What is in a Qualification?

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

Related Reading:
How much has Education really Advanced us?
Studying a PhD with a Difference makes a Difference
Is University exhausting us for Life?


556 thoughts on “What is in a Qualification?

  1. Each and everyone of us brings something special to the whole and together it is a magnification of the all.

  2. Eleanor, throughout my school days I struggled with education, I just could not get my head round it. I suppose it didn’t help with my parents desperately wanting us to study and get good grades so they could boast about us. We were from a working class family, so work was the priority and education was challenging, and unobtainable.

    It’s only like yourself and many others, since meeting Serge Benhayon, has this changed. Yes the qualification is needed but the emphasis on studying hard is not there as much. So all along not wanting to be at school, like many other students now a days is because the emphasis is that education is be all and end all.

    I agree within everyone of us is an intelligence that has no grades, no pass marks, not stagnant, it is forever changing, which takes us further then mankind can fathom, it is there for all to tap into, if they so wish to.

  3. One of the key points here is that our worth is unconditional, yet if we make it about something in the outer world, which is constantly changing, then it’s an emotional rollercoaster of feeling good or bad about ourselves. Instead we can connect to the essence of who we are, appreciate and feel what we bring to the world, and enjoy what our qualification allows us to do in society, but not be defined by it.

    1. Melinda I loved your point, qualifications does not define us and society often puts that point across too much. And within everyone of us, I love the essence that is within, it is unique and this is what our teenagers need to hear more often. Bring what is within, out and not what is out, in – which is and can be destructive to us all.

      There needs to more emphasis that we all bring our uniqueness to the world and appreciate this more often…

    2. Lovely comment Melinda, our worth is unconditional, ‘we can connect to the essence of who we are, appreciate and feel what we bring to the world’, knowing we are all magnificent.

  4. Education gives us intelligence and wisdom comes from living in a way that opens us to the what can be felt in and shared as the sagacity of the ages.

  5. When we prioritize what we do over and above who we are and the quality that we can innately bring, then we lose sight of what we are really here for. In our current world, qualifications have a tendency to be seen as the priority over our other qualities and this is a reductionist method that serves no one in the long run – for temporal qualifications are equal in importance to the quality that we innately bring.

    1. Who we are is far more important than what we do, ‘who we are and the quality that we can innately bring’ is what matters.

  6. Our greatest qualification is that we are all Sons of God – fully equipped to embrace life and all that it has on offer and all that we are here to express. Any other qualification is a simple bonus to the already existing one that we are all born with.

  7. We seem to be obsessed by education and a piece of paper that is awarded and seemingly gives people the smugness of being better than another because they have a certification that says they are able to memorize information, regurgitate it and answer questions based on someone else’s knowledge of the subject. From my own experience I can say that just because someone has that certificate does not mean they are good at their job or know what they are doing. If they did then can someone explain to me why we have had so many financial crashes, and why a psychiatrist who I met recently shared with me they have taken Prozac for the last 35 years. WHAT! This does not make any sense to me at all

    1. I agree with what you share Mary, ‘ From my own experience I can say that just because someone has that certificate does not mean they are good at their job or know what they are doing.’

  8. I agree with that wholeheartedly Eleanor, we are already awesome with or without that piece of paper. When we know this within ourselves it helps heaps to not get so caught up in the drive and push of uni – or at least, calls us back when we forget the fact.

  9. Universal intelligence is the only qualification worth having, it does not compete against another or reduce you in anyway, Serge Benhayon has lived this truth for years through his deep connection to his Soul.

  10. ‘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.’ Yes we need the qualification to do our thing in this world but what gives us true wisdom is inside us from the day we were born, the innate qualities we bring to what we do are far more important than any qualification.

    1. Great point Willem, and actually we could say that applies to anything that we do – if we get exhausted or drained from an activity, then we should really question why this is the case…perhaps it is the activity that no longer suits our body or perhaps it is the way that we are doing the activity that does not suit our body and this is what needs to be adjusted.

