The first boy or girl in your class is not necessarily the brightest. S/he just has the right attitudes and habits. By changing your attitudes and habits, you can be first in your class as well.
Believe, really believe, you can have good results too:
Remember the ugly duckling? He was the child of a swan whose egg accidentally rolled into a duck’s nest. When he was young he was teased and bullied by the other ducks because they thought he was ugly. Yet when he grew up he matured into a graceful swan, the most beautiful bird of all.
The same might be true of you. You might not consider yourself a good student. May be you haven’t done very well in the past. You may be thinking you are not intelligent enough to do well. But you are wrong.
Herbert Walberg, professor of education at the University of Illinois in Chicago, has conducted major studies on super achieving students. He says, ‘Top grades do not necessarily go to the brightest students.’... ‘Knowing how to make the most of your innate abilities count for more, infinitely more’… ‘In fact, students with high IQ sometimes don’t do as well as classmates with lower IQ. For them, learning comes too easily and they never learn how to buckle down’.
The truth is, all of us have the capacity to attain excellent grades. But we cannot do so, because we do not believe in ourselves. Unless you have this belief, you will not feel the urge to study, which would lead to poor results, and even less belief in yourself in the future. It is a vicious cycle. You need to break the cycle.
If you lack confidence, your first priority should be to build unshakable faith in yourself through regular autosuggestions and affirmations in the meditative level. The ‘Hold Your Head High’ meditation will help you in this regard.
Here are a few other tips that will help you build up your confidence level:
1. Make a list of your positive qualities
2. Spend time with positive people
3. Be yourself, don’t think you need to be like anyone else
4. When you find yourself thinking of failure, change your thoughts to something else
Have specific goals:
Remember what the Cheshire cat told Alice in Alice in Wonderland? “When you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
The late Earl Nightingale created a whole new industry, self-improvement, after a 20-year study on what made people successful. The bottom-line of the result of his research was simply, "We Become What We Think About."
Whatever thoughts dominate our minds most of the time are what we become. That's why goal setting is so critical in achieving success because it keeps us focused on what's really important to us. He also said that the easiest way to reach our goals is to pretend that we had ALREADY achieved our goals.That is, begin to walk, talk and act as though we are already experiencing the success we seek. Then, those things will come to us naturally through the power of the subconscious mind.
Most of us do not know where we want to go. So we drift from one thing to another, wasting our energies and resources on a lot of different things without excelling in any of them.
Goals, or in Quantum terms, monchobi, help us channel our energy and resources in a specific direction. The more focused you are on your goal, the better the chance of attaining it.
Arjun and the Bird's Eye
In the Mahavarat, the five Pandav brothers and the 100 Kaurav brothers learnt the use of various weapons from a guru called Dronacharya. At the end of their training, Dronacharya declared it was time to test their skills.
The test seemed simple. Dronacharya put a statue of a bird on the branch of a tree. The students had to hit the bird's eye with their arrows. Since all of them were skilled archers, they did not think the test would be a problem for them.
One by one the students came. When they pointed their arrows, Dronacharya asked them a question. "What do you see?"
The students replied, "We see everything. We see the tree, the branch of the tree, and the bird sitting on it."
Dronacharya replied, "No, this won't do. Sorry, you didn't pass the exam."
With their heads bowed, and wondering why they weren't even allowed to shoot the arrow, the students went back to their seats.
Finally, it was Arjun, the third Pandav brother's turn. Dronacharya asked Arjun the same question.
Anjun stared ahead and said, "I see the bird's eye."
"You don't see anything else?"
"No, Gurudev. I don't"
Then Dronacharya said, "You will be able to do it. You have single minded devotion. You will succeed."
When you have single-minded devotion, you don't think about anything else. You just think about your goal. And when you are that focused on your goal, nothing can stop you from achieving it. True to his Guru's prediction, Arjun went on to become the greatest archer of his time.
In order to succeed in life and as a student first you need to decide what you want to be based on your unique talents and interest. Then decide on specific short term and long term goals that will help you achieve your ultimate vision. A short term goal may be, “I will score .....% in my next exam.” Realizing short-term goals will increase your confidence. Long-term goal may be graduating with a specific GPA, getting a scholarship, studying in a renowned educational institution etc.
Have control over your time:
Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with £86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do ? Draw out every penny, of course. Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back.
There is no drawing against the "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success.
And remember that time waits for no one. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.
Good students realize this and they develop the discipline to live their lives according to a schedule. Schedules force us to prioritize, and be realistic about how much we can accomplish in the time left. Once we develop the discipline of sticking to a schedule, it helps us all our lives.
Be prepared to give up small things in order to achieve great things:
Monkey hunters in India use a unique technique to catch monkeys. They use a box with an opening at the top, big enough for the monkeys to slide its hand into. Inside the box are nuts. The monkey grabs the nuts and now its hand becomes a fist. The monkey tries to get its hand out but the opening is big enough for the hand to slide into, but too small for the fist to come out of. Now the monkey has a choice, either to let go of the nuts and be free forever or hang on to the nuts and get caught. Guess what he picks every time? He hangs on to the nuts and gets caught.
We are not so different from the monkeys. Most of us want to do well, but we do not go beyond just wanting. We want to hang out with our friends, watch television, listen to music, play computer games, and do a million other things and do a little bit of studying on the side. If we do well in the exam, that’s great, if we don’t, what can be done? We have to enjoy life, don’t we?
Good students are different. To them, studying is the first priority. They do whatever they need to do, and give up whatever they need to, to ensure they are on top of their studies.
One day the teacher of Quantum Method was visiting a friend's place. Everyone was watching TV. Only one daughter was doing maths sitting in front of the TV. The teacher wondered, is she really concentrating on her studies or is she watching the movie? So he asked her, “Who is the heroine of this movie?' The girl stared at the TV for a while and replied, ' I see several women, uncle. How can I tell which one is the heroine.?' The girl proved to be an outstanding student and is very successful in her profession now.
So be prepared to give up what you need to give up.
Remember there is no obstacle that you can't overcome:
Good students are proactive in their thoughts and words. Part of being proactive is to view obstacles as opportunities to learn. It is not that successful people don’t face challenges; in some cases they face even more challenges than others. But instead of giving up, they take them as challenges. And when we take something as a challenge, we always come up with a solution.
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were Allah's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If Allah allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never "fly"!
So whatever your obstacle is, whether it is lack of support at home or school, financial insolvency or past failure, take it as a challenge, as an opportunity to prepare yourself for the future. Always remember, a person first gets defeated in his own mind. If you are not defeated mentally, nothing can defeat you.