that study, when holding for other factors, students living at home or attending smaller universities have significantly smaller impacts on their marks.

Why do most students experience a decrease in their mark in university?

Most people go through high school not realizing that school is not about learning information and memorizing facts, then regurgitating it on assignments and tests. 

Education is about discovering your own way of learning. Learning how to learn is about trying different methods of learning, assessing your learning process and improving the learning process. 

A master student is a person who has optimized their unique learning process. A master student is efficient: higher grades with less effort.

The biggest difference between high school and university is that in university, for the most part, you are expected to learn independently with little to no support. So, a high school student who has not optimized their learning process by the time they enter university will see a significant drop in their marks regardless of what their mark was in high school.

There are other implicit lessons that a student is supposed to learn during their education, which impacts performance in university as demonstrated in a 2016 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research:

  • Procrastination leads to lower marks: cramming for exams and waiting longer before starting assignments leads to inconsistent results
  • Students who exceed expectations have altruistic goals and are purpose-driven, and are willing to study more hours per week to obtain a higher GPA
  • Underperformers are considerably less conscientious than their peers, more likely to express superficial goals, hoping to “get rich” quickly
  • Overachievers exhibited delayed gratification, whereas underperformers were impatient for positive experiences

Master Students are the Most Successful Entrepreneurs

A quote attributed to Charles Darwin:

 “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, it is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

The ability to adapt hinges on one’s ability to set high goals and learn from one’s failures thereby improving the process. Ray Dalio ($18.7 billion net worth) one of the top 10 investors of all time summarizes the process best:

Ray Dailo Presenting Feedback Loops

“ Learning is the product of a continuous real-time feedback loop in which we make decisions, see their outcomes, and improve our understanding of reality as a result. Being radically open-minded enhances the efficiency of those feedback loops because it makes what you are doing, and why, so clear to yourself and others that there can’t be any misunderstandings. The more open-minded you are, the less likely you are to deceive yourself—and the more likely it is that others will give you honest feedback. If they are “believable” people (and it’s very important to know who is “believable”), you will learn a lot from them. Being radically transparent and radically open-minded accelerates this learning process.  It can also be difficult because being radically transparent rather than more guarded exposes one to criticism.  It’s natural to fear that.  Yet if you don’t put yourself out there with your radical transparency, you won’t learn.”- Ray Dalio

The 3rd and 5th richest people in the world are university drop-outs:

  • Bill Gates ($119.3 billion net worth)
  • Mark Zuckerberg ($96.4 billion net worth) 

They both dropped out of Harvard. They also have something else in common, they are both Master Students! By the time they were admitted into Harvard they had already mastered the science and art of learning, they did not need anyone to guide their learning process anymore.

Master Student Journey: Start Now

Right now is the only time you will ever have:

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Right now is the gift, that’s why we call it the “present”.

It’s never too late to learn how to learn. In fact, a Master Student who already learns quicker and better than most always looks for ways to learn better. It’s a never-ending growth mindset that separates a good student from a master student.

Success in all aspects of life comes to those who have mastered the skills possessed by master students.

This website will help you on your journey of a master student guided by master students: those who are in the top 2% of success in school, work and life. 

If you do not give deep thought to how you learn and improve your learning process you will continue to put in a great effort and get meagre results.

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