How can students gain competitive advantage in this highly qualified labor market?

Businesses and markets are changing fast, really fast. Therefore, companies are requesting more and more from their employees. They believe that the right people can overcome the upcoming challenges and make the company increase value. So how can students gain a competitive advantage in this highly qualified and competitive labour market?

The author Howard Gardner give us some answers in his book Five Minds to the Future. In my opinion, these five minds are not for the future, they are for the present. Why? Because I already feel the scarcity and high value of these minds today. Any individual who develops these minds has a competitive advantage in this highly competitive world.

So tell me, which are the five minds and how can I develop them? Today, we will talk about the disciplined mind.

I must admit the first time I read this book I thought it was boring but the other day I saw it on my shelf, picked it up and read one page. I felt into the book in a way I had not fall in my first reading. In the next day I replaced the book, now it is on the side of my bed.
Maybe this says more about the intellectual maturity of the reader than of the book itself. Anyway, I believe this book deserves a discussion and that is why I am going to talk about it now.

The first mind the author mentions is the disciplined mind. At a first look, it does not say much. Gardner speaks about two kinds of disciplined minds. The one that learns deeply about a topic and the one that continues learning regularly about a topic.

“Learning deeply” is more than memorization and good grades, it is about developing a mindset. It is meant that you can apply the knowledge about a topic in new situations. “Learning regularly” refers to the capacity of learning more about the topics, every day, for the rest of your life. It implies you enjoy the learning process and you enjoy the topic at hand.

In the book, Gardner explains these concepts in detail and uses various examples to illustrate them. He also explains which are the 4 steps to develop a disciplined mind. I would like to leave an excerpt from the book:

“The absence of disciplined thinking is serious. Without these sophisticated forms of thought, we remain ignorant – in fact, alike the uninstructed. […] The students without discipline are “stuck” in the same intellectual level as the barbarians. They are not capable of discussing new information and therefore they do not have the capacity to have informed opinions of the events of the day, of the year, of the century.”

What is your opinion about the disciplined mind? Do you believe you have it?

Tell me in the comments and share these tips with your friends.

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