While the current college admissions cheating scandal has left most Americans appropriately mortified, some people consistently take away the wrong messages. Do not conflate access with achievement. The slur about scions of privilege who are “born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” stings because we instinctively recognize the emptiness of unearned rewards.
How, then, should students acquire the test scores, grades, and achievements that will win access to the colleges of their–not their parents’–dreams?
All parents, even the misguided malefactors at the heart of these cheating scandals, want the best for their children. Real success in life comes from real effort, sacrifice, and even struggle to confront challenges, overcome obstacles, and forge authentic skill and character. If you don’t quite believe that success is connected to hard work, take some lessons from those that have experienced massive amounts of both:
The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
— Vince Lombardi
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
— Napoleon Hill
The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting on the top.
— Joyce Brothers
Success is sweet. And sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.
— Amos Bronson Alcott
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
— Colin Powell
I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.
— Estee Lauder
And lest we forget what really matters, consider the connection between happiness and success:
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
— Albert Schweitzer