Our Kids' Success at School
Several years ago, I was invited to appear on the popular ABC Network talk show, Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, in the old days before Kelly, to discuss the topic of success for kids going back to school. As we end the summer, I thought it might be appropriate to think back on that experience.
The producer of my segment called me the night before my appearance on the show and asked me to come up with five tips for success at school that would be of universal application for high school kids, as well as our college students. I now have nine pieces of advice for any student. Because I think that these points are worth anyone's pondering, and I believe that they are based on insights that have utterly general application to business and life as well as school, I decided that I would lay them out briefly here. We need to pass them on to our children. Feel free to copy, paste and email these to your children, or to any students you'd like to help. But we also need to reflect on how they apply to our lives as adults.
They know enough who know how to learn.
1. Think Success
2. It's all about Growth
3. Set Goals.
4. Get to Know Your Teachers
5. Action is the Key
6. Take Notes Wisely
7. Take a Six Minute Study Break
8. Don't Worry, Be Happy
9. What Really Matters
It doesn't take much to see the general application of these points for our business activities, or any personal challenges we face. There is no human endeavor where questions of success and failure are utterly irrelevant. The more important a situation or relationship is, the more success in that situation or relationship matters.
We ought to look at any activity as potentially related to our personal growth. We are either growing or diminishing in everything we do. And, with that in mind, we ought to always have goals toward which we are working.
Among our goals, healthy relationships should be paramount. Relationships do indeed rule the world. Build positive relationships with the right people and the right projects will come. "People before projects" should be our general rule.
Action is the basis of all achievement. Energy is the fundamental natural reality. And energy must be deployed if it's to make a difference for good. Patience and passivity can have important places in life, but always and only within an overarching context of activity.
I have known many who could not do it when they would, for they had not done it when they could.
Notes and study are not just for our school years. No one makes a big difference in this world without engaging in an ongoing process of learning. Whenever ideas strike you or you come across a passage in a book or a newspaper article relevant in any way to your work, or to your personal life, clip it or write it down in a journal, or notebook, or folder, and keep it for future reference. And periodically study these notes. Don't just be a packrat collecting ideas like nuts or string. Analyze what you've come across and commit the most important of those ideas to memory. They will enhance how you think and interact with others. They will also provide a grid for collecting more and more helpful ideas, and will, in a number of ways, even draw people to you who can help you in your quest, whatever it might be.
Whenever you're put to the test, don't worry about worry. Any performance situation can generate some measure of anxiety. Use nervous energy to give you an edge. Be glad that you care, and that you have the extra energy level that a sense of nervousness reveals. Remember, no one else knows how you feel inside. They just see what you do. And a little bit of nervous energy can enhance that immensely. Smile and be glad that you're emotionally worked up and that you care about what you're doing. Then do it well!
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