Not everyone makes it to the podium, many falter just before the finish line. But students at Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Matriculation Higher Secondary School were confident of courting success, armed with twin secrets by the end of the recent Newspaper in Education (NIE) session.

As an ice-breaker for the ‘Secret of Success’ module, NIE coordinator Radhika Vijay requested for 10 volunteers. When she asked students why they had volunteered, reasons ranged from ‘because my friend did’ to ‘sheer curiosity’. Taking initiative or volunteering is pertinent to success. While the desire to succeed is essential, the driving force to propel desire is more important. The driving force is motivation, said Ms. Radhika.

To each his own

Motivation is not always a matter of external push, often it has to be self-driven, she told students. Success techniques are individualistic and students must find what suits them best. Asked to list persons they considered as role models, students came up with a list that included the English teacher and Sachin Tendulkar, justified by traits like hard work, a sense of humour, sense of focus and perseverance. Success can be an abstract term till one equips oneself on preparing for success. Setting and visualising goals, closing the mind to distractions, reading about the goal, and biographies of achievers were tips doled out.

Though many possess the driving force, it is often overpowered by the desire to quit. Sometimes we may give up not knowing how close we are to the destination, said Ms.Radhika, narrating an anecdote on Florence Chadwick, the first woman to cross the English Channel. Ms.Chadwick while accomplishing a swimming record, gave up a mere mile from her destination as she could not sight land shrouded by fog. The second time she made it, spurred by a mental image of the land.

The ‘secret of success’ module helps students make success a habit by nurturing four pillars of positive thinking, motivation, concentration, self-discipline and self- confidence.