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Before you read this article, we’d love for you to tell us what success means to you. Please take 2 minutes to fill in the short poll below.
HINT: To make the most of this article, fill in the poll first!
What does Success Mean to You? What are your beliefs about Success?
A few months ago, we conducted a live poll during an online event (Similar to the poll above). As part of this poll, we asked over a hundred parents to tell us their beliefs about success. We asked parents to give us their definition of success and we asked them to tell us if they had a personal formula for success.
From the results submitted, it was safe to say that there were many different ideas on the meaning of success. However, we mostly agreed on one thing. We agreed that success means different things to different people. For some people it meant having a lot of money, for others it meant qualifications and status, and for others, it meant living a peaceful and happy life.
So for the sake of this article, we’ll use a generally acceptable definition of Success, the same definition that we used in the online event.
“Success means the ability to achieve the highest quality of goals that you’ve set for yourself“
This definition was accepted as a good definition by most of the parents in the online workshop and after we discussed the meaning of success, we asked parents to about their personal formula for success. We asked parents if they believed that hard work and determination was enough to achieve success ie. Does Success = Hard Work + Determination? Is this a suitable formula for success?
Does Success = Hard work + Determination?
The poll results showed that over 80% of parents believed that anyone could achieve success with hard work and determination. Some parents added that success could also be achieved if you had the right network and connections.
Most people believe that Success = Hard work + Determination.
But there is a problem with this definition.
The belief that Success = Hard work and determination has caused many people, both young and old, to work extremely hard, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many people believe that Success is a result of a combination of hard work & determination. However, this is not quite true. Being determined and working hard does not always lead to success, and there are a few problems that occur when you simply focus on working hard and staying determined.
Think about it this way, many people are hardworking and determined yet never achieve the success that they desire. If these people have worked so hard and put all of their effort and determination into their work, why are they still not able to consider themselves to be successful?
Hard work and determination does not guarantee success
The reality is that hard work and determination are not enough to achieve success. In fact, many elements are needed to achieve success. Hard work and determination are just a small part of the formula, and you could even argue that hard work is not necessarily needed for success, especially in an age where people can choose to work smart instead of working hard.
So what exactly is the formula to success & how can we teach this to our teens?
In one of our most popular parent webinars with GT Scholars, we show you the exact framework that we’ve been using to teach our scholars how to achieve success, and we share resources that you can use to teach your teen the formula for success.
In this blog, we’ll be explaining the building blocks of this framework and the true formula for success.
There is an abundance of conflicting advice from various gurus on the different strategies that lead to success
With so many different opinions and ideas on what it takes to succeed, it’s no wonder young people feel confused or overwhelmed. They often are unsure about where they should start and what methods deliver successful outcomes.
It can be even more frustrating and overwhelming for young people when they are told that if they are determined and work hard, they will be successful. Only to end up not achieving their goals. Perhaps you have seen how committed and hardworking your teenager is, yet they are not getting the grades they want.
The false belief that hard work and determination alone can lead to success can lead to so much frustration. This belief makes it challenging for young people to achieve their goals in school and beyond school.
So if hard work and determination are not the formula for success, then what exactly is the formula? And is there even a formula for Success?
Well, the good news is that there is a formula that you can teach your teen to help them achieve success.
And when you look at this new formula for success, you’ll see that success is attainable for anyone when certain things are in place. This is because success comes down to three essential things: (1) Skills, (2) Support and (3) Strategy.
What can we learn from Successful People?
When you take a look at the most successful people in the world, you will notice they make sure they do these 3 key things in order to achieve success and in order to stay successful:
Firstly, they have created a world for themselves where they continually build the right skills.
Secondly, they have the right support systems in place.
Thirdly, they have found ways to continually develop the right strategies in order to achieve incremental and eventually monumental success in their lives.
True Success = building the right skills + Developing the right strategies + Having the right support systems in place
In this blog, we’ll be looking at each of these 3 key elements. We’ll also be looking at some of the things that you can do to help your teen develop the skills, support and strategies needed to achieve success at school & beyond.
