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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 08-May-16


Sunday 08-May-16

As, Bs and the Three Secrets of a Successful Life

I recently answered a question on Quora that asked 'My teacher said B students will work for the A students. Is this true?'. I felt for the student, whose situation I did not know. I also felt for the teacher -- I've been there and motivating students can be a hugely frustrating task.

Here is my answer to the question. Yes, I know it's not quite the answer asked. I was trying to answer the real question underneath:

What your teacher is probably really saying is that the students who are getting Bs but who are capable of getting As are showing a tendency to be lazy. Life is generally not kind to those who are lazy, and indeed they do tend to end up working for people who are more diligent.

The secret of success is often described as 'hard work and luck', which pretty much describes my life. I worked my socks off, had my fair share of luck and retired from 'real' work at 58, although five years later I'm still as busy as I've every been.

I've heard a number of successful people say that the harder they work, the luckier they get, which suggests that what people call luck is not random chance, but being able to see opportunities and then grasping them with both hands. It also suggests that successful people are grateful for the opportunities that they have had -- and as gratitude is closely linked with happiness, this explains how you can be both successful and happy (and relatively few people have both).

So what does this mean for you?

School is about opportunity. Take it, while you can. Grasp it with both hands and see it as a fabulous chance to build a great future. Work hard, because every hour invested now will likely pay you back hugely in the future.

If, after this, you get a B, then be grateful, because otherwise you would probably have got a C or D. If you get an A, be grateful too, then seek the step-up opportunities that this gives you. Even if you get a C or whatever, you can still feel good because you have done your best. Look for strengths in other subjects, because we all have different talents. Do not give up because failure only happens when you stop trying.

Work hard. Grasp opportunities. Be grateful. It's the secret of a successful life.

Your comments

Another great article! I loved the last paragraph. Will add it to my quote list.

 -- Ivan M.

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