Planning for Success - Create Your Own Luck

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How to guide your student towards success and achievement. Structuring good habits, providing support, and working hard to reach goals and prepare for future opportunities. How to create your own luck!


Erika Carson, Eds.
Trilogy Mentors, Chief Learning Officer

For me, getting a job at the Science Museum of Virginia meant reaching out to anyone who would listen. Becoming Chief Learning Officer, at Trilogy Mentors, meant doing everything I needed to do ahead of time to prepare myself for my dream job. I’m definitely a “lucky duck” but that’s because I was more than ready when these opportunities presented themselves.

What’s the relationship between luck and success?

"Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity."

--Oprah Winfrey

“They’re lucky, they’re smarter than me” or “They’re lucky they got a better teacher than I did” – students say things like this all the time. In response to these types of comments, it’s important to help students understand that we can create our own luck. It’s done by working hard so that when an opportunity comes knocking we’e ready to “show our stuff!”

Planning and preparation for students

There are 3 categories of students when it comes to planning and preparation for the tasks and goals set.

  1. Students that understand what they have to do to maximize they’re potential. These students set goals, study for tests, and perform successfully under pressure, without much guidance.

  2. Students that take cues and seek guidance from others. These students observe others and ask their friends, peers, teachers, or parents for help to think through problems or get some direction and set them on the right path to achieving their goals.

  3. Students that need more support from adult figures - organizing the steps to success or asking for help isn’t so obvious. These students generally need a teacher or mentor who helps them ask the right questions, identify goals, and set plans for achieving success.

Creating luck doesn’t mean that you have to be the smartest or the most talented person in the room, it’s about self-awareness. Get students in the habit of reflecting on their goals, their abilities, and their impact on the people, places, and things around them so that they understand where they’re at in their lives and how to go from where they are at to where they want to be. A student that is self-reflective will know when, and who, they need to ask for help. In addition, they’ll have a stronger commitment to the hard work they will have to put in to achieve their goals.

More importantly, a student who has been encouraged to be reflective and responsible for their own success will value the time and effort it’s taken them to get to where they are in life. These students will be better prepared to recognize opportunities as they are being presented to them – quickly figuring out multiple paths to success.

Strategies to help students create their own luck

Teach your students to prepare for opportunities and reach success!

  1. Help them set goals – both personal and academic.

  2. Help them develop strategies and plans for achieving goals

  3. Set up routines and habits – training for any type of challenge will improve the odds

  4. Look into events, programs, and presentations that help get your child connected to the people, places, and things they’re interested in. Support your child by encouraging healthy ambitions and the strength they’ll need to follow through on these.