These are the same 3 key elements that we teach scholars in the GT Scholar Success Habits Framework™ and in the Success Habits Masterclass for young people.
An image of the GT Scholars Success Habits framework™ can be found below, and you can access the poster for your teen by clicking here.
(1) Skills: How to Help Your Teen Build the Skills for Success
At GT Scholars, when we talk about skills, we are referring to skills such as developing a growth mindset, building grit and resilience and metacognition (learning how to learn).
Skills such as developing a growth mindset teach them to view setbacks and failures as opportunities for learning rather than roadblocks to success. Additionally, With grit and resilience, your teen will remain focused on their goals no matter their challenges, allowing them to persevere through difficult times and bounce back from setbacks, strengthening their ability to overcome challenges.
Metacognition, or learning how to learn, is a critical skill that can help them become more effective learners by understanding how they learn best, setting goals and tracking their progress. However, when teens are not given the right skills, they may experience and fall into the vicious cycle of low confidence and low-self belief.
You can help your teen build the right skills by:
Helping your teen develop a growth mindset. If your child has a fixed mindset, they may believe their intelligence is fixed. This limiting belief may be holding your teen back from realising their true potential. A growth mindset allows your teen to look at their intelligence from the perspective that it can continuously be improved. The brain can form new neural connections through learning constantly. Therefore, intelligence is not fixed and can continuously be improved. You can learn more about a growth mindset in our blog here.
Secondly, teaching your teen to build grit and resilience is a valuable skill that will help keep them motivated even when they fail. Let’s examine these two terms to understand why these skills are essential to success.
Firstly, grit is required to work towards a goal, no matter how challenging consistently. Grit allows you to continue to work even when you are struggling or experiencing temporary setbacks. For example, if your teen had one bad grade on an assignment or test.
Whereas resilience is required to motivate you to bounce back after experiencing failure. For example, if your teen experienced failure on an exam or failed to reach their target grade. Building these skills allows them to remain motivated and overcome obstacles to overcome failure.
Lastly, it is crucial that your teen builds metacognition skills. Metacognition is simply learning how to learn. Increasing metacognition skills allows your teen to identify strategies to deliver the best results. These skills are necessary for your teen to avoid repeating the same mistakes repeatedly, which will only lead to frustration and anxiety. You cannot expect the same outcomes by doing the same thing over and over again. Therefore, metacognition is essential to seeing your teen make tangible improvements and succeed throughout school and work.
Therefore, by helping your teen build the right skills, you can increase their confidence, resilience and self-belief, creating a more virtuous cycle.
(2) Support: Help Your Teen Create an Internal & External Environment of Support
At GT Scholars, we understand that academic success is not only about developing the right skills but also about having the right support. That’s why when we talk about support, we mean creating an environment where your teen can get ongoing accountability and mentorship from mentors and coaches.
Accountability systems can help your teen stay on track by providing a sense of responsibility and helping them set achievable goals. Conversely, mentorship can provide guidance, support, and encouragement, helping them navigate academic and personal challenges.
By setting up a support system that includes ongoing accountability and mentorship, your teen will have the support they need to succeed and reach their full potential. However, when teens do not have an environment of support, they may experience low motivation and general apathy towards learning.
You can create an environment of support for your teen by:
Helping your teen get ongoing accountability. You can help your teen get ongoing accountability by setting up an accountability system in two ways:
Getting an accountability partner or through body doubling. Having a partner that can hold you accountable for your goals is very important. It is impossible to feel motivated every single day, and some days we need extra help. Think of how many days you have felt unmotivated to complete a task. Your teen experiences the same lack of motivation from time to time. However, if your teen has someone who they can speak to about their goals and who can hold them accountable to working towards them regularly, your teen will be more likely to achieve the goals they set out for themselves and achieve success.
