I am pleased to have author Cynthia Kocialski guest posting on Acting Balanced today as part of the promotion for her upcoming book, Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success: How to Prosper Without Being at the Top of the Class, which I will be reviewing in February or March here on Acting Balanced.
Average Is All That’s Needed to Succeed – Good Enough is Plenty
One lesson I’ve learned through experience is basic principles can be applied to a wide range of seemingly disjointed applications. This is my opinion about success.
Whether it is creating and growing a start-up company that aspires to be the next corporate icon, or it be your child’s dream of what they want to become when they grow up, the basics of how you achieve an objective are the same. The specific goal doesn’t matter. Every start-up company has the same overarching goal: to be successful. Period. Every child has the same dream: to take their dream and make it a reality. It’s simple.
Before I was a parent I never really thought so much about the specifics of how to be successful. Now that my children have dreams and they look to me to guide them, I’ve thought much about how to help them make their visions a reality.
My oldest daughter is someone who is never good enough for our local school system. She is always being asked to spend extra time at school or take tutoring classes. We live in a school system that expects children to go to Ivy League schools. After years of putting in additional hours each week and going to afterschool tutoring, her test scores didn’t budge. At this point, my daughter doesn’t like school much. Despite all that extra effort, she still isn’t good enough – and most likely, never will be.
Over my career, what I’ve learned is success in life doesn’t hinge upon having an extreme ability or getting the top grades. There are lots of average people who are highly successful. If talent alone were the determining factor, we wouldn’t see drop outs being billionaires. The best corporations would be headed by the alumni of the top universities, and that’s not true either. Scientific breakthroughs would be discovered only by those with the highest IQ’s, and studies have disproved this as well. However, this seems contradictory to what my daughter sees and hears at school. And so I am left with how to explain success to my daughter?
Reaching one’s dream begins with a shift in thinking. It starts by accepting that an extreme talent isn’t necessary. That whatever talent you have is all that’s needed. It begins by dispelling some of those concepts we learned in school, notions meant to help us learn the subjects, but don’t necessarily hold true for reaching our dreams.
In the first chapter, Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success opens with why straight A’s are not required. Too many people equate academic success with future professional success, and this book begs to differ. Book smarts is only one talent. Average is enough for success because it’s not one single talent that matters as much as a combination. Any one talent simply needs to be ‘good enough’ – average. It’s all those secondary skills and soft talents that carry the day.
The book further discusses some of those misconceptions and half-truths, which when taken for literal or face value will hinder success.
-Every school child has heard it, “Good things come to those that wait”. Is this really wise advice if you want to reach your dreams? Shouldn’t it be “Good things come to those that wait, better things come to those that ask, and the best things come to those who go out and get what they want.” Now imagine what would happen in a classroom if children knew more than the opening, could a teacher keep control?
-Happily and successfully ever after don’t just happen. School children are always asked what are their dreams or what do they want to become. Why does no one ever follow that up with asking how they are going to make that vision a reality? Why don’t they help plan a detailed strategy to accomplish the goal? An objective with no plan is nothing more than wishful thinking. A plan without resources is a hallucination. I don’t think our children want their dreams to stay just dreams.
-Everyone wants to fit in, often rushing to get the things everyone else has and do what everyone else does. Why try to be like everyone else? Success demands standing out from the crowd. This means being different and unique, not the same. Yet, we often try to get our children to conform, to fit in. Why?
There is no big secret to success that needs to be uncovered. It is possible for just about anyone to be successful.
About the Author
Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three tech start-ups companies. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in dozens of start-ups. Cynthia writes the Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog www.cynthiakocialski.com. Cynthia has written the book, “Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success: How to Prosper Without Being at the Top of the Class.” The book serves up tips, insight, and wisdom to enable young adults and parents of kids to know what it will take to forge a successful career, no matter what their academic achievement.
About the Tour:
You can check out more about Cynthia Kocialski's promotional tour by checking out this video: