How to pass exams – Part 18 – Keep on going!!
“Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”
Josh Billings U.S. funny man (1818 – 1885)
In all the years I’ve been in education this one above all is important;
When wartime prime minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow, his former school, he made a famous and simple speech. After a year of war in which Britain had been bombed mercilessly by Adolf Hitler he said:
“…surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
About a year earlier many people wanted to give up as it looked like Britain was losing the war, Winston Churchill’s guts was one of the reasons Britain made it through those tough years.
Now is a bad time to give up on your education.
[ Based on years of research you can read more about Lee’s work at http://leejackson.org/education/howtoenjoyandsucceedatschoolandcollege – How to pass exams ]
Sometimes I meet people in Year 11 or 13 who look ok but really some of them have given up inside.
After almost 14,000 hours of schooling some people seem to give up at the last hurdle. Sometimes just keeping on going is how you will be successful, it’s not magic, amazing or spectacular, it’s just about getting out of bed, going to school, putting one foot in front of the other and keeping on going.
It’s obviously important to work smart and get our priorities right but for many of us it is just about putting one foot in front of the other.
One of my favourite stories is the amazing resilience of a woman called Cha Sa-soon from Seoul in Korea.
In November 2009 she passed her written driving test, nothing spectacular but she had taken it 950 times! That means that 949 times she paid her money and faced nothing but rejection and frustration. But on the 950th time she passed!
She has not actually been in a car yet!
That’s just the exam so she can have a licence and now she’ll have to sit a practical driving test so she can drive. Speaking after her 775th failure she said: “I believe you can achieve your goal if you persistently pursue it…so don’t give up your dream…be strong and do your best.”
Great advice from someone who has done well.
My mum took 12 driving tests to pass. I’ve been in the car with her and that was about the right number!
I wonder how many tests Cha Sa-soon will take?
It’s just about keeping on going.
The left hand side of the above diagram might be where you are now, your goal might be to go to university or start the career of your choice. Some people will tell you that life travels easily in a happy straight line… but that’s not how it works. Sometimes we have a good day and a not so good day, a great week and a not so great week, a bit of dip here and there, but eventually you make it to your goal. Ultimately the difference between people who succeed at school and those who don’t is simply this, it’s what you do on your not so good days when things aren’t going quite so well that makes all the difference.
Don’t give up. You can do it!
Honestly you can!
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.