Five Reasons Why C Students Are More Successful After Graduation
By Benjamin P. Hardy
In the book, Immunity to Change, psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey explain various stages in conscious development. A person with a “socialized-mind” is dependent on others, and does best when directly told what to do. Their behaviors are calculated out of fear based on what they think others want them to do.
A “socialized” mindset, which reflects the lowest stages of conscious development, was exactly what was needed to succeed in an industrial model of work. However, as Kegan and Lahey explain, the world doesn’t need obedient and compliant factory workers anymore. Rather, the world, and every organization, needs people to raise their conscious awareness.
Rather than being “socialized,” the world needs “self-authoring” individuals who are independent thinkers who take responsibility over their own work and lives. People at this stage of development trust themselves enough to make mistakes, they take initiative, and they are self-directed learners.
So with this backdrop, we can now examine why C students are generally better off than their A and B counterparts.
1. They question the validity of the academic system
C students are not sold on the academic system. They’re not sold on the factory approach. They see a great deal of good that comes from it, but they don’t worship the system. They see its many flaws.
Furthermore, they know that learning can occur in different ways than the system presents, and that learning can happen entirely outside of the system. Thus, academia is only one approach to learning for C students.
2. They are not submissive followers
C students think for themselves. They don’t walk between the lines without first questioning why those lines exist. Rather than having someone else tell them how to live their lives, C students come up with their own agendas. They zig when everyone else zags.
3. They are not trying to please and impress their superiors
C students don’t spend enormous amounts of energy trying to impress their superiors. They respect and love their teachers, but they don’t worship them and obey their every request. They don’t see their teachers the guardians of their success. They don’t depend on references or resumés anymore. They realize that in today’s world, their work speaks for itself — it’s online for everyone to see.
4. They have bigger things to worry about
Ironically, if you’re obsessed with your grades, you’re not thinking enough about your future. People who get C’s are more strategic about how they spend their time. While their classmates are putting tons of energy into an arbitrary indicator, C students are actually pursuing their dreams. They aren’t waiting until after school to start living.
5. They have their own definition of success
A and B students seek security externally in the form of “good grades.” However, C students know that security can only really be experienced internally. They know who they are. No external standard of success will ever compare to their own self-awareness and acceptance — they’ve defined success for themselves. They don’t care what the masses are competing for, C students chart their own paths.