Unlocking the Possibilities: Insider Secrets to College, Career, and Beyond divulges insider secrets for simple but effective strategies to “hack” school, work, and life challenges. Anyone learning something new can benefit from this book, especially 16- to 26-year-olds entering the adult world. The proprietary, efficient study methods in the book will supercharge any student’s educational experience and the personal experiences and anecdotes accompanying each secret with entertaining, “been-there-done-that” stories engages readers as equals.
Control your destiny! Learn your best options, objectively evaluate them, and choose what’s best for you. Then implement the cook-book style directions to make it happen. Unlocking the Possibilities asks the question, “What will your life be like in ten to twenty years if you accept this opportunity to become what you truly want to be?” From launching your adult life to finding a life partner (and acing college in between), you can focus on a clear path to achieve what you want.
Thomas M. Evans learned how to learn. From college flunkout to earning graduate degrees at Stanford and USC, he uncovered success secrets for school, work, and life.
Introduction: Quick Start Guide
Chapter 1: Get Started Secrets
Secret #1.1: Gain Experience and Maturity
Secret #1.2: Master New Life Skills
Secret #1.3: The “Success Sequence” Path to a Good Life
Secret #1.4: Is “Follow Your Passion” Sound Advice?
Secret #1.5: Research Your Career Alternatives
Secret #1.6: Use Your Time Well While Deciding
Secret #1.7: Consider Trade School—Even If Collegebound
Secret #1.8: Don’t Let Betrayal Stop You
Chapter 2: College Secrets
Secret #2.1: Is Going to College Right for You?
Secret #2.2: It Won’t Be Your Parent’s College Experience
Secret #2.3: Where to Go and What to Study?
Secret #2.4: Design Your College Major and Career
Secret #2.5: Plan the Most Efficient Path to Graduation
Secret #2.6: Graduate Early from College
Secret #2.7: Minimize College Costs
Secret #2.8: Make Money from Your Study Secrets
Secret #2.9: Critical College Mistakes to Avoid
Chapter 3: Learning Secrets
Secret #3.1: The Most Efficient Way to Ace College
Secret #3.2: Read the Chapter before the Lecture
Secret #3.3: Learn Fast with the Self-Test System
Secret #3.4: Mind Maps and Memory Tips
Secret #3.5: What If Your Beliefs Differ from Your Professor’s?
Chapter 4: Homework and Test Secrets
Secret #4.1: Homework Best Practices
Secret #4.2: How to Conduct Internet Research
Secret #4.3: Create and Give Great Presentations
Secret #4.4: Get Excellent Test Grades without Stress
Chapter 5: Writing and Term Paper Secrets
Secret #5.1: Use Powerful Writing Tools
Secret #5.2: Structure Is an Essential Writing Aid
Secret #5.3: Write Great Term Papers
Secret #5.4: Contrast Ideas to Compose Great Papers
Secret #5.5: Overcome “Writer’s Block”
Chapter 6: Organizational and Study Secrets
Secret #6.1: Manage Your Time
Secret #6.2: Create Your Study Environment
Secret #6.3: Organize Class Materials
Secret #6.4: Stock Your Office with What You Need
Chapter 7: Productivity Tool Secrets
Secret #7.1: Jump-Start Your Projects
Secret #7.2: Write Reports Using Computer Dictation Software
Secret #7.3: Learn a Junior Version of Shorthand
Secret #7.4: Master Microsoft Office Programs
Secret #7.5: Speed Read with Comprehension
Secret #7.6: Listen to Audio Textbooks
Secret #7.7: Why Is “Creativity” a Productivity Tool?
Chapter 8: Handle Stress Secrets
Secret #8.1: Stay Healthy
Secret #8.2: Find a Mentor to Advise You
Secret #8.3: Do You Want to Be Right, or Do You Want to Be Happy?
Secret #8.4: Good Days and Bad Days
Secret #8.5: Ask for Help When You Need It
Secret #8.6: Dealing with Loss
Chapter 9: Career Secrets
Secret #9.1: Be Who You Want to Be (Really)
Secret #9.2: What If You Know Your Future Career?
Secret #9.3: Your Initial Career Is Just the Beginning
Secret #9.4: “Networking” Is Making and Keeping Friends
Secret #9.5: Create a Paper Trail
Chapter 10: Life Secrets
Secret #10.1: Value Your Word
Secret #10.2: To Believe or Not to Believe in God
Secret #10.3: You Can Change Your Beliefs
Secret #10.4: How to Form (and Break) a Habit
Secret #10.5: Financial Independence Is a Powerful Form of Freedom
Secret #10.6: Better Posture, Better Life
Secret #10.7: Find a Life Partner
About the Author
Thomas M. Evans has written a valuable book for many high school grads, as well as adults who need to get retrained. The information is great and well-organized; The Quick Start Guide is a wonderful idea—a succinct, big picture look at the entire book. It also gives readers the opportunity to jump to the section(s) they’re most interested in. The formatting of each chapter makes the content easy to read and absorb—readers will quickly learn the pattern and not feel overwhelmed. His personal anecdotes are fabulous for real-world examples that illustrate the Secret and establish his credibility that he has experienced each of the Secrets himself—it’s not just theory. I can think of several of my students and some of my nephews who would have really benefited from Unlocking the Possibilities: Insider Secrets to College, Career, and Beyond!
