How to Become a Topper – 3 Habits to be a Topper

Most of the parents and students believe that Toppers have a very high IQ but contrary to this results of a survey said that the difference between toppers and average students is not much in terms of IQ. In a survey, the IQ level of the brightest students of a city was done and compared with the IQ level of other students. Surprisingly, the difference was not much in terms of IQ but the difference was somewhere else. This is what we will discuss today. 

The difference between Toppers and other students is in terms of habits or systems. Toppers don’t make Goals, they build habits/systems. Goals are good for setting directions but habits/systems are required to make progress. Have you ever thought that all students have the same goals but they achieve different results? It is because toppers have strong systems and processes. So don’t set Goals to build systems to ensure lifelong progress.

Today I will discuss 3 habits of toppers that take them miles ahead of their competitors.

Toppers work Hard (Work vs hard work)I was speaking to a student last year and he said that despite his hard work, he cannot achieve his goals and on that note, I tried to illustrate to him the fact that, 

  • Most of the students believe that they work very hard to achieve their goals. Some students consider studying two hours after school as hard work. This is not hard work. Students often say that they work hard, they attend all the lectures, they even revise the topics covered, complete the homework then they are just working i.e. they are doing something that they were already supposed to do. And not just them but everybody is supposed to do. So that is only work
  • Are you one of those students who can’t differentiate between work and hard work? Do you know the actual meaning of hard work?

Hard work is when you go out of your comfort zone. You cannot consider something as hard work as long as you are doing it from inside of your comfort zone and don’t stretch yourself.

 # Goal Itna Bada aur mehnat Itni si!!!!

  • Talking about the students who work hard, they wake up early in the morning and finish the 2-hour session before going to school. Give a pre-reading of the topic that is supposed to be discussed in class. This helps them understand the topic better. And even gives them an upper hand as compared to other students. After going back home, they revise the topic thoroughly and even attempt the questions related to that particular topic to make their concept stronger.
  • They spend 4-5 hours in self-study after coming back from school or coaching.
  • They solve 150 Physics questions in a single session of 3 hours, to get the hand of that exam feeling, tension, and pressure whereas other students would spend 4-5 hours doing the same.
  • They study 12-14 hours on weekends or days when no classes are there.
  • Attempt mock tests in exam-like conditions and follow it with in-depth analysis.
  • They struggle with the question for 2 hours without looking at solutions.
  • So it becomes necessary to realize if they are working Hard or just working.
  • Students believe that studying from tutors or coaching centers after school is the hard work they are doing. No, this is where they are wrong. They are merely doing work and following a routine.

Now it is very interesting to note that,” Is your hard work, donkey work of smart work?”. Are you just working hard or working smart with a correct and pre-planned strategy. Without a plan, you are planning to fail. Remember, “Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work As Hard”.

  1. Focus on self-study 

In class, a student could be a passive learner but in self-study, a student always has to be an active learner. In self-studies, you have to actively focus on the subjects or topics you are studying. And that is when real learning happens.

School/coaching helps in building the base and understanding the concepts whereas you raise the bar and sharpen your problem-solving skills with the help of self-study. Many times we know and understand the question but get stuck, confused, and often make silly mistakes. Due to this, we are not able to produce the output. Lack of self-study may be the reason behind this. Self-study helps in internalizing the stuff. Self-study helps in improving the output as there is no third party involved.

Coaching & school education is standardized whereas self-study is personalized. In school/coaching the teacher is at the driving seat whereas in self-study you are in the driving seat. Studying at school/coaching is like spoon-feeding process whereas in self-study you have to construct the knowledge and solve out the doubts and problems by yourself.

Success is independent of the number of hours you dedicate to self-studies. Coaching is of no use unless backed by self-study. Ideally, 3 hours of coaching should be backed by 9-10 hours of self-study where you focus on theory, revision and problem-solving, completing homework/assignment. 

Doing self-study is very important for better understanding and long-term learning. Self-study makes you disciplined and produces intrinsic motivation inside you.

To summarize Self-study differentiates between winners and looser. I have seen a lot of toppers without coaching but not met any toppers who have not done rigorous self-study. In school/coaching the syllabus is covered but the discovery of real knowledge happens through self-study.

  1.  Toppers aim for Competence

Many students say that despite hard work they are not feeling confident. What I suggest is that instead of trying to become confident try to gain competence. Competence is built over some time when we work continuously on a particular area.

You can be confident one day and not on the other day but if you achieve competence, confidence will come on its own. So focus on competence. Remember confidence is a byproduct of competence.

# Hard work and self-study are essential ingredients for gaining competence.

To achieve competence, get out of your comfort zone and in every stage. Target to take your preparation to next level. Preparing for any competitive exam is a long journey and in the initial stages, we don’t see the results/output so you have to love the process and embrace the struggles. You have to study with the intention that I will start from zero and work hard. I will get out of my comfort zone and move my preparation to the next level. Once you develop that kind of attitude or get into that mindset and start enjoying your studies that are when you take your preparation to next level. In some cases this passion to take your preparation to the next level becomes addictive and that is the stage the game is won.

This reminds me of a very powerful Doha of Kabir Ji-

करत-करत अभ्यास के, जड़मति होत सुजान।रसरी आवत जात तें, सिल पर परत निसान।

 Topper’s first demand excellence from inside whereas average students expect excellence from school/college/coaching

Kamyab hone ke liye nahi, Kabil hone ke liye pado- kamyabi jak maar ke peeche aayegi.

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