Unlearning: The Top Secret To Being Successful

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unlearning secret success

September 23, 2016 – Unlearning: The Top Secret To Being Successful In Life, An Article By Tony Ogunlowo

We all want to be successful in life; whether it is in our professional or private lives.

We want successful relationships’, successful careers and we want to be seen as being successful in everything we do in the eyes of the world.

Schools of thought will have us believe that to be successful you need to harness your talent; work hard and it’ll all work out.

They are wrong!

The true secret to being successful in life is to un-learn everything you think you know.

Un-learning means breaking with tradition and setting off on a different tangent on your own. Everything we’re taught at school, college or university doesn’t mean you’re going to be a mega-success in life – even though it’s a start – no knowledge is wasted! You might earn more being a graduate or something but the real success only comes when you strike it out on your own.

From a very early age we are indoctrinated. We are taught the differences between right and wrong, what society expects of us and not. Our very lives are moulded in such a way that we have to conform – or be damned. As a result we find ourselves trapped in a system that determines what is best for us rather than the other way round or what we can do to improve the system.

To escape the indoctrination, that we have been subject to since birth, we need to think outside the box – perhaps even betting the farm on what we believe is right.

Life’s greatest thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs did not get to where there are today by toeing the line – they gambled and took a leap of faith into the unknown……

When Bill Gates set up Microsoft in a bid to change the way everyone in the world accessed computers, the cheapest computer cost over $100,000 and was the size of a room. Apple, under the tutelage of the late Steven Jobs, introduced us to out-of-this-world high tech devices we can’t live without. Even Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to gamble everything he knew on a platform that would change the social media interaction forever. People like Richard Branson didn’t become successful by following the ‘norm’. He only became successful as a result of him being a maverick that stood up to the establishment (and still does) and did things differently.

To be successful in life most of the things we’re taught at home, in schools, colleges and universities is sometimes totally irrelevant. Read the biographies of the ten richest men (and women), in the world today, and you’ll find they are either university dropouts or people who have stuck a finger up at the establishment and opted to follow their own gut instincts.

How can you be successful when you’re following the same path – like goats being led to the slaughter – like everyone else? You need to be different. You need to be able to push boundaries and challenge the order of things – not forgetting hard work and inspiration.

Only a brave maverick becomes successful in life.

To be successful in life you need to think outside of the box. You need to be brave to be able to go rogue, bet the farm, and follow your gut instincts. People, without any doubt, will laugh at you, put you down and criticize you and why won’t they? They will because you’re the only one who’s brave enough to venture out into the unknown – and stake your reputation and everything you have on it.

It doesn’t matter what talent, financial backing or connections you have if you’re not prepared to un-learn everything the establishment has taught you over the years, believe in yourself and what you’re doing, and strike it out alone following your gut-instincts you’ll never be successful.

Now the next step is to discover your niche – something you’re good at doing. Everybody was born with a unique talent of their own. It could be playing football, music or acting. Others are talented in science, teaching, banking or being political maestros. Everyone has something they’re very good at.

Once you’ve discovered your niche – work on it! Rome wasn’t built in a day! The mere fact that you’re the world’s greatest programmer does not mean you’re going to build the next Facebook or Microsoft without putting in the hard work of which most of it will go unrewarded – initially! There will be distractions. People will laugh at you and put you down – a young David Beckham was once advised to go and learn a trade like bricklaying or motor mechanics instead of kicking a ball around!

You will need to be disciplined. If you can dream it you can achieve it. To be successful you have to follow a rigid pattern of hardwork-hardwork-hardwork-hardwork – there is no rest until the objective is achieved. There will be unlimited sacrifice – the loss of your social life, for instance, lack of sleep – perhaps even financial and relationship problems – all of which must be surmounted.

Statistics show that out of every hundred people who start out in life only five will be successful by the time they retire – the other ninety-five would have fallen by the wayside. So which category do you want to be in? Among the successful five per cent or the ninety-five per cent who didn’t make it?

Do the maths!

7 thoughts on “Unlearning: The Top Secret To Being Successful

  1. This is thought provoking and I agree with the theory up toa point. Yes one needs to unlearn certain things in order to make room for improving upon what we already know but you do not need to unlearn everything the establishment teaches you. What the society teaches you constitute the foundation for survival in human society. For example, you need to be book-smart in some businesses and to be street-wise in others, and even to be both in some situations otherwise in day to day dealings with other human beings you will be duped by crooks who are forever on the lookout for ways of stealing your glory.
    On the other hand, you need to unlearn some known things to be able to improve. I remember when it was first suggested in my workplace that everybody should learn how to use computers. The reaction of some people was that such policy will put the typists or secretaries out of job. The “bigmen and bigmadams” in the hierarchy of workers said it was too far fetched and inconveniencing. They even likened it to ” learning how to be left-handed in old age”
    However, some few years down the line the benefits to those who embraced the change is obvious! The fact remains however that the basic knowledge one has still remain relevant and are the foundation for those who think outside the box. Getting to the top of the success chart is like building the groundnut pyramid of olden days Nigeria. There are more people at the bottom than at the top but the bottom heavy structure is still relevant in carrying up the top. Not everybody will be that successful as to make the list of Fortune’s Wonder People but there is room for improvement in every facet of life.

  2. NICE DELIVERY BY TONY OGUNLOWO! DREAMS ARE killed when weare stuck in the rut, following norms, doing what every other person does. It is better to live your dream imperfectly than to, with perfection, live someone else’s dream.

  3. @ Tony Ogunlowo, I agreed with you to some extent especially you emphasized on how to think out the box by making extra effort in order to be succefully in life but you did not make yourself clear when you were giving your advise. The way I portray this and to some other youths out there can interpret this, Is like you are discouraging them to shun education by not receiving formal education or necessary training which can really help them to quickly become successful. From your writing it appears you are telling the younger folks that just go out there and do something differently even by engaging in armed robbery, fraud etc. Do not follow the right channel which can mislead immature mind. Instead you can advise on how to be successful by doing something differently the way your predecessors have been doing it.

    It is true that when you discover your area of interest, you have to really explore more by applying other strategy to be successful. Anything you know how to do just make sure you do it to the top, for example, if your interest is in education or teaching, do not limit yourself to classroom teacher. You may have to think of how to establish your own school, securing government contract to sell books to different books, writing books for sale, supplying office supply to the government or fray your own idea to make money. Also if you are into entertainment, you don’t have to be an Actor or an Actress to be relevant. You can produce a movie, you can be script writer, you can be a make up artist. Just make sure whatever you do is what you really love to do.

    Nevertheless, anything we have to do, we must add education. Those people that you mentioned may be successful by dropping out of school but trust me, their idea may be more appreciated if they have included education. Do you know how many year it took Steve jobs to finally come out with Apple?
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