Thomas M. Evans has created a simple and effective system for approaching the challenges of life, love, and career. His work is unique not only in the organized way the information is shared but also in the scope of topics it covers. The wisdom shared is presented in such a way that the book can be used like an encyclopedia, i.e., one topic at a time or the entire work as an approach itself. His writing style is so entertaining and engaging that it puts Unlocking the Possibilities into the category of genuine page turners. I’m delighted to have discovered it.
I met Thomas M. Evans some decades ago in Silicon Valley and since then have watched him found companies, write books, and provoke my thinking in ways that entertain and inspire. In this book he acknowledges that many of us start things (college, career choices, job searches, and even marriage) without having a destination or result firmly in mind. For many, it’s “Ready! Fire! Aim!”. Unlocking the Possibilities rests on the notion that if you explore and question diligently before you act, your odds of success increase dramatically. The converse is perhaps even more important—in this process, you discover and avoid many more bad choices than good. Life is all about choices and most of us cede the choosing to others: friends, family, bosses, etc. I always wished to have had a mentor, someone capable, creative, and caring, who, for whatever reason, took an abiding interest in my life. This book provides something just as good—a man of great intelligence and broad experience reaching out to help because he cares. You can’t avoid being helped by reading and implementing the ideas in this book.
I wish I had known Thomas Evans while I was sweating bullets at the University of Pennsylvania, trying to stay enrolled while enduring all the first-year horror subjects thrown at Wharton School freshmen. I struggled through those technical classes, but had I been lucky enough to read this book then (the writer probably had yet to be born back then), my grades would have advanced from what we used to call “gentlemen’s Cs” to Bs and As. Rather than wandering aimlessly through courses of study—whether college, graduate school, or a career—I would have taken a strategic stance toward absorbing and understanding material. In short, I would have learned more in less time, scored higher, and had plenty of time for my minors in poker, drinking, and the ladies.
There could not be a better time to read a book like Unlocking the Possibilities! We are in a time of great disruption of our major institutions and relationships, and none of them will be restored completely to the way they were before the covid-19 pandemic. Nearly everyone will be faced with a wide variety of changes and challenges to adapt to the “new normal.” Unlocking the Possibilities is a wonderful collection of ideas, tips, tools, internet links, and other resources that can be invaluable to everyone who wants to respond (or is forced to react) constructively and creatively to those changes. The book “practices what it preaches” by being organized so efficiently, and using stories so effectively, that it became a page-turner for me. I’ll be using it to nurture the impulse that I’m feeling to participate and contribute in some way to the remaking of our institutions. Although I’m not yet clear about how to do that, using this book will certainly be my reliable companion in that project. I highly recommend reading it!
The decision process to get into a college, vocational training, and further a career is THE most significant challenge in any person’s life. The need for different perspectives and approaches to look at it all in one’s mind is critical. Unlocking the Possibilities is invaluable in this context and a powerful tool to utilize for readers to formulate their goals to a career path that can lead to success as defined in their own mind. Whereas the present process is mostly hearsay from peers or a blind faith based on biased perceptions, Thomas Evans’ deep insight into the process provides that enlightened path—connecting the person’s educational opportunities to their path to a career—by offering guidance through that exact process. He is a tremendous objective performance coach and mentor. Most importantly, this book can help readers avoid assumptions and common pitfalls. Many of the strategies presented within I wish I had read before to avoid the expensive mistakes that I made in my own studying experience all the way to my graduate school and mentoring process. Simply stated, this is a must-have tool in the hands of any aspiring student or caring parent.
In Unlocking the Possibilities: Insider Secrets to College, Career, and Beyond Thomas Evans offers both young people and adults practical strategies for learning how to learn and designing the life you choose. The book is well organized, thorough, easy to navigate, and extremely helpful. This is the book I needed when I was in high school!
I found Unlocking the Possibilities: Insider Secrets to College, Career, and Beyond personally and intellectually informative—a gold mine of new ideas and perspectives that were easy to comprehend. Obviously, Thomas Evans is a creative thinker and talented writer.
This book is amazing! I’m finishing my study program in three months rather than a year. It’s awesome to study less, learn more, and get better grades.
I needed to pass a professional exam for my job but failed it three times. Thomas Evans showed me how to study and, with his help, I passed. No one taught me efficient ways to learn until now.