It is eye-opening to realize that Howard Gardner describes seven
intelligences. Schools only teach two: math and language. There are
five more: spatial orientation and art, psychomotor skills and athletics,
musical talent, an understanding of others and ability to work with
them, and an understanding of yourself and the ability to handle your
own problems. Develop all your intelligences. This is the highest level
Look for and hone any special talents you have. If you are a good
teacher or speaker, get experience. If you relate well or have a talent
for drawing or whatever, polish those skills and look for opportunities
to contribute your talents to good causes. Experience the joy of using
all your potential. We are driven to be outstanding, not to be
STEP THREE: Make changes in the environment, learn the self-
instructions, and provide the rewards necessary to get done
what you need to do.
See chapters 4 and 11, especially learned industriousness.
Reinforce your constructive behavior several times a day, give larger
rewards every week. Shift from extrinsic to intrinsic reinforcement
(See chapter 4).
Talk to yourself, taking responsibility and giving directions, pep
talks, and praise. Confront negative self-talk, like "I'm too stupid to be
an engineer," by testing out the idea, "I'm smart enough if I work
hard." (See methods #1 and #3 in this chapter.)
Associate with friends who support your achievements. Encourage
each other. If you admire or identify with someone, hopefully he/she
will model the desired behavior for you. Be prepared to leave friends
as you move on.
Surround yourself, if possible, with able and highly motivated
people. You will be threatened, but you will learn much more, you will
be motivated by them, and your group will achieve much more. Some
"hot shots" can't stand to get help from others or to share success.
The experience of being part of a highly effective team is the thrill of a
lifetime. Don't let your ego or your insecurity deprive you of the
Follow your own directions, set your own goals. Research has
shown that high achievers are independent, while low achievers
conform to others' wishes. So, try to avoid being too desperate for
others' approval or to belong to a group (unless that group supports
Record your "target" behavior daily and plot it. Most people will
seek success if they think success is likely. Thus, maximize the
probability of success and minimize the stress of failing. Low self-
esteem people give up (self-handicapping) when failure seems likely,