Laura Charria
16 min readFeb 26, 2022


A day in the life of a life long learner…

After reading chapter 6, I learned that you either step forward into growth or you step back into safety. In order to have personal growth, you need to take risks and do anything that scares you. Once you learn to master the art of growing and the art of learning, you learn to embrace the unknown, and learn to grow outside of your comfort zone in order to gain new skills and habits. Whenever you are afraid of something, you must tell your mind that it’s okay to be afraid, but if you stay in your safety zone, you will never learn, and you will always be afraid. To enter the professional workspace, you need to develop these skills during and after college. As I read in chapter 6, student development is essential to achieve changes and achieve success. To change a behavior, the first step you need to take is to understand yourself and understand, for example, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The highest need in the pyramid is self-actualization. In order to improve your skill sets and change your personality, you need to understand yourself before embracing a culture of change. A way to understand yourself, is to identify both your strength and your weaknesses, because a lot of tests on like Strengthsfinder only focus on the strengths and forget about the weaknesses. Some key areas that are often overlooked are our communication skills and mental and physical wellness. Moving on, in order to become an effective team member and a leader, you need to understand the keys to success. As I read this chapter, I noticed different motivational messages that enabled me to grow through my process of self-development. First, I learned about personal development and this means how receptive you are to change.

Moving on, I learned about Total Quality Management, which was developed in the 1950s in Japan and this theory means that you need to be the protagonist looking for changes every single day in order to improve who you are as a person. For example, a lot of sports athletes like in baseball try to improve their batting rate, which is a very tiny number or average that they need to improve on, and once they’re able to embrace gradual change, they can move from being average to being professionals and experts in their field. Moving from that small change although it seems insignificant, is key to growth and improvement. Once we embrace the idea of student development, we can be on the path of continuously improving every single day add a much faster rate than most people. It all starts with achieving a certain goal.

The goal can be having a certain GPA or having a certain job once you graduate. That’s why having goals is important, because that means that there are some metrics that can allow you to take the necessary steps to change your behavior every day. We make decisions based on our goals, and the way we make decisions are influenced by the behaviors and the thoughts that we have about ourselves and the people around us. This is why having values end aligned with our actions our thoughts and our feelings can allow us and propel us to a future that is aligned with our goals.

Now time for definitions. An action is defined as what you say and you do and it’s a part of human behavior.

Having thoughts means having different ideas values and mindsets and it’s also the attitude that you have towards the world.

And feelings are the emotions that you have.

Moving on, having a positive mindset and taking risks and not letting yourself down, can be the best way to overcome your fears and still believe in what you can achieve. In order to progress towards change, you need to either change one of the 3 of your actions, your thoughts, and also your feelings. Choosing is a conscious decision that you choose, which means that you can have one or two options you can have a productive action or negative action. According to the behavior modification theory, there is less control over your thoughts than your actions, sometimes it is very difficult to stop having negative thoughts, and it is very difficult to think that you can be better. For that same reason, having goals will allow you to be on the right path towards self-esteem. According to the Student Success model, having clear goals such as earning a degree in your major can lead to productive actions and behaviors, which can then lead to positive thoughts and attitudes and also lead to positive feelings.

There are three simple steps that you can take to achieve change. Here is an overview of the three steps: Step One is knowledge step two is commitment and step three is implementation. Step one requires that you know what to do. Step 2 requires that you want to do that, in other terms how motivated you are. And finally steps 3 is how you’re going to do it and believing that you can do it, which is Nike’s slogan. Let’s delve a little deeper into step 1.

Step One is knowing what to do. With so many options in so many different strategies and approaches that you can have, knowing what options are available to you are essential in order to take more productive actions. Even if you have new knowledge there’s no guarantee that you can change your behavior. For example, a lot of people grew up smoking and they didn’t know that it was bad for their lungs. New knowledge now shows that smoking leads to liver problems and it is bad for your health. But despite this new knowledge and despite this new information, there are a lot of people who continue smoking despite knowing that smoking is bad for their health.

Moving on once you are committed and you know what you want to do, then you are motivated and you will find a strategy and make decisions into practice. This means knowing how you’re going to schedule your time and what you’re going to do every hour during the day in order to see what decisions and actions are going to take from every class.

There is a book by Deepak Chopra, a Voluntary Clinical Professor at UCSD, called ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’, and it shows that we have a lot of conditioning from our environment and society. He mentions that it is our choice to make conscious decisions that empower us to make better choices and therefore have positive positive behaviors. If for example you have a negative attitude, you need to first be aware and identify when and where you’re taking a negative attitude. You need to describe the attitude and then you have to answer the question: is this attitude working for you or against you? Knowing where this attitude is originating from can allow you to answer if this attitude will work for you or will harm you.

