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“Learn to Succeed,” a General Education Course, Helps Students Turn Their Lives Around

How would you define “success”? People may have various answers based on their personal experiences. Some may equate success with wealth; however, success may also be viewed as a perspective related to self-management and self-fulfillment. Learn to Succeed, a course run by Bruce Cheng, Professor of the Institute of Physical Education, Health & Leisure Studies at the College of Management, is aimed toward guiding students who feel uncertain about the future to reach their full potential by achieving things they previously considered impossible and realizing the value of something he refers to as “givers gain.”

 

Lectured in English by Prof. Cheng, one-fifth of the students in this class are non-Taiwanese. Since the final project in the course involves teamwork, this course is intended to help students develop interpersonal communication, to appreciate different cultures/ backgrounds, and to embody a more international perspective at the end of the semester.

 

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Learn to Succeed, a course run by Bruce Cheng

 

The students are encouraged to be creative in the final project. Topics can include not only the practice of goal-reaching but also a process requiring spiritual training and growth. For example, one group decided to care for the homeless as their project because through completing the project, they realized a broader definition of success as creating value for other people in the process of reaching their own goals. Juliette, an international student from France, mentioned that she did not know how to show her concern for the homeless before. This project provided her the opportunity to interact with the homeless, and now she can even greet them with “Happy New Year” in Chinese.

 

Two groups in the course decided to invest money as their final project topic. To encourage the students to take action, Prof. Cheng provided each team with more than four thousand U.S. dollars to invest in the stock market and promised that the students could share any profit evenly and that he would bear any loss himself. With both groups profiting in the end, one group even decided to donate their earnings along with Prof. Cheng to a charity organization.

 

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Learn to Succeed, a course run by Bruce Cheng

Another group of students aimed at waking up early every morning by 7 a.m. without setting the alarm clock for 14 consecutive days. Students who used to be pressed for time started to realize the importance of pre-planning and transforming ideas into action by recording daily goal attainment. In addition, some of them realized that due to this routine lifestyle, their own biological clock would wake them up or discovered that they had extra hours to read, exercise, and do housework. By developing this lifestyle, some of the students even gradually optimized their pace both literally and figuratively by training for long-distance running every evening.

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