We often think of success in life as being tied up with the external rewards we get like money, fame or power. Life is viewed as a race to achieve these rewards. But maybe we are running the wrong race, maybe we should pursue more internal rewards like being a good person and doing the right thing. Aligning our life to the pursuit of moral values may not give us riches and fame, but it brings great value to the world.
Student success is mostly talked about in terms of achieving certain ends like getting a job, acing a test or winning a championship. Failure is seen as the opposite of success and something to avoid at all costs. But perhaps failure is the necessary fuel behind our success for without it, we could never achieve greatness in anything. The relationship between success and failure is a complicated one that students must sort out on their own.
Adults sing the praise of the importance of patience. The advice to kids usually goes something like this: if you are patient and work hard over time, you put yourself in a position to accomplish great things. Success never comes easy. Life is a grind and you should develop a growth mindset to persevere through it. Though sometimes a person’s life experiences seems to teach the opposite lesson; that sometimes going after what you want quickly and aggressively will lead to even greater accomplishments. Impatience can be a virtue as well.
Success, students are told, comes from doing well in school, building friendships and finding the right career. The only problem is they aren’t told exactly how to find this success and whether actually loving what they do should even be a consideration. As a result, it’s important for students to develop a self-awareness around what success means to them and how they plan to get it.