How do you spell success??

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Wsuccesshat do you think about when you think about someone is successful – what do they have that separates them from the unsuccessful? Are they talented? Lucky?

Psychologists have determined that success, whether it is sporting, academic or otherwise, is less a matter of luck or talent and more a matter of practise and perseverance. You may even have heard about the concept that 10,000 hours of practice can make you an expert in anything.

In fact, although the 10,000 hour concept continues to be debated, it does have a modicum of truth. The 10,000 hour concept came from a research paper written in the 90s by an American psychologist who was looking at the work of a group of psychologists in Germany. The German psychologists had been looking at violin students and trying to figure out if there was a difference between those students who go on to become successful – professional violinists at the highest levels of their art, and those who remain hobbyists. What they found was that although all the students that they were following had similar amounts of practice time between the ages of 5 and 8, by the time they had reached 20, the successful performers had averaged 10,000 hours of practice each, compared to the average of 4,000 hours of practice in the less able performers.

There’s been some interesting debate including people using themselves as the subject of experiments to determine whether or not 10,000 hours of practice will enable them to become experts in some skill for example playing a sport or learning an instrument.
Regardless of whether or not the 10,000 hour theory is correct, one thing is certain. Success is less a product of natural talent and more the effect of pure hard work.

This last year of high school is an interesting one. There are academic results to aim for, leadership roles in the school, sporting and cultural commitments outside the classroom. In what seems like a heartbeat, the year will be over along with the end of 13 years of formal education. What happens next is entirely in your own hands.

So, before it all starts to become a busy, activity filled blur, take time to think about what you want out of the year. Make yourself some goals and make sure that you are SMART about them. Another resource to look at is the student study resources at the HEDC. Although it is aimed at University students, specifically first year students, there are a lot of useful tools in there that could be helpful to you in this last year of High School. I particularly like the weekly time planner – a template that you can download, print and use to organise all your activities one week at a time. There are also useful tips on time management, learning, studying, researching and other topics that will help you out this year and with further education.

So, get going and get organising – make this last year your most successful yet 

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