Alternatively, your teen can use body doubling as an effective technique for getting ongoing accountability. The concept of body doubling is that you are more likely to be productive and get the job done if you have someone nearby who can work alongside you with the same goals, which can help keep you motivated, focused and engaged. This productivity strategy is something we use at GT Scholars through our co-study sessions. These co-study sessions help our scholars stay committed to their goals by sharing them with the group and working together to achieve them.
Another way you can create an environment of support for your teen is by getting support from coaches or mentors. Coaches and mentors can play a significant role in helping teens achieve academic success. A coach or mentor can provide guidance, support, and encouragement to help teens stay on track and reach their goals. They can help identify areas where the student may need additional assistance, such as specific subject matter or study skills, and provide resources and strategies to help overcome those challenges.
Coaches and mentors can also help teens develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, benefiting academic and career success. Additionally, a coach or mentor can provide a positive role model for teens, demonstrating the importance of learning, dedication, and resilience. Overall, having a coach or mentor can make a significant difference in a teen’s academic journey, providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom.
Therefore, by creating an environment of support, you can raise their aspirations and increase their focus and ongoing motivation for learning.
(3) Strategies: Teach Your Teen the Strategies that Lead to Success
At GT Scholars, we believe that achieving academic success requires more than just hard work and dedication; it requires the right strategies.
When we talk about strategies, we are referring to essential skills such as effective time management, setting and achieving high-quality goals, and leading through empowered leadership.
Whether your teen is struggling to balance schoolwork, social life and extracurricular activities or feeling overwhelmed by the demands of high school, implementing these strategies can help your teen navigate the demands of school and life, ensuring they make the most of their time and achieve their full potential.
However, when teens are not taught the right strategies, they may experience stress, anxiety and frustration, which creates learned helplessness.
You can show your teen the right strategies by:
Helping them set and achieve high-quality goals. Research has shown that you are 42-50% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. And carefully outlined plans with a timeframe and deadline can significantly increase your chances of achieving that goal.
Your teen may have big dreams of success, but they must be intentional about it if you want to ensure that they achieve the success they deserve. Setting high-quality goals that stretch your teen and push them out of their comfort zone will help them grow. This is important because if the goals are not big enough to stretch your teen, they may be less likely to stay focused and committed to achieving them. It is equally important that they are SMART goals.
Another important strategy is effective time management. Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, yet those who manage their time effectively can achieve more in shorter time periods.
This quote by James Altucher accurately captures how valuable of an asset time is: “Money you lose, and you can always make it back. But even five minutes of lost time is gone forever.”
For your teen to succeed, they need to focus on things that are a waste of time and not helping them get closer to their goals. Implementing good habits such as establishing a great morning routine or planning out their week in advance allows your teen to remain focused on their goals to achieve success.
Another strategy your teen can use to achieve success is through empowered leadership. You may have heard the saying by Aristotle that “to know yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”, and this is quite true. Because before your teen can lead others successfully, they must be able first to lead themselves.
In a nutshell, empowered leadership means acknowledging that you control your future. It’s about choosing who you want to be & continually deciding how you will positively impact your life and other people’s lives, and recognise that only YOU have the power to take steps to achieve YOUR goals. Therefore, by showing your teen the right strategies, you can build your teen’s self-awareness, self-efficacy and self-leadership skills.
As parents, we want our teenagers to succeed in life. But success isn’t just about getting good grades or landing a great job. It’s about developing skills that will help them thrive in all areas of life, from relationships to personal growth.
As your teen approaches adulthood, it’s essential to equip them with the tools they need to navigate life’s challenges and reach their full potential. Whether your teen is struggling in school, feeling lost, or needing a boost of motivation, these three things will help them develop the habits and mindset they need to succeed in school and beyond.
Our simple yet effective system gives your teen the support, skills & strategies needed to achieve success and is proven.
You can download the poster of the GT Scholars Success Habits framework™, and you can find out more about the 9 Scholar Success Habits by joining the free parent webinar, which can be found here.