  11. We often put ourselves under extreme pressure when there are exams and assignments and the interesting thing is that most of the pressure comes from ourselves in order to establish or confirm that we are good enough, yet surely the best education in the world would be for us to all learn and know our own value and quality first, and simply knowing that relieves the pressure we put on ourselves.

  12. “there is much more to intelligence than a qualification written on a piece of paper” the innate wisdom available to us when in connection to all the Universe offers is an intelligence beyond measure.

  13. How we are at what we do is just what it is, but somehow getting graded/evaluated seems to affect quite a bit in the way we feel about ourselves. We might actually be feeling quite good at what we are doing, but when we get a grading, we might start to doubt ourselves, wondering whether that ‘feeling good’ was an illusion in the first place, comparing ourselves with how others might be doing. I am finding this need for validation to be very deeply ingrained in many of us.

  14. ‘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.’ If we do that we forget the energetic part of our life and that we are first and foremost multidimensional beings.

  15. When the true intelligence and wisdom of the body and the heart is recognised, there will be such a revolution in education that the world will be unrecognisable from its current form.

  16. Your blog puts the word intelligence in a different perspective. The universities in our world don’t really care at what costs you get your qualification. I remember Serge Benhayon saying to one of the students in the room something along the lines of: ‘ we have failed if you get your diploma, but we lost you (in who you truly are) along the way.’ The quality in which we do things determine the true end result.

  17. The true intelligence which is offered to every one of us, which is stupendous and supersedes everything that at present is offered by education system, is actually available to everybody. The only thing is a surrender to what the Universe is offering, all of the time.

  18. What I have learnt from uni is how to be great at what I do. What I have learnt from Serge Benhayon is to be me in what I do.

  19. Maybe our qualifications should be considered as the development of skills so we can attend to our responsibilities of how we contribute our piece of the jigsaw to the harmonious workings of our society.

  20. “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.” And when we study in the pursuit of recognition of a paper qualification we learn more and more about less and less.

  21. Judging and comparing ourselves to others because of a lack of qualifications is horrible. I certainly have been at the receiving end of this abuse and still today (and I have changed immensely in my relationship with myself), am aware of this abuse in others. I am coming to the conclusion ‘could it be, the behaviour of abuse put on another is done to bring them down because what is felt makes the abuser feel uncomfortable?’ Today I can vouch what is regarded as the so called intelligent can be very uncomfortable in my presence. I do not seek revenge or think myself clever as I abused myself too by not claiming the truth I knew within my body but I can see very clearly the lack of true confidence in those that regard themselves as intelligent in the way the word intelligence is falsely understood and used today.

  22. We measure our worth based on a model of intelligence that falls far short of the wisdom we are capable of accessing, were we to stop trying to fit into this human created mould. True intelligence is universal and accessed from within. It can never be learned from any external source – for how can you be taught to be something you already are? It is only by denying our true and multidimensional nature that we fall for this game of academia and all the reduction it offers to keep us small. This is not to say that getting a university degree is bad, but that it can be done in a way where we do not forsake our true source of intelligence that is found in the inner heart and not the mind

  23. This is an example of us trying to compare ourselves through knowledge – when in fact this does not truly support who we are. I have not been to university but I hid behind the fact that I was in a creative role to justify this – rather than claim in full that this was not what I was drawn too and that I didn’t feel it would support me.

  24. We all have free will – which makes us all equal in our power to choose to live in such a way that allows access to universal intelligence or not. When you see another living this for example; Serge Benhayon, it is such a powerful reflection.

  25. We need to see that current form of intelligence we rely on (and almost deify) has actually failed us, and we see that in the rates of illness, disease and poor mental health. To memorise and know information does not support us to live life joyfully and well, only a connection to our true being does. The current form of intelligence is simply supportive for skills (needed) and to accumulate knowledge, however we are not “minds” alone, we are sensitive and amazing beings and have a whole body that’s intelligent that we can connect to and live from.

  26. As I reflect I see how I abused myself giving myself over to the belief of what I thought intelligence was yet it’s ironic as I become aware of my light and how powerful it is expressing the wisdom that has always been there from within. It is interesting how and what we choose to dismiss and diminish ourselves to hold us back from shining who we truly are.

