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My Thoughts on Success

Success. It’s supposed to be a big thing, isn’t it? But is it really? I mean, how many people are successful in a lot of people’s eyes? And I mean, a lot. A handful. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Rupert Murdoch, Nelson Mandela. You might have heard about them. But does that mean that no one else is successful? The immigrant who now owns a small-business, do a lot of people know about him? Does that mean he isn’t successful?

So if you think you’re successful, you are? But, in this sense, what does that really mean? Is it doing something you love, is it being able to survive when no one said you would, is it having money, or is it something else entirely. For starters, it’s intangible. You can’t grab hold of success with two hands. I think being successful is achieving something, anything, that pushes you to the limits. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you truly work hard for it.

Of course, to be truly successful, you shouldn’t worry about being successful. In fact, most successes of really successful people are a surprise to them. You can’t tell me that Nelson Mandela doesn’t think everyday, wow, what have I done? To be successful at something, you shouldn’t need to have the reward of being labelled a success. Success comes from within.

If being successful means not worrying about success, then success shouldn’t hamper your efforts. Those five people I mentioned, they’re all successful, sure, but have they stopped? Have they said, this is enough for me? No! Then why should you? Push yourself, challenge yourself, and success is just around the corner.

And sometimes, success doesn’t come at the end of something, in fact, it’s just the beginning. I have an example, for a change. I play soccer, a lot, and recently, I was invited to attend some trials, conducted by NSR which were looking for players to represent. Their agency promotes players from around the world in a number of sports to USA College coaches.

My hard work at the trials, and in the years leading up to the trials that I had been playing soccer led me to be selected for the next part of the process: an interview. Because, shockingly enough, colleges don’t just want athletes, they wanted to know more about me, and my grades. So, my commitment to school over the last however-many years meant that I was chosen to be part of the program.

When I was training, doing homework, and studying, not once did I think, I’m going to get a college scholarship out of this. But I did think many times, I’m going to be in a representative team because of this effort. And that didn’t happen. So stop worrying about goals that you might have, and start enjoying the things that you do, because you’ll be successful, without even knowing it. And who needs a big ego, anyway?

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How Asking for Help Can Improve Your Grades

BASIX: This section is designed for the study newbie. Sure, you’ve been at school for years, but that doesn’t mean you’ve been doing it properly. Get up to scratch here.


Many students, in fact, many people, are afraid of failing, to the extent that they don’t want anyone else to know they are struggling, let alone help them. We’re not here to delve into why, but rather work on asking for help.

What to Ask

People struggle with a variety of different things every day, so it’s important to unload some of these struggles on someone else, even if only temporarily. At the start, you might only feel comfortable asking for some extra help with your studies, but you should not be afraid of talking about moral, emotional or personal issues with someone you trust.

Trusted Friend or Complete Stranger?

First and foremost, you should ask someone whose advice you trust. There is no point going to someone who a) doesn’t know what they are talking about, or b) you can’t trust because they’ve messed up in the past. Your best bet would be someone with experience in the topic you’re having trouble with. Then you have to decide whether you need to be comfortable with the person in question. It really depends on what you are looking for. A shoulder to cry on, or a tough love speech? Some technical jargon, or a good heart-to-heart. Pick your helper wisely.

Open-Mindedness

You’re never wrong, you know that. But what happens when you are, or you don’t like what you’re hearing? You need to listen to advice like this without the pessimistic attitude you may have had in the past. I, for one, missed many opportunities because I was too arrogant to listen to what I was being told. This doesn’t mean you have to utilise every suggestion, just that you should approach them with an open mind.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid

I mentioned before that many students are afraid of failing. Quite often, these are the students who feel like they work best independently. But being able to work collaboratively will often mean you are more open to suggestions from others. Many of the best minds did not get there by locking themselves away in isolation. So by asking for help, and looking to others for inspiration, you will be able to reach your full potential a lot quicker.

Thanks for reading. We’re nearing the end of this series, so if there’s anything else you want to know about, shoot us a line in the contact page. In fact, if there is anything at all you want to say to me, you can use the same form. Don’t forget to leave your opinion in the comments!

An Introduction: Habits of Mind

I first came across the Habits of Mind when I began high
school. They are an integral part of our education, and I firmly
believe they help students reach their full potential, whether they
realize it or not. Although the Habits of Mind are mocked by
students, the teachers persist in using them in assignments and
lessons, and they eventually reach students. Habits of Mind are not
a quick-fix solution like dieting pills and any product you may see
on any current affairs program. They are meaningful tools that
require effort to make an impact. Like any worthwhile solution, you
should not approach the Habits of Mind as a simple get-smart-quick
scheme. You need to be prepared to put the effort into learning,
incorporating and noticing the Habits.

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Justify Your Answers

As humans, we are constantly asking and answering questions. Quite often, these answers require little or no meaningful thought. “Do you want pizza?” “What’s your name?” But as students, our task is a little harder. We are frequently asked more purposeful, or difficult questions. Usually in the form of essays, reports or reflections, we are required, on a daily basis, to find solutions to complex problems. But often, we are not able to justify these answers. You probably see ‘… and why?’ finish questions in your assignments or exams. How much  thought do you actually put into these responses? I’m guessing not a lot, not many people do. And that’s fine, if all you are looking for is a passing mark. But what would happen if you were to look a little deeper, probe your mind for a little longer?

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