I heard a TV personality recently say that he never ate vegetables. Why? I guess he got a kick out of defying conventional wisdom. Everyone with a pulse knows that vegetables are good for us. They delay the aging process, fight free radical damage, and so on. Yet many people choose not to eat these nutrient-dense super foods.
Jim Rohn has said that failure is the accumulation of small errors in judgment executed on a daily basis. Skipping your two servings of vegetables won’t make you die tomorrow. But over a lifetime, the effects are cumulative. In a manner of speaking, junk food eaters know they are going to have to pay the piper some day. Don’t weight for the first heart attack to lose weight. But what does this all have to do with education?
Professional educators see a similar phenomenon. Academic failure is the most horrible thing imaginable for most students and their parents. Yet they all know it is looming. What? That’s right! The failing student knows that they are going to fail as sure as the chronic junk food eater knows they are going to end up in the cardiac cath lab.
Failure is the cumulative effect of small daily lapses in judgment. It’s just one assignment, so it won’t matter. The only trouble is that skipping one assignment is a domino decision, meaning that it leads to other small errors in judgment. After 180 days of making small errors in judgment, the cumulative effect may indeed be course failure.
The good news is that failure is total preventable. Students just need to make small positive choices on a daily basis. The one thing that you control is you. Don’t blame the teachers, your parents, the government, and so on. Blame yourself, because that’s the one input you can change.
Start with the end in mind. Then work backwards. On the road to success, ask yourself one question at the end of each day…
What did I do today that moved me closer to my goals?