  27. The difference between knowledge and wisdom is something that in this age this vital definition is lost. What the world really needs now is wisdom and the definitive quality of truth in expression.

  28. I can relate so much to this at the moment as I am back at college studying maths, and what I have discovered is that when we sit an exam we do not have to be nervous, worry about the time restriction, cram everything in last minute, or worry about getting top grades. Which is a far cry from how I was at school back in the 70’s, where my every waking moment was looking at my books cramming my head full of facts and figures, getting stressed and feeling ill when it came to taking the exams.

  29. Yes, what Serge Benhayon presents is way beyond what he could learn at University, there clearly is a source of wisdom that can be tapped into by living as he does, ‘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.’

  30. We do need to study and learn and get qualifications according to the different kinds of jobs we do but I agree we are not defined by a piece of paper or a grade, there is so much more to us all than that and there is so much more that we have already within us to bring to all areas of work and life that should never be underestimated or dismissed.

  31. The universal intelligence you speak of here Eleanor is so different to how we are trained to view intelligence and the beauty of it is that if we live in a way that aligns to it anyone has access regardless of who they are or their place in our societal hierarchy; it shows the equalness we all are and imagine if we lived accessing this and got those qualifications we needed for whichever profession … double whammy we do what’s needed without losing us.

  32. I think it is not just that we ourselves think that we are not doing well if we are not pushing ourselves but I noticed it is also the way we see doing well: people totally loosing themselves in a job, not sleeping, being stressed about it, only talking about that topic and so on… that it is the current ‘look’ of being committed. But being committed is not governed by our output or attachment to the topic it is about every single part of our life and how we are holding everything equal: eating well, resting enough, exercising, having healthy relationships, being loving ourselves and open to learning constantly, working, family and so on. If we are not tending to one of these are we really able to do well in one area?

  33. It is a sad truth that our human created systems are based on output and not connection. The education system as we know it measures our intelligence based on how well we can recall what is fed to us, rather than how much of our true and natural intelligence we are able to access and live when we are not being crushed by all these measures that are in place. Such measures produce human beings that have perfected functionality (although with such high stress levels and low vitality, even this is questionable) but failed miserably at living with connection – connection with ourselves, each other and the great pool of Universal wisdom we all swim within but at this stage largely ignore.

  34. How many boys and girls, teenagers give up because what is viewed as important in school or university are their grades? Look at the current figures about mental health problems and suicide rates in this age range.
    When will there come a time when the grades are second to who they are and how they are doing with themselves and that we accept and allow the knowing that everything is inside us all to acces universal intelligence which is so much more than any grade or qualification.

  35. I could relate to everything you shared here, except actually going to university. I carried an unintelligent ‘dumb’ tag around with me because I didn’t do exceptional at school and didn’t go to university, until I met Serge Benhayon. Then I was introduced or more aptly re-introduced to universal intelligence, wisdom, all-knowing and lived experience that encompasses so much more than what we can do on paper.

  36. Unfortunately qualifications are often a necessary evil to get where we want to go in life. I never liked exams and left school as soon as I could having absolutely no purpose in life. Now it seems I do have purpose and I am going to have to sit some exams after about a thirty five year break, yay for me. It is crazy to think a piece of paper can define the complex intelligence that we all are.

  37. “…. we all have access to the same universal intelligence if we are willing to live in a way that allows us to access it” So why don’t we choose it? Do we allow our desire for comfort to get in the way? I know I do.

  38. ” 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.” . Now this is true intelligence .

  39. It is so important for people to live with responsibility, Serge Benhayon leads the way and inspires us to equally embrace responsibility, ‘He is also an example of a person who lives with absolute responsibility in everything he does’.

  40. Thank you Eleanor, as a society we have fallen for the lie of recognition and identification we receive from a qualification, easily overriding the importance of our connection within and the vast amount of wisdom we have access to when we live from our hearts. In time we will know that true intelligence comes from within and is lived for the good of all equally so.

  41. Qualifications is something required in our current educational and professional system. However, if we make qualifications the goal and identify our intelligence with it, we are lost, as our intelligence can’t be measured by any human test, and we can’t ever be defined by it as we are much much more than that.

