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(Adapted from a Scientific American article on how to help kids achieve in school – April 14, 2014)

The same lessons that help kids achieve in school are also useful for adults. As adults, our ability is not enough. We also need the mindset and strategies that allow us to overcome obstacles, stay on task and to learn and grow over the long-term.

To keep you on track and prevent you from giving up, you need the following:

1] To feel a sense of belonging.

2] See the relevance of life-long learning to achieve your personal goals.

3] Value making an effort.

4] Seek challenging tasks to help you learn something new rather than easy tasks that offer no opportunity for growth.

5] View setbacks as an opportunity for learning rather than an indication of your ability or worth.

6] Have strategies to avoid distractions and keep you motivated.

7] Believe in your ability to learn and to act on your learning.

8] Enter learning situations with a goal to master the lessons you need to learn – rather than compete with others.

9] Have a sense of purpose, and feel that your learning will contribute value to the world beyond yourself.

10] Have positive and supportive relationships with those around you.

Recognize that your brain grows new connections and ‘gets smarter’ when working on challenging tasks.

  • Imagine a future ‘possible self’.
  • List the obstacles you might encounter in realizing that self.
  • Generate strategies you can use to overcome those obstacles.
  • Whenever you are feeling stressed, imagine a place in nature where you feel safe and protected.
  • Breathe deep and relax into that place for a few minutes.
  • Repeat as needed.

Use these strategies to reduce stress and attain the life you seek.