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Anyone Can Get an A+ by Geetanjali Mukherjee

Anyone Can Get an A+

by Geetanjali Mukherjee

Giveaway ends January 14, 2017.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Focus On What You Can Control

There are many things in life that we cannot control – our family and home life, the teachers at school, having the most conducive environment to study in. You may have to have neat papers, and organized notes, but your life may be far from neat or organized. You could be holding down multiple part-time jobs, or maybe dealing with family members’ or your own health or financial issues. Maybe you share a room with siblings and don’t have a quiet place to study. In many cases, you may just be juggling a really full schedule, with demanding extra-curricular activities, a part-time job, or maybe you have other family responsibilities that leave you with far less time to study.

Of course, it is great to be able to have all the resources and help you can get, but what if for some reason you don’t? The key is not to give in to believing that your circumstances will hold you back, because they don’t have to. It would be nice to have "a room of one's own", but it isn’t necessary for good grades. All you need is to decide whether you will let your circumstances determine what you can or can’t do.

Maybe you think that being able to overcome discouraging teachers or a difficult home life in order to get good grades is doable, but what can you do in the face of challenges that affect your ability to learn? What if your mind works so differently from everyone else that you are always behind your classmates? What if your brain finds it difficult to translate the letters and numbers that you see into words and problems?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that makes it difficult to read, spell, write or do math. You would think that being dyslexic would stop you from doing too well academically, and that it might even constrain the kinds of things you could study. In this case however, you would be wrong. 

Some of the world’s greatest scientists, inventors, artists and even writers suffered from dyslexia, but didn’t let it stop them from accomplishing great things. A short list of famous dyslexics – Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, W.B. Yeats, Andy Warhol and Richard Branson – shows us that even a learning disorder cannot stop us from success, if we choose not to let it.

During school when I struggled with how much I had to do, or felt that my efforts didn’t seem to correlate with my results, I watched inspiring movies and read books that gave me courage. Something specific I remember reading that really inspired me was the following lines from the poem “Invictus” by W.E. Henley (also quoted in the movie of the same name, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon):

          It matters not how strait the gate,
          How charged with punishments the scroll,
          I am the master of my fate:
          I am the captain of my soul.

The reality is that not everyone has the same advantages or circumstances in life, but most of us can do a lot with what we do have, if we have the determination to succeed.

This is a great time historically to be a student, with lots of wonderful study materials available online, many for free. If there is something you want to learn, chances are that there are books, videos and even courses available that are perfectly tailor-made to teach you. Don’t use others as an excuse to not achieve your goals.

This is an edited excerpt from my book "Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades".  It makes the perfect back-to-school purchase or gift. Click here to buy this book from your preferred retailer:

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