They say not all who wander are lost – but after wandering along many paths and dabbling in various interests, it’s time to sit down and take an introspective look at yourself. We tell you why it’s important to identify your strengths and interests in order to keep going strong in the long run.
Why It Is Important to Know Yourself
While some of you may feel that the prospect of a bigger salary trumps interest when it comes to making scholarship and career decisions, you should never underestimate the potential that genuine passion or interest has to propel you far and high in your future career.
Happiness and satisfaction are more easily attained when you are able to use your strengths in the service of a cause you believe in. We are all uniquely talented and have the greatest capacity for growth and development in areas we already excel in. It thus follows that we have the greatest opportunities for learning and achieving excellence when we engage in work that allows us to utilise our respective strengths and abilities.
This is why it is important to understand who you are, what you’re good at and what you want before you even begin to consider your scholarship options. This will help you confidently make the right decision – one that will eventually help you derive long-term fulfilment in school and in your future career.
Gaining a Sense of Self-Awareness
The first step to gaining a good understanding of yourself is to identify your values and strengths. Your values reveal themselves when you feel strongly about certain things and your strengths are evinced in activities which you are naturally drawn towards, excel in and feel good about. To gain a better sense of self-awareness, examine and reflect on your thoughts and actions in the past, although don’t forget to observe your behaviour in the present. Some introspection and reflection will also help you decide if these notions are accurate.
It can also be useful to enlist the help of family and friends in order to better understand where your strengths lie. Alternatively, you can take in-depth personality or strength-profiling tests which can be found and accessed freely on the internet, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Such assessments should, however, always be taken with a pinch of salt.
Perhaps the reason why most working adults feel unsatisfied at work is because they feel burnt out and overworked, and this could be the reason why job-hopping has become so prevalent. Burn-out could occur because a person’s strengths, interests and values do not correspond to the scope of his work.
Aspiring scholars like yourself can avoid similar episodes of flagging energy and motivation – and having to consider breaking your bond – by identifying and choosing a scholarship or course of study that aligns with your strengths and interests.
At the end of the day, a scholarship not a free ticket to success – it is a stairway you have to climb and it does not offer free rides by any means. For scholars to progress in their careers, they need to demonstrate hard work, performance and commitment. The journey is indeed made smoother when you enjoy what you do – and to enjoy what you do, you need to first know what you enjoy doing.