I remember hardly understanding what my instructors were teaching and I just couldn’t comprehend what they were trying to explain. I felt as if I couldn’t learn anything and often felt like the least intelligent person in my classes. Simple courses became extremely difficult and seemed to be too complicated for me comprehend. My time management was ineffective and I found myself procrastinating almost all the time because I was too afraid to find out that I would understand what needed to be done with my homework. My comprehension suffered dramatically as well. There was so much that was being discussed in each lecture and I couldn’t determine what was important and worth learning. What made things worse was, when I referred back to my notes a few weeks later, I had no idea what I had written or why!
After three years at university, I was placed on academic probation with a GPA of 1.98 out of 4.0. I remember feeling very afraid and like a massive failure! Who would hire me if I didn’t get my degree? How would I pay back my hefty student loan? How could I face my family and friends as a university dropout? All the hard work I put in, the sleepless nights and the personal sacrifice of my time and energy all seemed to be wasted.
I tried many things to get myself out of the situation I was in. I isolated myself from my friends and family because I felt that I needed to spend more time on my schoolwork and less time socializing. I spoke to my intelligent friends and would ask them what they did to get such good marks. Most of them would tell me that they had no idea what they did to get the marks they were getting. Others would just say that they just worked hard and concentrated. There were even a few who would show me how they cheated on their exams (something I was not prepared to do).
When I spoke to my instructors, their answers were also not very helpful. Many offered to give me extra help but couldn’t really understand why my grades weren’t higher considering the amount of effort I put into my studies. There were even some professors who told me that if I hadn’t figured this out by now, I would never make it through university. I finally got the courage to speak to a guidance counselor and her response was “You are spinning your wheels and going nowhere.”
This comment had a huge impact on me and it led to a breakthrough! I realized that no one could help me other than myself. I also accepted the fact that the traditional way of how we are told to use our mind was not working for me. I felt a fire in my belly to solve this problem regardless of how much time it would take, what it would cost me, how difficult it would be or how far I needed to travel. Then I made a commitment to myself to become a better student NO MATTER WHAT IT TOOK. When I made this decision to myself, something interesting happened: I “accidentally” found a book my sister had on her bookshelf. It was called “Awaken the Giant Within” written by Anthony Robbins.
It talked about the mindsets we all have; the belief system we inherit that causes us to do the things we do in our daily life; and if we wanted to make a change in our outer world, we had to change our inner life first. The main concept here is that unless we changed the way we thought, we would keep getting the same results we always got. After a few weeks of reading Tony’s book, I began to increase my self-confidence, felt less stress and started being able to focus and concentrate more at school. I was happy to be at school once again because I was seeing some success. I also noticed that I understood concepts much faster and easily recalled everything I learned even months later.
I realized that the smartest students not only think differently from others but they also take different actions. In other words, they know how to use their minds better to stay more focused, remember more information, recall facts and figures quickly and when they need to. They also had a different strategy when studying and writing exams and tests. They knew how to study smart!
After applying what I had learned, I was able to remove myself from academic probation (whew!) and became obsessed with learning how to become a more intelligent worker, how to be more productive, efficient and strategic in achieving my goals. I kept applying the methods I learned and fine-tuned them every semester. Eventually, in my final semester as an undergraduate student I received a 4.0. GPA and had completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Art degree. I also received recognition from the Chair of my faculty and a bursary for my excellent academic performance. A few years after this, I completed a Masters of Business Administration degree and graduated with an overall cumulative grade of 90%.
When I graduated I was offered positions at two international management consulting firms (Accenture and Deloitte) and The Department of Justice at the Government of Canada. As I was being interviewed, I demonstrated how I applied the concepts I used in school to become one of the top students in my university. I decided to work with Deloitte and signed a $10,000 signing bonus with them. During my time here, I began to apply the same principles and strategies I used at school. As a result, I became one of the top new employees and was sought out due to my innovative way of thinking and solving problems. In under a year, I was working alongside one of the longest serving partners of the firm on a special project. A few years later, Accenture made me a great offer and pulled a few strings to move to Vancouver, BC (one of the cities I always wanted to live in) and was put in charge of my project team when my supervisor was away.
After a few years of working for others, I realized that the knowledge I had could be used to create my own career and I could control my own destiny. Today, I own my own business, am an author, a university instructor (at The University of Calgary and Mount Royal University), a corporate trainer and speak at various schools and companies across North America. I train students from all over the world to work more intelligently and have been fortunate to have helped them get into medical school, top universities (such as Harvard, MIT, McGill University, etc.) and land the careers of their choice. Furthermore, many of them have become eligible for scholarships, bursaries and receive amazing career opportunities. They are paid to attend school and the study what they are interested in.
Recently, after many years of working with university students, a parent, who noticed a dramatic improvement in her child’s performance, attitude, time management and comprehension asked me to train her team the same concepts I had taught her daughter. As a result, I was asked to train staff at The Royal Bank of Canada. Soon after this, after working with her children, a team leader at Young Living Inc. hired me to train her team to improve their performance. As a result of these opportunities, these employees have discovered how to enjoy their work more, are more motivated to succeed, their sales have increased, corporate profits have improved, a more team oriented culture has ensued while efficiency and time management have soared.
Based on these real-life success, I have created this special website to help you to work smarter and more strategically to achieve your most important goals, whether is it at university or in the corporate world. Remember, I’ve personally used all the material I will share with you, so you know that it will work! I have undertaken over twenty years of personal research, trial and error, extensive interviews with the smartest people I know (4.o students, top coaches, presidents of corporations, and millionaires). I am committed to providing value here that you can use to get the results you want. I welcome your feedback (email me at ContactUs@TheArtofBeingSmart.com).
Thank you for visiting The Art of Being Smart.