  42. There is so much pressure on the young to get good marks and go to university that many end up studying things that they find they do not want to do as they haven’t given themselves the space to connect and feel into where there particular unit of expression can best serve.

  43. Eleanor, this is very profound. Teaching us all that it is never about doing right or wrong. There is so much space in how you write and how you come with it is very loving and understanding. Sharing with us the profound teaching that is : “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.”
    A beautiful way to show us that we are all exactly the same.

  44. Through the education system we have learnt to measure who we are by the results we get and if we get good results then we must be intelligent, and if we get poor results we are not and this has narrowed our view of life and confines us to a certain way of thinking. I didn’t go to University and I I couldn’t wait to leave school because I felt there was nothing that the education system could offer me. It is less regimented now and offers a lot more subjects but it still champions the mind over the body intelligence and is therefore missing out on the wisdom and understanding of life that is brought to us through Serge Benhayon and The Way of the Livingness

  45. What is truly important in life is that we love – who we are, what we do, other people, our planet etc. Whatever qualification we have within that does not really matter.

  46. A qualification can be either a piece of paper that meets current recognised standards of skills and knowledge to get a job or it can be a confirmation of the choice to dedicate and commit oneself to truly loving and caring for people.

  47. There is often so much pressure put on getting the right qualification that life goes out of the window and for what a piece of paper. When we see them as a tool we can use our relationship with them changes from a need to more of a flow. Its the same with anything in life the moment we need it suddenly struggle comes in!

  48. Nowadays, we put so much pressure on our kids to get “good” grades otherwise they will not get a “good” job etc. A lot of it stems from wanting to be comfortable in life and to build security. But that is not what education ought to be about. Education ought to be about preparing ourselves to live in the world, to be true to who we are and to serve others through our skills and abilities. We have lost sight of the true purpose of education.

  49. The education system places a lot of emphasis and pressure on getting good grades at school and this can begin quite early in primary school with the Naplan tests. Often the school is more interested in their reputation and getting seen for their academic record rather than the health and well being of the student and the impact of the stress from the pressure of exams and achieving high marks.

  50. At the end of the day, no one remembers your grades at school. No one remembers how you went at university, and when you lie on your death bed, neither will you most likely reflect on your education. This is not morbid, but rather offers a true perspective on what is important in life.

  51. A gorgeous sharing Eleanor. I was recently reading an article about artificial intelligence and the author acknowledged that intelligence is not linear. He gave the example of a squirrel being able to store the location of thousands of nuts in its memory, birds being able to migrate across continents etc. Humans cannot usually do these things and yet it does not mean we are less intelligent. Animals remind us that our intelligence comes from our connection to our divine essence and purpose.

  52. The act of recall has been called out for what it truly is – a mental exercise with no connection to Love and the Wisdom of the body, and is championed by the education system in its current set up.

  53. Yes… Universal intelligence really does sound like a energetic timebomb that is ready to be placed in the middle of all the university systems of education, the secondary school systems, all the way down to the primary schools… Imagine if we just connected with ourselves and we knew everything that was needed to be known… Quite a few things would be redefined I feel.

  54. Many schools and universities today hold education as the be all and end all and do not take into account the people or children that are actually in the schools learning. If education was founded on the wisdom and intelligence found in the bodies connection and how that then can support and nurture people to prosper and use their unique qualities already found within, the education system would be very different. The beauty is that we al play a part in this and by choosing to move and express from our own connection to the body can not only support our daily lives but inspires others . It then shows that learning can be available anytime and we can bring change by simply moving in a way that brings true loving quality to the forefront.

  55. We only need to look at young children to see there is a universal wisdom inside all of us, it is that wisdom – a whole body intelligence that needs to be nurtured and held.

  56. As soon as we go into comparison with another we stop Appreciating ourselves and others, and lose sight of the amazing an unique gifts we are all here to bring. The current education system is a set up to fail from the outset, as it champions competition.

  57. From quite young I knew that we all had access to an innate intelligence, this was confirmed when I met Serge Benhayon who presented on and lives that there is a universal intelligence that we can all tap into.

