According to businessdictionary.com, bootstrapping is building a business out of very little or virtually nothing. In computers or engineering it is also the meticulous way of solving a challenge. And to relate this to our student or youthful life, I will say building your life out of nothing or with scanty support by being purposeful with your life and strategy.
Before you can be taken serious in life you would have showcased your worth and what you have been able to build for yourself. The parable of the talents stipulated that the one who was able to turn his gift around was given more. Meaning that the world is looking for people who have taken a stand for something and it is evident in their personal life, indeed all great people faced one challenge or the other but persevered and sailed through and the world gave them more.
To bootstrap our personal dreams as students or youth we will substitute it into the 6W and 1H formula.
1W- WHY: As a student we must be able to pay attention to everything happening around us and ask questions. But it must always start with personal question of WHY? Why are your grades so bad? Why are you really excelling? Why do you seem to be averaging? Why do you find yourself always at the bad place at the wrong time? Why do you do the wrong things at the right time or right things at the wrong time?
To be able to give answers to the question or questions you will raise with a why, you must have the ability to interpret the question without self-blame or guilt or blame of others.
Most often than not our position of guilt and blame shift the mind from responsibility and accountability. This means that you create reasons and excuse not to face the realities and it gives unrealistic results to what you should be doing or have done.
2W- WHAT: This is the moment where you seek meaning to what exactly you find yourself doing. What do I really want to achieve? What are the possible outcome of this situation or act? What is it that I am doing wrong or doing right? What can I do to improve the situation? You give the situation a definite meaning and its relationship to things around you, e.g. to excel at the end of your 4 years with 1st class there are so many things that goes into coming out as such. Students who win laurels do something different the average student won’t. So you ask what do such excellent students do that I don’t do? Or what don’t they do that I make time for?
3W-WHO: At this moment you would have had understanding to the WHYs and WHATs of your life or happenings and its results. This is the moment you come to terms with responsibility to what and why of your life. If you want to change your grades, what must you be responsible for? If you are bad at a subject or course, whom can you seek help from but equally be responsible for the support you need. It will cost you some inconveniences but at the end of the day, you are responsible for the outcome you seek. You cannot have control over certain happenings but it will depend on how you respond to it instead of reacting.
4W-WHEN: One of the components of our lives we fail as student or youth in its right management is TIME/PERIODS/SEASON. We know too well how periods make up a whole semester for instant but we start the semester without our personal schedule of activities. Without a personal “to-do” calendar we get swayed by any action which eats into our studying, lectures, project work and finally it shows in our results. Every time lost is irreversible and one will need double dose of efforts to catch up. One will need to have a disciplined lifestyle to fit into the goals we set for ourselves. Things done by hart are never done right.
5W-WHICH: When we come face to face with our challenges, we get so much consumed to the extent that we get blinded to possible alternatives. When you ply the first 4Ws in its effective manner you develop the mindset for alternative always. You know what will work or not at any moment. You don’t get surprised about a lot of things. As a student if you need a specific assistance you will look for alternatives vis-a-vis the kind of result you need. You needn’t have to get stuck and waste energy on unfruitful ventures if its career, hobby, extracurricular etc., always look for alternatives to how best to get the desired results.
6W-WHERE: The places and spaces we find ourselves goes a long way to determine the plan we have for our career, dreams, personal brand etc. As a student when you are being sought after where will you be found? Where can we find you for extracurricular activities that profits your goals and purpose? What company do you keep and which places does it take you to? How do these places enhance or create value for your network base?
1H-HOW: The result in all the 6Ws revolves on the actions you inject into them. “How” questions give you the critical thinking and logical conclusions to how you go about the 6Ws pragmatically. In fact, the best student does(act) something average students find time consuming but at the end of the day results separates the two. Some actions must be periodic in certain sequence if you know how to practically deploy all your 6Ws. Whatever you want and how far you want to go must be backed by actionable thinking and character.
I believe that this 6W1H formula can be applied to many areas of our lives as individuals and collective groups.