How to Succeed in the School of Life

How to succceed in the School of LifeYou are enrolled in the School of Life. Sometimes you succeed in its classes, and sometimes, you don’t do as well as you’d hoped. Your grade is dependent upon how often you show up, how well you study and understand the lessons, how much knowledge you retain, and how you apply what you know. It’s also determined by how well you score on pop quizzes and full-blown tests.

Of course, you can improve your grade. You might need some help, like from a tutor, but with a bit of extra effort and understanding, you are bound to reach higher levels of success in any particular area of study. And, in this way, you become better prepared for those quizzes and tests.

So how are you doing in the School of Life?

I don’t believe anyone fails at life…not totally. But most of us could reach higher levels of success. I know I could.

Today, I was thinking about the School of Life and the lessons I’ve learned along the way—and that I’m still learning. I thought about how I could improve my performance and increase my grade. How could I eventually graduate from this place of higher education (…this school is run by a Higher Power) with top grades and honors?

In the process, I asked myself some questions (a bit like a pop quiz…). I thought you might benefit from pondering them as well. They gave me insight into whether I am likely to receive a passing grade…or not. I’m sure they’ll do the same for you.

Do you know who you are and where you are headed in life?

Do you realize that you are the captain of your ship? You are the one in command of your life. It is you who must study the map and determine the path you will travel to get to your destination, which you also choose.

You might think someone else is steering or you’ve let them take the helm. Additionally, you may have let someone else pick your destination. You might be allowing the ocean of life to take you where it may, relying on the current, wind, and storms to direct your ship—and having faith that a Higher Power will guide you safely to a destined port.

Or you may have long ago stepped into your captain role and, therefore, are now holding the steering wheel and choosing your course. Maybe you are lowering or raising the masts as well as using your rudder to go faster, slower, and in a specific direction. Or you are hanging on to that wheel with white knuckles trying to stay the course. Perhaps, you are turning toward your final destination and looking through your spyglass for pirates or icebergs.

The more you realize you are, indeed, a captain, and feel in control of your ship and its path through the water to your destination, the more likely you are to succeed at life.

Are you managing your mind?

As soon as you allow your mind to focus on negative thoughts and fears or to convince you to behave in ways that are not in your best interest long term, you will find your grades in the School of Life declining. Depression, discouragement, hopelessness, unworthiness, or self-hatred will set you up to perform in less-than-stellar ways.

That’s why managing your mind is so important. Consider how you feel when you sit down to take a test and tell yourself you don’t know enough, studied too little, didn’t do the homework, don’t understand, and will surely flunk the class. This sort of self-talk creates a huge obstacle to success.

The better able you are to master your mind, the better prepared you are to confidently, enthusiastically, and joyously take—and pass—every test your teachers in the School of Life present.

Are you energized?

Life has a way of zapping your batteries, which makes it hard to show up for school each day and focus on the lesson at hand. Instead of sitting up tall at your desk, eagerly focusing on and listening to the teacher, and raising your hand high to answer questions, you slump down into your chair, struggle to stay awake, and don’t have any idea how to reply when called on.

That’s a surefire way to get low grades in the School of Life.

To succeed, you need to get off to a great start first thing in the morning. After a good night’s sleep, you eat a breakfast full of healthy foods, drink water, and move your body. Then, you sit down in class filled with the mental and physical energy that helps you excel.

Of course, you also need to bring good emotional and mental energy—even spiritual energy—to school each day. When you master your mind, you also master your emotions, which flow out of your thoughts. Think positive, and you will feel positive. Remember there is a reason you are in the School of Life, and approach each lesson with an eagerness to learn.

Do you take bold actions toward your goals?

Let’s say you want to become the head of the school’s debate team. This fits in with your bigger goal of becoming a lawyer one day. To realize this dream, you have to boldly put your name on the list of people who want to try out for the team. Then you have to show up for the first meeting or auditions. And, you have to get up in front of everyone and participate in a debate.

If you do that every week, and you do it well, you will be offered new opportunities to practice and demonstrate your debate skills. You’ll become more confident and more competent. You then courageously can ask to be the team captain.

Before you graduate, you’ll need to move through your fears of not being accepted and apply to pre-law programs at universities and colleges. You’ll then have to go to college, and, before graduation, again, put your fear aside as you apply to law schools.

One day, you’ll step into a courtroom for your first “real” case. After you shake hands with your client, you’ll stand tall in front of the judge and jury, and you’ll live your dream and fulfill your potential and purpose.

If you let fear keep you jailed, however, you can’t take action toward your goals…nor can you succeed at life.

Are you living in alignment with your best self?

Maybe the biggest lesson to learn in the school of life is to allow yourself to be fully and authentically you. On a deep level, you know when you aren’t living up to your potential or fulfilling your purpose. Also, you subconsciously know when you are disconnected from that Higher Power (whatever name you give God) or have forgotten that you have a spark of Divinity within you.

To succeed in the school of life, it’s necessary to allow yourself to hear the Still Small Voice and to act on what you hear, as well as your inner knowing. A good question to ask yourself regularly during the day is “What would my highest self or best self do?”

When you get out of alignment due to bad habits, negative thinking, or lack of faith, you begin to struggle in the School of Life. Get back into alignment with your best self and with Source, and you’ll realize that every lesson, homework assignment, study hall, quiz, and test moves you closer to success in life.

Succeed in the School of Life

Were you happy with your answers to the questions above? I hope so. If not, it’s time to commit to higher levels of success at life.

However, there will be days when you feel like you deserve a D in the School of Life. Other days, you’ll give yourself an A. You will be better in certain classes or at particular subjects then others. But the more you learn and apply what you learn, the greater will be your success at life.

Keep this in mind as you study the biggest subject of all: Life.

And know your are not in school alone. We are all attending together, and we can be great study partners. Reach out to your fellow classmates for support, and share your knowledge with them. That’s how we all succeed in the School of Life.

What do you think? Are you succeeding or failing at life? Tell me in a comment below. Still not sure? Take this quiz.


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If you feel as if you are not reaching the level of life success you would like or know you can, it’s time to make a change. Give me an hour of your time, and I’ll help you see how to succeed at life. Discover how to move toward fulfilling your potential and purpose and achieving the inspired results you desire. Apply for a one-hour FREE Certified High Performance Coaching strategy session. Fill out this application. Or register for my Certified High Performance Group Coaching program here.

Photo courtesy of Dan Cook on Unsplash

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