Positive mind leads to success

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 February, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 February, 1994, 12:00am

THERE are a number of major pitfalls that prevent students from being successful: lack of motivation, irregular attendance, procrastination, boredom and poor concentration.

Notice that these five problems have one thing in common: they are all within your power to resolve. The sooner you realise this, the sooner you will be on your way to solving the problems you have in school.

Many students spend a lot of time memorising individual facts and procedures. To them, each course is like a drawer in a file cabinet.

They walk into class, open the drawer, and insert the facts that are presented, making no effort to connect them with what they already know.

When class is over, they close the drawer. Are you this student? If so, you are making mistake number six.

What can you do about this problem, which often makes students feel that school is irrelevant? For one thing, be an active participant in each of your classes. Ask questions.

Consciously make associations, connections, and comparisons between content areas. Discuss ideas with other students. This active involvement can make a big difference in your attitude and performance.

If you can't honestly look at yourself in the mirror and say, ''I feel good about myself. I do the best I can,'' it really is a shame - and it is mistake number seven.

If you find your confidence lagging, there are several things you can do. Buy one of the many self-esteem books that are on the market, listen to audio tapes that teach you positive self-talk, or talk to a counsellor or another adult you trust.

It takes some effort to help yourself. You are the only one who can do it, so go ahead and take the first step. Tell yourself you are worth it - and believe it.

Finally, let us talk about expressing negative comments about school or your teachers - mistake number seven. Negative comments are like a virus. They sap interest, concentration, and motivation.

They are also highly contagious. Avoid them, like the plague, because they are truly deadly. Negative people not only fall into the hole they have dug for themselves, but they pull others down as well.

Instead, find reasons to think positively, act positively, and talk positively. The more ''excuses'' you find to be positive, the more it will become second nature.

Remember, the first step in eliminating mistakes is to identify them. Be honest with yourself about why you are struggling in school and strengthen your resolve to fix the problems, and you are halfway towards solving them.

Most successful students are not necessarily the brightest in school; they are the ones who make the most of the opportunities they receive there.