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Dr. Raman K. Attri is a top performance scientist, has authored several books, and is a professional conference speaker. His story is one of overcoming adversity and beating the odds. In this episode of Motivational Mondays, Dr. Raman shares how to motivate yourself to see beyond your circumstances and stay optimistic despite it all.
How the Construct of Speed Learning Applies to College Students
Dr. Raman has two doctorates and over 100 international credentials. It’s safe to say he’s been in the same shoes as students with an understanding of the pressures and time deadlines associated with studying for exams. He also realized at an early age that success in the business world doesn’t come from learning content but learning context.
Dr. Raman emphasizes, “Skills in context are more important than content alone.” You must shift your thinking process to learn for a purpose. Once you have a purpose in mind, work backwards. What should you master to reach that goal? When you take that goal-directed approach, you’ll find there is less to master.
Overcoming Adversity by Seeing Windows vs. Walls
Dr. Raman grew up in an impoverished area of India. When he contracted Polio at six months old, he lost his ability to walk before he could even learn. He faced times where he felt helpless, as does anyone who faces adversity. He believes that you can be so focused on breaking through the wall standing in your way that you miss windows of opportunity.
Dr. Raman points out that people tell you to just use “willpower” to break your walls and that “nothing can stop you.” But when you use that approach, you eliminate other possibilities. Through his circumstance, Dr. Attri learned there are always opportunities within your walls that you can use to forge ahead.
Remaining Optimistic Despite the Circumstances
When he was young, Dr. Raman read a lot of motivational books but he realized the motivation you find externally is short-lived. When facing the next hardship, you’ll often struggle to find motivation. He states, “The chase for motivational inspiration is fruitless. It leads us nowhere.” Dr. Raman realized that the most important thing he’d need in his life wasn’t motivation, but acceptance.
Once Dr. Raman reached true acceptance of his circumstances, he found clarity. This led to his belief that you need to find two-dimensional clarity in your life. Two-dimensional clarity is focusing on two questions:
- Why? What is your emotional drive? What is the “why” behind what you do?
- What for? What’s your purpose? What came out of something?
Once you have clarity on those two things, the journey becomes easier. It will give you sustainable fuel to move forward. That's how Dr. Raman moved past the most difficult phase of his life.
In his years of experience, Dr. Raman has learned that people want to excel and learn. But they don’t excel unless they’re hungry for it. You have to create the need for learning first. “Learning does not happen unless someone needs it badly and asks for it hungrily.”
Listen to this episode to learn about...
- [2:49] Applying goal-directed speed learning
- [7:27] Overcoming adversity by seeing windows vs. walls
- [10:16] How Dr. Attri remained optimistic despite his circumstances
- [12:52] Creating the need for learning
Listen to the bonus episode to learn about the inspiration behind Dr. Raman’s new book, Speed Matters, and the difference between changing who you are and changing the choices you make