Tag Archives: motivation

Nobody has more credibility about achieving success than wildly successful people. Knowing how to get to the top of the mountain is one thing, but summiting that peak again and again until your smiling visage is carved into it is quite another. Why else would a conversation about what it takes to be great between the King of All Media and one of the greatest comedians of all time is worth repeating on a site about learning and performance. Apparently, Howard Stern recently interviewed Jerry Seinfeld, and the conversation turned to work ethic. Howard started talking about how hard he worked everyday to make a living in radio: Howard Stern: “I thought, you know, it is possible to will yourself, maybe not to be the greatest in the world but to certainly get what you want.” Jerry Seinfeld: “I’m going to adjust your perspective a little bit. That was no…

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Earlier in the year, I shared some pointed quotes about What to Be When You Want to Be Successful. However, as Carl Jung observed, “You are what you do.” Success in any specific area requires very specific steps; the path to superior test scores may resemble that for other endeavors, but requires demonstrably more practice tests! In a larger sense, though, elite performance depends on consistently doing the right things the right way… Do you know what to do now? If you want to do one more thing to supercharge success, subscribe to the massively motivational Chariot Learning Instagram feed!

After reviewing tens of thousands of SAT & ACT Reading passages with students over the years, I can share one interesting and entirely intuitive observation: test takers score better on passages that interest them. When a reader engages with a passage, she reads faster and comprehends more deeply, which leads to improved accuracy. On the other hand, when the first paragraph elicits an audible “Ugh,” you can bet that tortured, distracted, plodding reading will ensue. Readers that do not engage fully with a passage rarely understand it well enough to pull the majority of points. Unsurprisingly, this observation extends to every section of a test and, further, to every kind of test or activity. Author, motivational speaker and organizational consultant Simon Sinek phrased the distinction perfectly: Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion. You can see the…

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Have you ever planned for one thing to happen only to find that your efforts encouraged the exact opposite of what you wanted? The law of unintended consequences (which isn’t technically a law at all) asserts that our actions always have effects that we don’t or can’t anticipate. Sometimes, we get lucky and those consequences are positive; other times, we get cobras… Cobras were apparently a serious problem in Dehli, India under British rule. The colonial government, in an effort to cull the population, offered a bounty for every dead cobra. While this initially led to a lot of dead snakes, some entrepreneurial types realized that cobras were easier to breed than trap. All of a sudden, India was home to a bunch of cobra farms. When this disastrous unintended consequence came to light, the government canceled the bounty. Unfortunately, once those cobra farms became unprofitable, their venomous stock was…

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Oscar Wilde understood the essential nature of being: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” As difficult as staying true to one’s authentic identity may seem, that is usually the easy part. Most people want to be themselves, just exponentially better. Reach your loftiest goals the right way by learning from experts what to be when you want to be successful: Now go be great! And if you like being motivated to be your best, subscribe to the infinitely inspiring Chariot Learning Instagram feed.

I recently had an opportunity to read student evaluations of a class we ran in a local school. What a roller coaster! Despite all my excitement over big score improvements, glowing recommendations, and insightful feedback, I was equally dismayed by comments revealing indifference or dislike. The constructively critical points were, as always, welcome. Harder to make use of, however, were the reviews from students who took pains to point out that their parents forced them to take the class. What can you do when a student doesn’t want to learn? No, really… what can you do when a student doesn’t want to learn? You can provide opportunities to learn. You can force attendance at learning opportunities. You can encourage engagement with learning opportunities. You can offer rewards to learn. You can threaten punishment for failure to learn. You can connect learning to desired short-term outcomes. You can connect learning to…

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