“Success is a journey, not a destination.”
– Ralph Arbitelle
Thank you for reading this OER textbook. I hope you had a positive experience. Your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and criticisms are valuable for future revisions and improvements. I encourage you to let me know if you are finding success, accomplishing your goals, or even if you are struggling. I keep a list of students who let me know they are graduating. It is important to me. If you have the passion discussed in the first chapter, you can find a way to do it. And when all the hard work, time, energy and effort pays off, it should be a proud accomplishment. Previous students have contributed to this textbook by sharing design and content ideas. If you have comments, suggestions, questions, criticisms, or reflections about this textbook, I would appreciate hearing from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students often ask me what I think they should do. Achieving and maintaining balance is perhaps the most important advice I can give, and it isn’t easy to accomplish. Each student has a balance for important things in their lives that is different from other students. There is no right or wrong there, but I see a lot of students who are not balanced and it makes academic success challenging. It may take time to achieve better balance, but it’s worth the investment.
Thomas Edison is well known for inventing the electric light bulb. But many people are not aware of how many times he failed in trying to do so. Edison made a note of what he had done and what components he used each time he made an attempt. He would make an adjustment and try again. When the adjustment didn’t work, he would make a note of that, readjust and try again. Edison learned from every experiment. He learned all the ways that it would not work. After approximately 10,000 failed experiments, Edison then successfully invented the electric light bulb.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas Edison
British inventor Sir James Dyson, well known for creating the bagless vacuum cleaner took 15 years and 5,127 prototypes to “get it right.”
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
– Calvin Coolidge
Be persistent. You will encounter situations where you will want to give up. You can overcome the obstacles and challenges, if you are persistent.
My friend Sherine Ebadi played on a UC San Diego volleyball team that won a National Championship. She gave a speech at the award banquet that remains one of the most inspirational speeches I have heard and one that still gives me chills when I reread. She described teamwork as “a complete denial of self-interest, individual statistics and personal glory, all in exchange for making your teammate look good, even when they don’t, and be successful even when they’re not. It’s making sure she knows that she’s never fighting alone, that she’s not merely an individual member of a team but rather an essential component to a unified whole working toward a common goal.”
You will not be able to accomplish some of your biggest goals by yourself. You will need support behind you and the selection of your support team is important. I ensured that I surrounded myself by people who were interested in supporting me and my goals. I also understood that being a good teammate meant supporting my friends’ and family members’ goals as well.
Make good decisions. More important than making good decisions though is learning from decisions that are made and the positive and negative results and consequences of those decisions.
If at all possible, be optimistic. This may not help you with studying, but it is an enjoyable way to go through life. There will be times where your attitude and outlook will reflect on you and may create opportunities for yourself. Take advantage of those opportunities.
It is my sincere hope that you will have found information in this textbook helpful. I wish you academic success, and an enjoyable journey to reach your goals.
– Dave Dillon, 2018
Licenses and Attributions:
Content previously copyrighted, published in Blueprint for Success in College: Indispensable Study Skills and Time Management Strategies (by Dave Dillon), now licensed as CC BY.
Adaptions: Added content (Dave Dillon 2017).