In a world increasingly reliant on paper qualifications, examination results have become the open sesame to everything. Never has the quality of qualifications been of greater importance and from an absurdly young age, children (and their parents) are pressured to show results – as soon as kids enter kindergarten there is competitive pressure. From then on through school then College and University, every step of the way they are expected to pile up the certificates, diplomas and degrees - paper qualifications that define them as potential employees. No wonder modern parents get stressed over the education of their children.
Can feng shui help?
Is there a secret formula to getting straight A’s, obtaining impressive exam results, and perhaps reducing the pressure a little? Decidedly so. Feng shui can indeed create the kind of environment that brings out the best in anyone, in terms of inputting knowledge (studying with good concentration) and outputting knowledge (taking your examinations) to get excellent results. Feng shui offers a competitive edge to the young student in terms of creating good exam luck. But success of course is also about knowing the system and learning to beat the system. JENNIFER TOO shares 16 sure-fire feng shui and non feng shui tips she found helped her get excellent grades all through School and University.
1. Engage the yang chi- make notes as you study
Effective studying requires the use of the input-output method all the time every time. So get into the habit of taking and making notes. Merely reading textbooks without making notes creates study frustration, as it is a yin activity. When you only read, you are only performing input, not output. So come exam time you will find it harder to output. This results in very frustrating feelings.
You know that you know what is being asked, but you simply cannot show that you know! You cannot output what you know and this is because you are engaging only yin energy when you study. When your hand moves across the pages of a notebook making notes, you are engaging yang energy, and then study becomes auspicious and far more successful.
I used to develop plenty of mind maps in my time. I want to recommend it as a powerful study tool. Developed by Tony Buzan in the late 1960’s, this is a powerful graphic technique that unlocks the potential of the brain. I used this very effectively in my college years to refresh my memory just before stepping into each exam. Essentially, you create a map using colours, images and symbols to unlock pockets of knowledge in your mind.
Only make a mind map once you have made notes in the conventional long-form format. When you have a good overview of your subject, start mind mapping. Begin at the middle of the page and branch out like a spider to the outer edges of the page, using a different leg for each theme. Each leg of your spider can in turn have more legs as you move into sub-themes. What I always did was to make one mind map for each topic within my subjects and paste them around the room to look at while changing, brushing teeth and so forth. Before going into an exam, I would bring along the relevant mind maps and have a last read just before sitting the exam. They work!
3. Sleep with your head pointed to receive good chi
The next most important thing is to make sure you sleep with your head pointed to any one of your auspicious directions. Choose to have your head tapping your Fu Wei, and if you can’t, then tap your Sheng Chi. Your mind does not necessarily sleep when your body sleeps; a lot of your activities through the day make their way into the inner recesses of your mind when you lie asleep at night. Make your sleeping hours work for you by ensuring that the chi that enters your head is energy that brings good luck. This will multiply your chances of success enormously.
4. Allow time for the mind to warm up
If you have too many things on your mind, you cannot make the most of any single thing. To learn something really well, you must focus. The best way to achieve focus is to allocate enough time for each subject, and when you are working on that subject, stick with it for at least several hours. Your brain needs to warm up to the job when you’re trying to learn something, and scheduling one hour learning periods for each subject is definitely not enough.
Budget to spend at least a half hour for warming up before getting into the nitty gritty of the subject. Allow at least one hour to learn, and do not go beyond an hour and forty minutes. Then allow a half-hour to wind down.
5. Improve concentration with the pagoda
If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, or fall asleep whenever you open your books to study, wear a jade pagoda around your neck as a talisman. The pagoda is an excellent energizer which will help you sort out your life priorities. It is sure to keep your mind from drifting elsewhere, so it prevents distraction from steering you off the right track.
It is also a great amulet for children who are unruly, strong-willed or difficult to control. If you don’t like wearing pendants around your neck, you can simply display a Pagoda in the Northeast corner of your study room or of your desk.
6. Give yourself a holiday break
Just as feng shui is about yin and yang, it is exactly the same when studying. You need time to work but you also want time to rest. Balance in life does not mean mixing rest and play. It means organizing your life to have distinct time set out for work and distinct times for play. The boarding schools of England have got it right in the way they structure their terms.
During term time, usually 2.5 months each, study is intensive. But during holiday time, my headmistress used to insist to my parents that I should not touch my books, nor be forced to endure any private tuition work. She insisted that holiday time is meant for resting, refreshing and rejuvenating the brain. As a result, at the start of each term, I was readier than ever to tackle ever harder and heavier stuff. So to get straight A’s you also need a Mum who is as relxed as mine. I think it is something of a record, but I believe I am the only one I know who never had to endure a single day of private tuition.
7. Make lavish use of scholar symbols
There is something to be said about symbols. Fools call this superstition. Those who know better know that symbols, correctly placed, will often bring quick results. How symbols work should not matter as long as we get results. The Chinese believe that four symbols bring scholastic luck and success – the lute, the chess set, the book and the painting – these signify the four accomplishments that make up the complete education of a nobleman, fit to serve the Emperor. Each of these symbols has its own attribute. The Lute represents music.
The Chess Set signifies a person who can think several steps ahead and is a good strategist. The Book represents learning, while the Painting signifies creativity. When displayed as a complete set as decorative symbols in the home, these symbols attract good fortune in attaining educational success. Display these symbols in the NE or wear them to attract marvelous education luck. I grew up with these symbols, so it is no surprise I love music, art and reading in equal measure.
8. Wake up surrounding chi
Another technique that came in useful while at University cracking my head over what to write for my dissertation during my third year Economics Finals was simply to move the Chi in my room around. Sometimes, when you are lacking good ideas, stuck in a rut or have “writer’s block”, the best way to shake yourself out of that stagnant state is simply to rearrange your furniture. It almost doesn’t matter how you change your room arrangement, as long as you move things about. You do not even need to change the layout – just move your desk, bed and cabinets out, clean the hidden corners of dirt then move them back in. This moves the chi.
