Every school year, there will always be that group of students who outperforms everyone else. Why is it that some students just seem to be smarter, more talented, and more athletic than all the other students? What is it about this group of students that allows them to consistently perform at such a high level? While genetics can sometimes play a role in these factors, in our experience of working with thousands of students over the years, there are defining characteristics that successful students possess over their lesser-performing counterparts…and in many instances, it has nothing to do with genetics. Let’s break down The Success Traits of the high-performing students.
Realize that only a fraction of students take advantage of these traits and reap all the benefits to carve out a better future for themselves. But why only a fraction…why not all students? We challenge you to learn and implement the below success traits so that you can be a high-performing student, and create a better future for yourself!
The Success Traits
- Become a Goal-Setter — High-performing students understand the simple, but very powerful habit of goal-setting. It’s a proven fact that by setting clear, specific, and time-dependent goals, you greatly increase your chances of accomplishing those goals. Thinking and talking about your goals isn’t enough to set into motion the actions necessary to achieve them. Only by articulating your goals in detail, and setting specific timelines in which to accomplish them, can you create an effective game plan to get results!
- Have a Strategic Action Plan — Successful students are strategic and have a specific plan of action that is thoughtful, direction-oriented, and purposeful. This includes which courses they will take to what extracurricular and volunteer opportunities they will get involved in, to even which peer groups they choose to hang out with. Everything they do is aligned with short- and long-term goals, and their vision of where they want to go and who they envision to be.
- Be Proactive — Successful students are proactive. Being proactive simply means having the ability to take charge of your life, regardless of any limitations or setbacks, in order to create a positive outcome. It means not sitting back waiting for success to come to you, but actively doing what you can on a day-to-day basis to ensure success will happen in your life. Simply, you have to create your own success.
- Develop Resilience —A big difference between the winners and losers is that the winners keep picking themselves up after experiencing momentary defeat and continue pushing forward toward their goals, while the losers just give up. Those who choose to be successful then choose to persevere through setbacks, challenges, and obstacles because they know that success is theirs for the taking if they just try hard enough. It’s important to understand that momentary failure or defeat is part of the success formula.
- Work Hard —High-performing students have a hard work ethic. They understand that to achieve a desired outcome requires an investment of time, energy, and effort—and this is what makes all the difference. They know that, like anything in life, success comes by working hard and continually striving to push themselves to be the best person he/she can be. Simply, working harder is a foundational characteristic of the successful student.
You’ve just learned five powerful success strategies of high-performing students. We challenge you to adopt these strategies as this new school year begins to unlock your potential as a student!
Dr. Jeff & Dr. Brian Haig
The Experts in College Planning and Student Success