Education - Page 8 - Ask Margit, from page 1

- Page 8
Ask Margit, from page 1
In a LinkedIn post, Eugene Adu-Wusu says there’s a difference between accomplishment and success, although accomplishments help us achieve success. Accomplishments are when we reach our goals. “Success is the positive consequence or outcome of an achieved accomplishment,” he says.“It’s the process to become successful and with every accomplished goal you take a step towards prosperity and a life full of success.”

As a marketing professor, one project my students do is to create a personal marketing plan in pictures, a collage of what their lives will look like in the future. Once completed, it’s something they can hang where they see it every day, reminding them of what they are working toward. But the basis of being successful is doing it incrementally, one step at a time, and you do that by setting SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. The more detailed you are when you set your goals, the easier it is to follow a path that leads to their accomplishment. Therefore, for each goal, you should define the actions you need to take to get there.

Say, for instance, you want to get a college degree. Depending on how early you decide on this goal, it’s now time to define each individual element that will get you there. If you’re in high school, are you taking the classes you need for college admission? You’ll also want to get the best grades you can, so you have the most options as to which college you’ll attend. Getting top grades will also mean you would be eligible for a scholarship because paying for college needs to be part of this goal. Perhaps you’ll go to community college for two years to save money and then transfer to a four-year school.

How would you phrase this as a SMART goal? “I want to earn a college degree from XYZ University in four years by taking 15 credits each semester.” Or you could do it in a shorter period of time if you attended three summer sessions and took six to nine credits during each one. Could you take 18 credits each semester? Maybe. But the SMART goal should be realistic and attainable. The time component defines this goal will be completed.

Richard St. John, author of The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common and the bestseller 8 To Be Great, spent seven years and interviewed over 500 people to distill those qualities that make people successful. In his TED talk he explained what these are. Passion was the first. “If you do it for love,” he explains, “the money will follow anyway.”You need a reason to get out of bed every day and do your work. If you’re not passionate about what you do, you’ll be bored and won’t give it your all.

It should also be fun. That doesn’t mean you don’t work hard; you do, all the time. But enjoying work, your job and your profession should bring you pleasure.What else should you do? He lists pushing yourself, both mentally and physically, staying focused and serving others. Above all, persist. Stay the course. Will you fail? Sometimes. But no matter what, hang in there if it’s something you believe in.

Whatever you choose as your personal definition of success – and, remember, it’s your choice – the journey is just as important as the arrival. And, remember, take time to pat yourself on the back as you go. •