Mindset key to success in, beyond high school

Micheal Simmons, Blue M Editor-In-Chief

High school is an experience that is unique to everyone of us. However, if you look closely, every individual who wants to be successful throughout and eventually beyond high school has found their way, or formula of doing just that. With my days left at Manhattan High being numbered, I have reflected on the strategies that I use to be successful. The strategies that I use did not originate from me, in fact they were taught to me by head football coach Joe Schartz and other members of the coaching staff, such as defensive coordinator Adam O’Neill. The coaching staff shortened these strategies into small, easily repeatable phrases. They include: “Doesn’t Matter, Get Better” (DMGB), “Hard work, works” and lastly “Glass Half Full.” The first part of every formula, including my own, begins with the want to be successful.

The want to be successful is the most foundational and crucial part of any formula and without it, any strategy is bound to fail. In my experience, wanting to be successful is something that comes from a person’s personality as well their maturity and cannot be forged or created by a friend or family member; either it is present in a person or it’s not. For any individual looking to gain this attribute, I would suggest involving yourself in athletics due to the competition that is present. During athletics, people compete to be better than one another, just how people compete with each other in life to be more successful. This exposure to some aspects of the real world was what benefited me the most and helped me gain the want to be successful.

After gaining this attribute, it is still difficult to turn the want into reality. This is where different strategies come into play. The first strategy that I used, DMGB, can be employed many different ways. I found the most useful way is to think about the acronym after an important event. For example, after a test I would repeat the acronym after I saw my grade on the test, despite what the score was. The reason this strategy is so effective is because it disregards the actual outcome of the event and instead only worries about self improvement. Whether the outcome of the event was a success or a failure, the strategy still requires you to get better, which in turn either ensures eventual success or repeated success. However the act of actually getting better is not as easy as thinking four words to yourself.

Once you have employed DMGB, then comes the follow through of getting better which often requires hard work leading to the strategy of “Hard work, works.” This strategy can be employed in a multitude of ways such as studying to improve a grade or working out to improve physical performance. This strategies main purpose is to remind an individual that hard work will make them better, which in my experience has been true in almost every instance. However, this strategy is capable of serving a secondary purpose as well. In addition to showing an individual the path to improving, it also shows them that hard work the only path to improvement, or in other words, that getting better should never be easy and should require hard work.

The final piece to the puzzle is a reminder to stay positive, or to have a glass half full mindset. In my experience, there have been a few instances where despite how hard someone works, how badly they want success, or how perfect their strategies were they simply do not achieve their goal. An example would be when a person studied for days longer than they did for a previous test and still didn’t improve. These circumstances can be frustrating and it becomes easy to lose sight of the overall goal. When your formula doesn’t work, it is important to remember that there are still many positive things in life, that the glass really is half full and that a failure does not mean the glass is half empty. This will allow an individual to maintain hope that they will achieve their goal and more importantly, pushes them to try again.

This process has allowed me to better myself in ways I previously thought impossible and I hope that it does the same for others that employ it as I have. As I close this final column of mine, I am beginning to realize that while my time at MHS has certainly been memorable, it is soon to be over.

Signing off for the final time,

Micheal Simmons

Blue M Editor-in-Chief