How to Succeed in School and Life

Jacob Thomas:

Set goals….
and do them! Set them out of reach, but able to be accomplished. Make them possible to do, but impossible to do right now. After all, the whole purpose of a goal is personal growth right? Set your goals so you need external information or help from somebody else. You are guaranteed to pick up new information, grow as a person, and gain new skills. The feeling from achieving something you didn’t think you could do is worth the whole (usually painful) process.
Find a passion….
and chase it. Find something you love to do and become good at it. Whenever you feel like something is wearing you down, go do what you love, then come back to the issue at hand. It allows you to disconnect for a while, but when you come back to the issue you will have renewed vigor. I’ve found that the more unrelated to school it is, the better. I’m going to school for business, but outdoor activities and building UAV’s are my passion. Whenever I feel like I’m overloaded in school, I go ski for a while or work on a new personal project. The schoolwork doesn’t get any less painful, but my mindset changes.
Be creative.
Some people are born creative, but most people work at it. Creativity isn’t a talent that just appears after a crazy weekend in Tijuana; it’s a skill that takes work. The more effort you put into being creative, the more you will get out of it. Dream up something crazy, and build it. Brainstorm about a crazy system or program, and see through to its end. See what other people are doing, analyze it, and figure out how it can be done better. See how you can make something stronger, less expensive, look better, function better, sound better, or simply hype something up more than someone else. In most cases, little changes can have huge effects. Do you spend $600 every semester on books for school? Stop. Rent, trade, or barter to get the material. Need beer money? Find something people want, make it, and sell it to them. DIY is the new cool.