Moving on, there is another concept called lifelong learning. This means you see learning as more beyond the necessary classes that you have to take. For example, a lifelong learner may take additional classes than required just because they’re interested in the class, instead of just getting through the minimum requirements needed to pass a class. Having a lifelong learning approach means that you embrace growth and change and you want to empower yourself from being average into being into reaching yourself for filament and your highest self-esteem. Once you recognize and you engage in lifelong learning you will be unstoppable.

For example, a lot of students just want to get a job without even knowing what their starting salaries will be, which means that they haven’t put in enough knowledge and skills to be up to date in the field. A lifelong learner would take the opportunity to read books and gain as much information as possible to broaden the knowledge available. Another option would be to attend meetings relevant to your major and also take seminars and other courses that can broaden your perspective. There are a lot of great classes offered at UCSD such as PSYC 88 titled ‘Learning sustainable well-being’, and this class teaches how to use the best practices available, such as having mindfulness moments throughout the day, exercising daily, and forming having habits that will allow you to reach your full potential.

Moving on to step 3 which is called implementation, this step is all about doing things. This is the most difficult one because you may be very knowledgeable and you may have the best intentions, but your behavior shows otherwise. Adopting a habit of maybe adopting a routine for 30 days, will allow you to take automatic responses every day. The key to success is choosing to do the things that you don’t find easy or pleasurable. A lot of people just do things that they find easy and pleasurable and once you allow yourself to embrace difficulty and the unknown, that’s when you will dominate your fears. There is another book called the common denominator of success by Dr. Grey and he mentions how the common denominator for success is to form a habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do. For example, successful people are influenced by the desire for pleasing results and they have a purpose that is strong enough to make them form the habit of doing things that they don’t like to do in order to accomplish the purpose that they want to accomplish. So in order to be successful, you have to do the things that you don’t want to do. From human psychology, we can understand that this is very counterintuitive and it doesn’t make any sense. Once you learn to grow outside of the victim role and stop blaming your failure on external factors and by proving to yourself that you’re making change, you can take responsibility for your actions and know that you are the creator of your life. Once you understand yourself and you understand that you’re in charge of your satisfaction in your quality of life, you can embark on the greatest journey of self-awareness. As Benjamin Franklin mentioned, “there are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know oneself”. Therefore, learning about yourself is a very complex activity that takes a lot of energy, motivation, and believing that you can do whatever you’re sitting your mind to. There are two additional models. One is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and this can allow you to know that once your basic needs are met you be able to be motivated to succeed in your life. Then there is the Myers-Briggs type indicator which is 4 different personality types. I took the personality test but I don’t agree with it because I have taken this test already and the results always change, which means that this Myer Briggs test is an indicator of a snapshot of where you are in your life but not an indicator of your entire personality and it is not set in stone who you will be. Understanding Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the first level is psychological needs which include food, access to water, access to a home, and access to health. The second level of the hierarchy of needs is our safety needs which means security, and freedom from fear. Moving on to the third level is belongingness and love with relationships so the need to share with our friends and family. Then you have esteem needs which our self-respect achievement and reputation. Finally, you have self-actualization which is to become what you are most fitted for. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is not only evident in a learning environment but is also seen in other areas such as marketing. For example, it is important to draw a fine line between what you need and what you want. Never let a want distract you from success. Once you reach your safety needs, it means being free from fear of physical or psychological threats because if you are afraid then you will not be able to concentrate on your studies. Then once you feel safe in your environment as you’re able to move on to the third level which are your social needs. This means having a feeling of being accepted and receiving support from your friends and family. Once you’re able to form relationships on the third level you can move on to the next one which is centered around achievement and recognition. So this is one you have enough appreciation for others and you want to give back to society. And finally, the highest level in this hierarchy of needs is self-actualization so being able to fully develop all of your ambitions in life and reach your highest potential you will reach this once all of the other needs are satisfied. There is a difference between self-efficacy and self-respect. Self-efficacy is tied to how competent you are, whereas self-respect is tied to your own personal sense of personal words. Once you establish a balance between these two you will be able to work through a treatment way easier. Once you have high self-esteem, you are able to be more creative, have more intuition, have more independence, flexibility, and cooperation. You’re also more willing to admit your mistakes and manage change. Poor self-esteem is also related to being rebellious, being very defensive, having an over-controlling behavior, having a fear of the new or unfamiliar, being irrational, or being blind to reality. Therefore it can be said that self-esteem is the best predictor for happiness. Since self-esteem is not always choosing to do the easy thing, but on the other hand choosing to do the difficult thing and believing that it will lead you to a higher purpose. According to Brandon, high self-esteem depends on having demanding goals. Low self-esteem is tied to being safe of what is familiar and being unable to branch out. Since there is a feedback loop between your self-esteem and the actions that you take, your self-esteem will influence how you behave. Therefore college is the perfect place to learn to improve your self-esteem, have better problem-solving skills, and have the ability to work with other people who think differently than you. It will also increase your confidence that you can face any challenges in life and achieve any goals that you set for yourself. Therefore it’s the student’s responsibility to take responsibility for what they believe is right and to embrace challenges and fear. The idea of the Myer Briggs Test column embraces that everyone is different and that we all make different decisions based on how we approach the world. I really think that people change depending on the environment, but they might have a natural tendency towards one or the other based on how they act when they are under stress or when they are calm. The Myer Briggs Test focuses on four characteristics. The first one is if someone is an extrovert or an introvert. Moving on, you have to learn to understand others and respect differences, you need to understand the difference in learning styles and in personality types, learning that there are ethnic and gender differences. To finalize, there are different tips and tricks that you can use to become a more cross cross-cultural employee. You can improve your communication skills and how effective you are with communicating with people who think differently than you and who come from different backgrounds and interact with them in order to expand your knowledge and be interested in what they mean what they have to say and where they come from. It means following the golden rule that you should not do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. There are also some skills that are very sought-after for example being able to communicate effectively, being able to think critically and creatively, showing initiative and willingly willingness to learn, working effectively on a team, and being able to think both individually and cooperatively.

