Do you know what’s great about school?
That you can’t quit.
And why is that any good?
Because it means you have one simple choice: either believe in yourself or be miserable for the rest of your school years.
Now, I’m saying this because every student feels stupid one day or another. And worse, some feel stupid all the time. So what they do is to sit as stones boring after boring day, just waiting for the day they will quit. Some times they do that in maths, hoping to catch up later, and then later and then… until they fail. (And then it’s English, French…)
Their common and fatal failure was not to believe in themselves. Everybody fails -at times-. That does not make you a failure. That is how you learn: you fail, you try again and then you succeed. Ever seen a baby learning to walk? They start by falling over and over again; they actually spend more time trying to stand up than walking.
Would you call that baby a failure? Neither they do. They don’t even know there is something wrong with failing. They only know that standing up is cool. You can see farther away, you do like mom and pop, and when you give a step everybody smiles and tell you nice things. Plus, you can also explore, discover new things, get to places you could never go just by crawling. Walking is cool, so they keep trying and trying.
At school is not such a different matter. Only that you are going to need to remember this:
Failing does not make you a failure.
Failing big time does not make you a failure.
Unless you want to believe it so. It’s easy to give up. Too bad it leads nowhere.
It will take time before you see success, though. First you will have to convince yourself. And trust me, there’s no worse critic that our own selves. Then you will have to convince others. This is tricky, because at first your increased effort will not likely show up in your grades. It can take months.
That’s when you need to have faith and keep trying. A teacher cannot give you a C or B just because you try hard. It’s like becoming an athlete, you just can’t be fit in one day. But keep training hard and your body will adjust. School stuff is exactly the same thing.
Remember it’s not because you are lazy, it’s because you are acting lazy, doing lazy, behaving lazy. But you can change that, for good.
OK, so how you don’t give up?
- Success is based in how much and how well you work. Before you blame your bad luck, Snoopy or your genes, see what went wrong. Maybe you did not work hard enough. Maybe you did not work well enough. Maybe both. Find what’s wrong and fix it. It’s that simple, really.
- Never tell yourself that you are stupid, fat, lazy or whatever. Never tell bad things at yourself. Bad habits can be replaced by good habits. You just need to believe you can do it and find people who can help you. Your parents, your teachers… even a good book
- Learn to be patient, also with yourself. If you work hard and well for long enough you will succeed. Notice: hard, well and long enough. It can take weeks or a couple of months before you will improve your marks. Don’t worry. It is normal. It’s just like a fat kid trying to do sports. He can’t be good just because he trains for a week (Guess how I know). But if he keeps training and dieting he will be fit. It’s the same about school stuff.
Every week I will be sharing one or two tricks that had helped me and others at school. But for now I just want you to believe in yourself, if you do that you have half the work done.