There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen – Jim Lovell
Every student desires success; no one wants to fail. However, not everybody who wants to be successful is willing to pay the price.
Success is never achieved on a platter of gold. It is a product of hard work. Nobody is born successful (including those who are born with the silver spoon!) Successful people are made through what they choose to do—and what they choose not to do.
This piece examines some of the common traits required of every student whose interest is to succeed in his/her academic pursuit.
To be a successful student, you must be ambitious. You must have a dream. A successful student is the one who sets a goal for himself/herself and pulls all his/her resources together to achieve it. Aliko Dangote just hit the nail on the head when he said “If you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive”. It is when you have a dream that you can begin to work towards achieving it because a mere dream, according to Colin Powell, “…doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
2. Passion for learning
To be a successful student, you must be a passionate learner—one who is open to learning new things. When you are passionate about learning, the learning process becomes more enjoyable and you become an encyclopedic learner. Anthony J. D’Angelo says this about passion: “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
3. Hard work
A successful student is a hard working student. You can be naturally endowed. No doubt about it. However, your natural endowment will take you nowhere close to success if you are not hard working. And don’t get your brain twisted with the myth of luck. The only lucky people that exist are the hardworking folks. The harder you work, the luckier you become!
Though the starting point of all achievement is desire as Napoleon Hill asserted, hardworking is the fundamental key to success.
Booker T. Washington captures it thus: “Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.”
Discipline is the nucleus of success. It teaches you to by guided by “principle rather than by desire”. Discipline ensures you do the right things at the right time. It teaches to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”. An undisciplined student is bound to fail because no matter how hard he plans to succeed, his undisciplined mind will not allow him to execute the success plan. To use the words of Jim Rohn: “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.
5. Time consciousness
Time is the most precious thing on earth. Anyone who desires to succeed, not only in learning but also in every sphere of life, must have a firm control of how he/she uses his/her time. Time expended can never be regained. It is the most expensive gift one can ever give. A successful student must be time-conscious. He/she must have a solid plan on the time to read, time for lectures, group readings/discussions, relaxation, and so on. One cannot but agree with Charles Darwin that “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
The road to success can be very thorny! That’s why you must have a great deal of courage/self-confidence to keep you going. Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
Hence, a successful student is a courageous student; the one that has confidence in his/her ability to succeed.
Winston Churchill makes it more succinct: Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.