Here it is…the number one way you can suck up to your professor…
#1. BE POSITIVE
If you come into the classroom with the attitude “I can’t,” I can guarantee “you won’t.” Your attitude has built a brick wall around your brain. I’ve banged up against student brick walls enough to know once you’ve built them there’s not a thing I can say or do that will tear them down– you have to do that yourself.
“I hate this.” “This is too hard.” “Is there math in this, I’m no good at math.” “I won’t ever be able to figure this out.” Each statement places another brick.
Even the statements “I’ll try,” or “I’ll do my best,” can be self-defeating; you’re accepting failure as an option before you’ve even begun. As long as you did your best, well then failing is okay, you tried, right?
No. Wrong. I sure don’t want my doctor coming to me and telling me she tried, I want her to do. And I don’t want the engineer who designed the bridge that I cross over every day to tell me he did his best, I want a bridge I can trust. Even Gladys, the super sweet woman at the McDonald’s where I get an occasional coffee doesn’t tell me to try and have a nice day, she tells me to have one and she doesn’t try to hand me my coffee either, she does it. Even Yoda knows this, “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.”
Choose your attitude: “I will succeed,” then build an incremental plan with plenty of wins a long the way. For example, “I’m going to figure XYZ out and I’m not going to give up until I do. If I have to ask my teacher to explain it to me a dozen different ways, I will. If I have to put in ten extra hours a week practicing, I will. If I have to get extra help from a tutor, I will. I will get the job done, because I can!” Now that’s the attitude that makes your professor swoon 🙂
Photo credit © Marek Uliasz