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Secrets of success



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  • 1. Keys to Success Important Lessons You Can Borrow from Athletics (from Chapter 1: “The ‘Secrets’ of Success”)
  • 2. Recognize the Important, Cost, and Benefits of Making a Commitment  The Greeks: “A sound mind in a sound body”  The single most powerful predictor of success in the long run is commitment, the willingness and desire to work hard toward achieving clearly defined goals.  Top achievers are more than just willing to work hard: they want to work hard.
  • 3. Benefits of Making a Commitment to Strengthen Your Reading Skills • You will feel better about yourself as a person and as a student. • Your grades will improve. • You will have more confidence. • You will become more and more motivated. • You will have better career opportunities. • You will have an improved personal life, be happier, more sure of yourself, and be more successful.
  • 4. What is the Cost of Achieving These Wonderful Benefits? A few hours a week; it depends on what “shape” you are in when you start.  Regardless of your shape, it is a small price to pay for very important gains.  Everyone wants a “quick fix,” but that’s as unrealistic for improving your reading skills as it is for achieving physical fitness.
  • 5. “Work Out” (Study) at the Right Time and in the Right Place  Identify the time of day when you are most alert and rested.  Then, study at that same time every day. If you give it three weeks, it will become a habit.
  • 6. Avoid Negative Self-Talk and Negative Verbalizations  Many students have the habit of negative self-talk: “This is too hard.” “I’m not smart enough,” “I’ll never get this,” or “This is hopeless.” When ever you have a thought like this, STOP IT.  Don’t accept negative comments about yourself, and don’t make them.
  • 7. Decide What Kind of Person You Want to Be  If you want to change the kind of student you are, change the kind of person you are.  You are what you say and do.
  • 8. Train the Way You Want to Play  In practicing your reading skills, you need to do the same things in the same way as you will when you use them in actual situations.  This means practicing with the real thing, collegelevel material. It means thinking, focusing, and preparing yourself ultimately to use these same skills to help master your college textbooks.  You get out of it what you put into it. Train carefully. Train regularly. Train hard.
  • 9. Expect to Hit Plateaus and Be Prepared to Deal with Them  Learning doesn’t occur as a smooth, seamless, steady process.  Learning involves integrating new information with existing information. The brain needs time for restructuring and consolidation. It takes time for the brain to accommodate new input.  If you hit a rough spot, keep going.  Even when you feel discouraged, do the assignments anyway.  Champions keep playing until they get it right.
  • 10. Breathe  To function, your brain needs glucose and oxygen.  Drink plenty of water to hydrate and oxygenate your brain.  For your brain to function well, you need to feel relaxed, yet alert.
  • 11. Breathe (continued) Use this simple breathing procedure to calm and refresh you: 1. Take several slow, deep breaths when you sit down to study. Sit up straight. Put you feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands in your lap and close your eyes. Exhale completely through your nose. 2. Now inhale through your nose and fill your lungs from the bottom up. 3. Hold your breath for several seconds and then exhale slowly and completely through your mouth. Practice this slowly. You may feel a bit dizzy at first.
  • 12. Use Visualization  This means imagining yourself doing something successful before you actually begin it.  It’s like a move you run in your head.  “If I can conceive it, I can believe it. If I can believe it, I can achieve it.” Jessie Jackson  Imitate a champion.  Pattern yourself after someone who is outstanding.
  • 13. Focus on Your Own Game  If you watch what someone else is doing, then you are not focusing on what you need to do.  Learn from others, but improve yourself.  Just because someone wins the race, don’t assume it was easy for them.
  • 14. Develop Mental Toughness and Maintain Focus  Stress and setbacks are part of everyone’s life.  You have to be tough.  Everything depends on your mental outlook towards life.  98% of success is in your head.
  • 15. Learn to Distinguish between Problems and Facts A problem can be fixed.  If you are dealing with a circumstance that cannot be changed or fixed, then it’s no longer a problem: it’s a fact.  Because it’s a fact, there’s no reason to waste emotional energy feeling frustrated. Let it go.  Save time and energy for problems you can do something about.
  • 16. Have High Expectations for Yourself  You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.  Keep in mind that it is what you expect of yourself that matters, not what others expect  Set your academic goals, and know what you are wiling to do to achieve academic success..
  • 17. Show Up for Practice--Even When you Don’t Feel Like It  Nearly all “good students” work very hard for their success.  Success is not a matter of luck.  Discipline is remember what you want.”  “The only discipline that lasts is selfdiscipline.”
  • 18. Monitor Your Workouts and Evaluate Your Progress  Monitor your “workouts” in this book.  Assess your own performance; know why you missed an item.  If you don’t find out why you missed the items you, then you’ve lost the opportunity to learn—and you’ve wasted the time you spent doing the activity.
  • 19. Always Give Your Best Effort  “There are three types of baseball players— those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” Tommy Lasorda  “Shoot for the moon—even if you fall short you will land among the stars.” Gil Steinke  Go for the gold. Make it habit to try to hit the ball out of the park.
  • 20. Follow Instructions  Read, mark, and follow every set of directions carefully.  Follow the philosophy of “Do it now. Do it right.”  Following directions is a relatively simple, but very important skill.
  • 21. Following Written Directions  Read the entire set of directions carefully, even if you think you know what you’re supposed to do.  Circle or box any clues that signal steps in the directions.  Underline key words that tell what you’re supposed to do (especially in test directions)  Carry out the steps in order.
  • 22. Get Help from a “Coach”  Ask for guidance in class and outside of class, too.  Good coaches--and good teachers--will not let you get by with sloppy work, missed “workouts” (missed class sessions or missing assignments), or a bad attitude. Because they care whether or not you learn, they’ll push prod, and nag. They won’t accept excuses.  Good coaches and teachers “see what you can be rather than what you are.”
  • 23. “Secrets” Summary  Understand and make a commitment.  “Work out “ (study) at the right time and place.  Avoid negative self-talk and verbalizations.  Decide what kind of person you want to be.  Train the way you want to play.  Be prepared to deal with plateaus.  Breathe.  Use visualization.  Focus on your own game.
  • 24. “Secrets” Summary (con’t)  Develop mental toughness and stay focused.  Distinguish between problems and facts.  Set high expectations and commit them to writing.  Show up for practice even if you don’t feel like it.  Monitor your “workouts” and your progress.  Always give your best effort.  Follow instructions.  Get help from a “coach.” Time to get moving!