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The secrets of success

There’s a lot more to success than fame and fortune – it’s about feeling good about yourself and learning to overcome setbacks.

Chris Quigley Specialist in primary education, trainer and author

The first step in helping children to be successful is to give them an understanding of what actually constitutes success. It is not just about money. It is about happiness, choices and feeling good. People who are successful feel good about their success: how hard they have tried; who they are; how they spend their time; and the choices they have in their lives.

Everyone can be successful by learning and acting on the following eight simple strategies:

1. Try new things

Success does not come knocking on the door. We all need to go out and find areas in which we can experience success. Finding something that children are good at builds confidence. Some children may not be good at the things they spend most of their time doing at school, which makes it even more important that schools have a broad curriculum offering something for everyone.

2. Concentrate

Children are living in an intensely stimulating time. They are bombarded with images from television, websites, games consoles and mobile phones. It has never been so important to teach children how to concentrate.

Children need to learn how to “tune out” things that are distracting them. This is much easier to achieve, of course, if children know what it is they are supposed to be doing. By teaching children techniques, such as drawing pictures to understand what they are doing, talking things through with others or breaking things down into small, manageable steps, you can help to boost concentration skills.

3. Work hard

Accomplishment is all about practice and children need to understand and value the benefits of working hard. They need to know that work is good and not something to be avoided. Many children become very frustrated if they don’t accomplish something straight away. With a television culture of X-factor-style “overnight” success, it is very important to teach children that it may actually take hours and hours of hard work to become really proficient at something and that, in real life, achieving success is not easy for anyone.

4. Push yourself

To be really successful, children need to learn to push themselves. We assist children by helping them to set goals, decide on deadlines and to be less fearful. Sometimes children won’t know that they are scared of something, just that they don’t feel right. Parents and teachers need to recognise when children are out of their comfort zone and help them to push past this uncomfortable feeling.

Children need to learn to listen to people who care. So always remember to tell children why you are pushing them and make sure it is a gentle push and not a shove.


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