5 Secrets to Success
In my experience of teaching I have seen many students who have developed the necessary skills to do well, while others have not done so well. I’ve noticed five key factors that successful students have in common with one another. While these are not the only factors involved in the maturing process these are five that I’ve seen consistently developed in their lives.
1. Learn to Take Personal Responsibility: Students who grow into successful adults learn to take responsibility for their own lives and their own issues. When they make a mistake or fail they immediately take responsibility for it. They learn to quit blaming their parents and their backgrounds for their personal issues. Rather than blaming others they look for ways to change and to overcome situations.
2. Understand that Work is Work: Successful students learn that work is not always easy. They understand you have to work hard and your future is dependent upon your ability to work and produce. Successful students avoid feeling entitled to positions, perks or privileges. They avoid the victim mentality and refuse to wallow in self-pity. They are also not afraid to work harder than those around them. I remind my students that college is hard and if it was easy, then everyone would do it.
3. Learn to Take Correction: Years ago people tended to take correction a little easier. They valued their elders and authority figures and when they were corrected they understood the ramifications for their disobedience. In our society, this has flipped. We no longer hold in high esteem the authority figures around us. It's no wonder either because many of these have let us down. Another contributing factor to this is the increasing divorce rates in America. Over 50% of the children in America grow up with out a father in the home. This number is higher in urban areas and is upwards around 65-70%. Because there is no father figure in the home there is often the absence of authority in the home. Successful students learn that correction doesn’t have to be a negative thing. When received with a positive perspective it can be used as a catalyst for growth and change. I would rather someone point out my mistakes than me continuing to waste time and resources by making the same mistakes.
4. Become Teachable: This is similar to the previous trait, but it’s more expansive. By being teachable you open yourself up to new ideas, thoughts and opportunities. When you’re teachable you are able to learn from the life experiences and mistakes from others. Also, I remind students that conflict and problems are just an opportunity in disguise. When you’re teachable you are able to recognize these opportunities and learn from them. Don't be afraid to be friends with people who are more successful than you. Two of my best friends that I meet with on a regular basis are a doctor and a vice president to a bank. We learn from one another and challenge one another in different areas of our lives.
5. Find a Mentor: Mentors will take your life further and faster. They help you to stand on their shoulders and reach further than they could. A good mentor will help you to see your blind spots and tell you the truth when you need it. I’ve had the unique opportunity to have some good mentors in my life. In every place that I’ve lived in my life I’ve had the opportunity to be developed by good mentors. This has resulted in my ability to work in some places that I wouldn’t have been able to if it had not been for good mentors. In many circumstances I was one of the youngest individuals on the team and had significant less life experience, but because of my mentors I was able to do things normal people my age could not do or had the opportunity to do.