From the Principal

Hard Work Beats Talent

I watched this video the other day…  

Nothing I saw and heard was news to me but, I still loved it because it reinforced my belief that real success for our students is not preordained or gifted by money, natural talent or social position. It is about what they do with the talent and opportunities offered to them.

Success is a game of habits.

Some of the smartest people I went to school and university with have never achieved what the average person would call “success”. Some of the hard workers have used their talents to eclipse the careers of their “smarter” peers.

Talent and brains will only take you so far. The key to being “successful” is often based on the routines and structures you put into place for yourself.

If I was a gambler and had to pick a student who will be a success in the future, I would look for the student who:

  • enjoys a challenge
  • is willing to fall and get back up
  • has the imagination to see how he/she can achieve what he/she wants and perhaps can do it in a way that others have not conceived 
  • has the willingness to do the hard yards required to achieve his/her goals

I would not lose money doing that.

I know we have these students at SCAS. I see them, talk to them, watch them create their path towards success.

It is important that our students know that they have the potential to be success stories.

What we can do, with their parents, is remind them that success can be theirs if they do certain things, because it’s what you do more than anything else, that makes success.

The first thing we must do is remind them that giving up when things don’t go your way is a really bad idea in life. It is a great option for ensuring that you will not control where your life will take you, because that attitude will leave you being a victim, blaming others because your life did not turn out the way you wanted.

We can remind them that what they do will make a difference, because we know that successful people:

  • plan ahead
  • do the hard stuff first
  • say no if it interferes with achieving their goals even if it means taking the chance of offending friends
  • invest in themselves – spend the time, effort and even money to get better at what they do
  • are very conscious of how they spend their time
  • surround themselves with other successful and dedicated people
  • are accountable for their actions and that includes their failures
  • know they have to study and work hard to improve themselves and their chances of achieving their goals
  • believe in themselves and their ability to be better – they do not accept that their circumstances determine their capacity for success

Those who are successful at what it is they want to do spend a healthy amount of time planning, thinking, strategising, and preparing in advance. They don’t wait until the moment has arrived to contemplate how they’ll tackle a situation. Instead, they get as much completed and ready ahead of time so they are more free to embrace the challenges of the moment.

And what about the others, those who expect success to be delivered to them, like a pizza? They:

  • have a knack for getting done all the things that are not true priorities, but when it comes to the hard stuff, they suddenly find every reason why they could not complete the task
  • often choose to be surrounded by negative people, lazy people, angry and depressing people and then those same traits rub off on them
  • just assume that over time their talent or luck will carry them up the ladder to a nice and comfortable position
  • point the finger at others and make excuses for why things didn’t happen
  • want others to believe in them before they believe in themselves

Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School
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