Qualifications are useful things to have, and in getting one you can learn a lot that can then be put to good use. But so often people put too much pressure and importance on the grades and assessments – something I have done myself – which results in giving our power away to it and losing track of the fact that we are already awesome with or without that piece of paper.
I went to school and left with GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A-levels. My grades weren’t the worst and they weren’t the best either. I then went to university and left with a degree in Fine Art and North American Studies. I now realise that I didn’t like the pressure of getting good grades and actually felt like a failure a lot of the time at school because it was a struggle for me to achieve the top grades.
I compared myself to the other students, who effortlessly got top marks, and instead of striving to do better, I started to give up and went into cruise function through the rest of my education. This meant that when I didn’t get great marks I always had the excuse of saying that I didn’t really put much effort into it anyway. What I didn’t want to admit to myself was that I actually wanted to be an A grade student as well. However, there was also a part of me that had a niggling feeling that, regardless of not getting the top marks, I was still an intelligent person.
To get almost any kind of qualification we need to go through some kind of assessment, albeit an exam or coursework or practical work, which is the bit that I usually had trouble with. I was back at Uni a few years ago, and although I had come out of the cruise ‘giving up’ mode, I went the other way and put far too much importance on the exams and coursework. I carried a feeling that if I wasn’t pushing myself, I wasn’t going to do well. To be honest, I got myself into such a state over some of the assessments that my anxiety went through the roof – a state that isn’t the most conducive to producing the work that is needed.
Clearly I still wanted the good marks and felt I needed to get them to prove myself. On reflection, this was a massive sign of how out of touch I was with my body and my true worth, but also a reflection of society in how we feel we need a good grade to show the world that we are successful.
Despite struggling within the education system, I did end up getting the qualifications I needed for the profession that I wanted to be in. So on practical terms, qualifications are useful tools to have in life, as long as we don’t see them as the be all and end all and keep reminding ourselves that they do not define us as people. It’s when we identify ourselves with the qualification and see them as a direct measure of who we are that we end up doing ourselves and others harm and losing sight of our true potential.
Each and every one of us is an amazing asset to society, regardless of the jobs we do or the qualifications we have. The beauty of humanity is that we each have our different strengths and weakness. For example, I am a teacher and therefore have the skills to be able to carry out that job well. But if it came to being an accountant, well I don’t think I would be very good at it, not least because I have not trained in the skills and gained the qualifications needed in this job.
This just shows us that with all of our different skill sets we can work together harmoniously, each of us flourishing in the areas that we are drawn to, and never judging people as being better or worse because of what they do or what type of qualifications they may or may not have.
The fact is that day-to-day we come across people from all walks of life and educational backgrounds that have much wisdom to offer. For example, some of the wisest people I have met and know, such as Serge Benhayon, have not been to university. Many people have attacked Serge for this very reason, yet I can say from my experience that this man presents with a wisdom and intelligence that goes way beyond the stuff anyone can learn at school or Uni. Not only is he a super presenter, this man also lives life with amazing integrity, openness, and love, which he shares with every person he meets. He is also an example of a person who lives with absolute responsibility in everything he does, and has a vitality that most people can only dream of.
Which goes to show, and leaves me in no doubt that there is much more to intelligence than a qualification written on a piece of paper. And in truth we all have access to the same universal intelligence if we are willing to live in a way that allows us to access it.
By Eleanor Cooper