According to Isaiah Berlin, “There are two types of people in this world: hedgehogs and foxes.”
The fox knows multiple things. He is smart, cunning, fast, and sneaky. He is always after new strategies to outsmart the Hedgehog to win a share of the forest.
On the other hand, the Hedgehog knows one thing. KEEP IT SIMPLE. In other words, he is simple, and he only uses one strategy but executes it to its perfection. Therefore, whatever the fox uses, the Hedgehog defends himself with the right approach. Hence whenever they face each other, the fox will use his new strategy, but the Hedgehog will always win.
What does this analogy imply? In life, there two people, the foxes, and hedgehogs. The foxes are always in the expedition of searching for new strategies to reach their goals. These categories of people consistently redefine their goals. Regarding the Hedgehog, they stick to a single simple method. Meaning, they trust the process and have a clear roadmap towards their goals. And consistency is one of the primary ingredients for their success.
Take a look at the following examples so that you can conceptualize the whole idea;
• Kobe Bryant used his insane work ethic to be one of the best basketball players.
• Temple Grandin used her ability to think in pictures and empathy for animals to revolutionize feedlots’ designs.
So as a student, are you a Fox or Hedgehog? And if you’re not a hedgehog, how will you find one? The piece is going to provide details that will make you a hedgehog.
How can you become a hedgehog?
Before anything, you will only be a hedgehog if you read Jim Collins’ book called Good to Great. The book highlights the strategies the companies used to rise from mediocrity companies to the most excellent companies. In the book, you will realize that those great companies use hedgehog strategy while the mediocre companies apply fox strategies.
Therefore, for students to be successful, they should understand what they are passionate about, what they are skilled in, and what drives them. The three components go hand in hand, take one out, and you fall miserably. The following features will make you a hedgehog;
Natural talents vs. thinking
If students ignore their natural talents and focus on finding the subjects, they are passionate about, the chances of reaching their true potential are very slim. Natural talents bring out one’s best, and they enable the students to be a complete package. Natural skills involve lots of thinking, which is one of the crucial components is for the students. Remember, you can only value yourself by knowing what you’re best at. Once you’ve identified your best area, you will stick to the strategies that will make you a pinnacle; hence you’re a hedgehog.
But if you don’t do an internal self-assessment by doing lots of thinking. You will only become a fence sitter, AKA the fox, and you will be using various strategies intending to reach your goals.
• Avoid comfort zone
If you focus on what other students say about you and what the lecturers, teachers, and instructors want you to become, you will not tap your potential fully. Push yourself from the comfort zone to achieve something worth your effort.
Therefore, talents and thinking alone are not enough. You are required to harness your thinking and skills. And the most preferred mechanism for achieving the intended results is working hard. You can’t just sit there and expect manna to fall from heaven just because you’re one of the best. Staying at the top is one of the challenging jobs. As a hedgehog, you already have a workable formula, be consistent.
Talents, thinking, and working hard are not enough. It would be best if you pair yourself with people of the same dream as yours. It will provide you with an opportunity to know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Also, you will find people that will challenge hence improving your hedgehog strategy.
You will only be a winner as a student if you know what you’re supposed to achieve. Once you’ve learned the target, coming up with a clear roadmap will be easy. And that is the only way you’ll become a hedgehog.