How to pass exams – Part 15 – Get good!
“A genius! For 37 years I’ve practised 14 hours a day and now they call me a genius!”
Pablo Sarasate (1844-1908) Violinist and composer
I was speaking at a school assembly once, as I walked into the hall there were flyers all over the place and a real buzz in the air. It turns out that Jay Sean the R&B star had just been in to do a gig and I’d missed him by 5 minutes. I was up next, how was I gonna follow him?! Then I read an article about Jay Sean and found out that before he had a major record contract or anyone knew him, he’d done 2,000 free gigs, maybe one in your school.
Because whatever it is we want to succeed at, we have got to get good.
One of my favourite TV moments was the Britain’s Got Talent episode when Susan Boyle auditioned. It was jaw dropping TV. She spoke to the camera about her cat Pebbles and then to Ant and Dec about how nervous she was, then as she walked out onto the stage looking cheerful (but slightly confused) she answered a few of Simon Cowell’s questions.
The interview was awkward and a bit embarrassing to be honest, the whole nation expected to see ‘train wreck TV’.
Everything was stacked against her, she’s a middle aged single woman from a small village in Scotland with a bad dress made out of curtains and a mono-brow. Everyone thought this isn’t going to go well, but then she started to sing, “I dreamed a dream in time gone byyyyyyyy”
And we were all blown away, even Simon Cowell.
She was amazing.
[ Based on years of research you can read more about Lee’s work at http://leejackson.org/education/howtoenjoyandsucceedatschoolandcollege – How to pass exams ]
What I love most about Susan Boyle is that she’s changed Simon Cowell forever!
The unchangeable, high waist-banded man has been changed at last! Simon Cowell said afterwards ‘I will never treat someone with such disrespect as I did with Susan Boyle.
It’s changed the way I think about auditions’, and I reckon that Simon Cowell is a lot nicer now than he was previously all because of a lovely shy lady from a village in Scotland.
Someone we all wrote off.
The papers the next day said “SUSAN BOYLE, OVERNIGHT SUCCESS!”
But she wasn’t. Why? ‘Cos she’d been singing since she was 12, in her bedroom, her bathroom, her kitchen, in the church choir, in the village hall – that’s 35 years of practice! Then at 47 she managed to get her break. There are no shortcuts. Sometimes you just have to get good at stuff over time.
Practice doesn’t make perfect but it is essential to success. When you hand in an assignment or you take an exam and it comes back graded ‘D’ – you’ve got 2 choices
The ‘Whatever’ choice; “It’s a ‘D’ ‘Whatever!”
Alternatively you can decide, ‘Do you know what – I’m gonna redo that, and get a ‘B’
It’s a choice that you have to make, no-one can make it for you.
You have mock exams/assessments for a reason – ‘I didn’t get quite the results I needed this time but you know what I’m gonna work hard and I’m gonna do it better next time, I’m gonna work smart and I’m gonna make it happen.’
Susan Boyle and Jay Sean weren’t overnight successes and neither will you be.
But if you GET GOOD – just think what you can achieve.
More to come…
This an excerpt from Top UK motivational School Speaker Lee Jackson’s book “How To Enjoy And Succeed At School And College” Available in paperback and on Kindle (for only £1.99 during pre-exam time) here now.