Then there is another model called the student involvement model and this is how much how your time and your energy is devoted to studying, how you spend your time on campus, how much you participate in student organizations, how much interaction you have with faculty, and how much interaction you have with other students. You can try to do a personal development plan and in order to get to know yourself better, you can either read a book about it or join an acting class or become involved in a student organization or talk with more people or take a class about it in order to be more well-informed and have more knowledge. Therefore the time that you spend in college is the time that you should strengthen your thoughts your behaviors and your actions. The importance of improving your communication skills is vital in order to have a good job once you graduate. Landing a job after graduation depends on how you communicate with others via a resume or cover letters, your phone calls, and your interviews. The entire point of the recruiting process is to see how well you communicate with and how quickly you communicate with your employer. Therefore, improving your communication skills via letters or sending quick emails can greatly improve your communication skills. In every communication, there is always someone who gives the message and someone that receives it and it is up to you to be as quick as possible to make sure that message is reflected across as easily and transparent and quickly as possible.

Additionally, having a positive attitude and having a five-year plan will ensure the regular practice of having a clear vision of yourself of where you are right now and where you want to be. Developing a positive attitude is key to not only motivating yourself but also motivating those around you. If you are planning to improve your communication skills you need to know that it takes time and it is okay to be afraid of it at the beginning, but just know that with practice you can get better. There are different courses offered at the university such as writing-intensive courses and there are also some elective classes for communication that can allow you to practice communicating your thoughts in a clear and effective matter. Also, there are other classes that are more group-based, which is a perfect opportunity to learn to communicate with your team. Nowadays a lot of communication has gone through stew, which allows for a lot of people to maybe turn their cameras off and even turn their mics off and just communicate through the chat, but this can be a very unproductive and ineffective way to communicate with your team. Today in my SIO 1: The Planets class, we were doing a meeting about our team communication since we’re designing a mission to space. I learned that a lot of communication is mostly body language. A lot of people rely on the tone of your voice versus what you’re actually saying. Practicing good body posture and body language can allow you to become a better communicator and using a good tone of voice will also enable more people to communicate with you more effectively. A lot of student organizations are also a great way to practice your teamwork and build your interpersonal skill set because a lot of positions once you graduate are mostly based on how well you present yourself and how well how good you are at public speaking and presentation skills. There are multiple avenues in college to improve your communication skills, writing this blog being one of them.

Class Notes: Class 8

My favorite part from class this week was learning about everyone’s different typology results and how different we are from one another, but also how we share a lot of similarities too. It was also very helpful to learn about implicit bias, about being an achievement hunter, about making decisions based on our values and our goals, and about how our feelings are thoughts, and actions are directly intertwined. I also liked reviewing the three steps of cultivating positive actions which include knowledge, commitment, and implementation. It was also very helpful to learn how to analyze attitudes how to implement change. By defining the barriers in choosing productive actions we can overcome our fear of failure and have and enjoy the difficult path. I also really liked watching a Ted Talk about how Starbucks employees worked. More than anything, I really like the habit slide on how to change your bad habits and how to implement good habits and routines. Overall, I left the class feeling very inspired on how we can make decisions every day to become a better version of ourselves. It is after gradual changes every day and taking it one step at a time one day at a time that you’re able to overcome your fears and reach your full potential. I am grateful for the class this week and for having the opportunity to grow and learn not only more about myself, but also about my classmates after discussing with them.