  58. Education has the opportunity to hold and support our children, and everyone really, to grow and discover their strengths and what they bring as themselves, as well as providing us the necessary skills for working and living in the world, but education as we have it today serves more to force children into ways of being that are an anathema to our true nature. – into competitiveness, arrogance, rebellion, and often fear, inadequacy, feelings of lack of self-worth and stupidity.. How destructive is it to begin our working lives thinking we are stupid, or in fear that people may find out we are not ‘good enough’ – with true education, we can confirm the magnificence of each and every child and in that support them to allow their light to shine forth.

  59. Gorgeously shared Eleanor. We are all in fact already highly qualified beings, through our connection to our body and Soul, to access a universal intelligence available to all and that represents all, which far surpasses any deemed intelligence that comes from the world outside of us. We only need to work on our willingness to surrender to our love within, in order to discover we already are all that we need to bring to life the gifts we naturally are through our uniquely constellated bodies. As you have shared we all have something to offer, a light we bring to the world, and the more we surrender to our love within the more we are impulsed to bring our unique gifts to life, for humanity to be blessed by.

  60. The expansion of our current limited definition of intelligence is something that will transform the world. At the moment we are focussed on such a tiny slice of the all.

  61. Well said. I have found Serge Benhayon to be incredibly wise, smart and intelligent, I have never asked if he had a qualification because he is talking about life skills, he is talking about logic and sensible healthy living. Most importantly of all, he speaks from his body and his lived experience, not theory, or from a book. If we need someone to have a piece of paper as a marker of these things then that says more about them.

  62. Eleanor, this is spot on what you have shared: “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.” – There is much you have shared in your blog I can relate to, especially having experienced a similar thing with going to school and the grades I got and also having gone to University and done several degrees. It is so important to have these degrees in our current world and it is required for certain jobs, but it is not the paper that makes us for we have to remember that we already are the amazing employees or the amazing workforce, it is just about making it a formality for our current world with this paper. Of course we learn things from doing our degrees and they are very needed, but in my experience having completed 3 university degrees, the real learning begins with we start the job because most often we have to un-learn what we have learned so that we can truly work properly. In my experience, It is also rare to use and put to practice more than 1/3 of what you learn as theory through your degree (and this is being generous as an estimate), hence why the real learning happens in the hands on a job, in addition to the un-learning that we go through! But despite how crazy this sounds, we still need the paper in today’s world! The bottom line is as you have said, let’s not make the degree what we are, for our inner intelligence is what is the key to be accessed and expressed.

  63. What is more important, the qualification on a piece of paper or the ability to live this life knowing who we are and why we are here? This does not mean a qualification is not necessary for certain jobs we are choosing to do, but without love for all it will mean nothing.

  64. But in my university study I see the total opposite and the urge to perform is huge, it is all made about the outcome and not the way we get there. It doesn’t give us a learning of how to care for ourselves or who we truly are. But instead get a qualification that ensures a good job, disregarding any of our true being.

    1. I agree it’s pretty crazy, it would be far more supportive to add subjects on self-care and true well-being as so many people burn out because they have not being loving or caring to themselves, you just have to look at the current statistics to see the amount of Doctors committing suicide because of this.

  65. It is in our way of life that true intelligence is shown. I feel it is important to be aware of this fact that our life isn’t dependent on the grades we get or what qualification we hold. It is about being in service in what we are here for to do this life time, knowing what is our calling is the most important.

    1. To know what it is we are being called to do in this life time can sometimes be challenging. As we grow up we can be influenced by many people in our lives and the media which can tempt to throw us off track. We may think we need qualifications to be successful but this is not always the case. Success is not about qualifications but about a life lived in connection to ourselves.

  66. Yeah, I no longer hold anyone in higher esteem just because of their qualifications. It means nothing if the way they relate to others is not with respect, integrity or compassion. If we consider that a degree is for the purpose of bringing a certain service to humanity, then it makes no sense if we don’t use it in conjunction with our innate wisdom. Having all the read knowledge in the world doesn’t mean you automatically have the ability to connect with people.

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