9. Use the KUA formula to get study directions right
Coming from a family steeped in feng shui tradition, I always checked my directions, to an extent it became second nature. I used the Kua formula all through school and University. It helped to be very effective during my study and revision sessions. As long as I was facing one of my auspicious directions when I sat down to work, my concentration levels would be good and get even better as I worked through the early evening and into the night.
Each person has four good directions, but for students, the best one to tap is the Fu Wei or Personal Development direction. If you can’t tap your Fu Wei, the next best to use is your Sheng Chi direction. At school, when picking rooms for the following term, the first criterion I would use was always to find one that allowed me to tap my best direction when working.
10. Turning night into day?
So many young people turn night into day and day into night, getting their inner signals all mixed up. Nocturnal creatures somehow find the nighttime hours excellent for study. Daytime distractions interrupt their thought processes. The problem with this is that exams are almost always held during daytime hours. It is the old concepts of yin and yang kicking in.
Unless your body and mind follows the natural rhythms of the Universe, you will find yourself being dominated by unbalanced chi energy. You are certain then to perform below par. When you suffer form lack of sleep, your brainwaves slow down, and your clarity of thought gets compromised. Then no matter how much you have learned, you will never be able to produce a first-class exam paper with a tired mind. So, try to be in bed before the hour of the Rat (11pm) if you want to be a straight “A” student.
11. Reduce notes to single key words
When you make notes, or copy the textbook from cover to cover, you are teaching your mind to input and output what you learn. Now it’s time to go further. With your set of notes, the night before the exam, make yet more notes. Make your notes increasingly more succinct as you get nearer exam date, until just single keywords are left. Make sure you have a light nearby, as this will enhance the yang energy you need. Your key words become your trigger words, opening up an entire mountain of knowledge for you to tap into.
12. Harness quartz crystal power
This is one tradition that’s been with me since age 8. The retentive powers of quartz crystal are by now well known. Imagine all that data in your computer stored in one tiny crystal chip. In the same way, you can use a personal crystal to help you remember everything you study. First, pick a crystal that has affinity with you. It should feel good when you hold it. Don’t get one that is too big, for you need to be holding it in your left hand when revising and making notes.
Once you have chosen and purchased your personal crystal, soak it in rock salt water for 7 days and 7 nights to cleanse it of other people’s energies. You want your crystal to retain only your own energy, so you must start with a "clean slate". Once you have cleansed your crystal, charge it by placing it under direct sunlight. The yang power of the sun is extremely powerful, and necessary if you want it to work. Thereafter, every time you study, hold it in your left hand.
As you learn, your thoughts will transmit into the crystal. When you take an exam, bring your crystal with you and place it on your exam desk. If you find you need to recall something that is at the edge of your memory, gently hold and rub your crystal with your thumb and forefinger and you’ll be surprised, it will really help you remember!
13. Get a picture mentor
This example has been used before in The Lillian Too Show, and in past issues of Feng Shui World, but it is so effective I will repeat it again here. For my "A" levels, I was aiming to get A's in both maths and further maths. The subjects were tough at first, and when I asked my mum, rather than the conventional “well you must study” or “how about we get you extra tuition”, she went hunting with me for a painting of Albert Einstein.
Known for his genius and his theory of relativity, if just some of his intelligence could seep into my head while I slept, I would be halfway there to getting the A’s I needed. We found a stunning oil of Einstein, which was hung above my headboard. And I did get my A’s – in all twelve modules of my Sixth Form Maths! You don’t always need Einstein. If you’re a musician, use Bach. If you’re an artist, hang a portrait of Matisse. If you want to be an architect, hang Frank Lloyd Wright. When picking a mentor, select someone who has led a happy life; don’t choose a genius who came to an unhappy end.
14. Getting strategy-savvy with subjects
Don’t specialize too early in your school career. Pick subjects that are easy for you to score in, not subjects you believe will lead to a career you want to pursue later in life. This is especially true in “O” and “A” level years. For example, if you adore the French language but are not really very good at it compared with your peers, learn it for fun, but don’t pick it as an exam subject. Or if you have to choose between two subjects, one you prefer but where the teacher at your school is very mediocre, the other which is not so up your street but the teacher for that subject is A-list, select the subject with the better teacher. Remember, your educational career is about getting good grades, not about loving your subject. It is easier to learn to love the subjects you can score in, than trying to learn a subject you love which is impossible to get good grades in. Think about this!
15. Install a Dragon Gate on your desk
This is a feng shui method that has been around for centuries. The Chinese believe that the symbol of the Dragon Gate signifies scholastic success of the highest kind, and these days, it is as easy as ABC finding a Dragon Gate. Place one on your study desk and it will create vibes that lead to success. You can display a Dragon Carp as an alternative, which symbolises the same thing.
16. Learn to mug
Every person can be a straight “A” student. There is no such thing as being born clever. I have met geniuses with high MENSA scores who disappoint in their exams, while students touted merely average rise up to shine and score. Why? Because they got the method right. In school, when you need to take a host of subjects, it is unlikely you will have a natural aptitude for every single one.
For the subjects you are weakest in, learn how to mug. Revise, revise and revise until you make yourself good at it. Put in the time. For languages, learn vocabulary. For Maths, practise doing variations of the same sums using past exam papers and activity books. For English, read as much as you can. You can become good at anything you want to excel in, if only for the exam. After the exam is over, who cares if you can remember those lines in Shakespeare or how algebra works. You’ve got the grades you need, and that is what counts.
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