Friday, August 24, 2012

Practicing for Success

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." – Aristotle

I would like to propose a slight revision to Aristotle’s line of thought: Success is not a condition, but a habit. Have you ever known someone that is lucky and seems to go from one success to another? It is sometimes difficult not to be envious of their success and wish we were so lucky. If the primary action you take towards becoming successful is to wish for success, chances are you will not find it. People are not successful because they are lucky; they are successful because they prepare for their success through repetitive practice. So the question is: “Are you practicing for success or failure?” You might ask “Who would practice for failure?” However, I have seen many students diligently practicing for their inevitable failure. They practice for failure by not preparing for class, arriving late, and making endlessly creative excuses for their failure to complete their work. Eventually they become expert at failing – eliminating all chances of success. I will not tell you that if you work hard and put your best effort into everything you do that you will always be successful. But I can guarantee that if you do not work at being successful, you will most certainly fail.

A big part of achieving success is preparing for opportunity. Opportunity comes in different forms at different points in everyone’s life. But to take advantage of opportunity when it comes around, you have to be prepared. That is one of the main reasons for going to school – to prepare for your future opportunities. You should practice being successful to prepare for opportunities that are sure to come. Show up to class early, prepare for class by studying the assigned material, ask questions when you don’t understand something, and don’t settle for good enough to get by, always strive to improve. I can not tell you exactly when or where opportunity will present itself in your life, but I do know that you must prepare yourself to take advantage of it when it arrives.

So if you have been practicing for failure, I suggest you reconsider your strategy. Put yourself out there, throw yourself into your studies, and risk being successful.  

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