How do you land your dream job, win the world's most prestigious scholarships, and get into your top school choices? Conventionally, students are taught that the main way to achieve these things are by getting great grades in the right classes and getting great summer jobs in the right fields.
This strategy may have been a safe bet for awhile, but it simply isn't anymore. With more and more people applying to the same positions, competition is spiking dramatically. Simply working harder or taking a test prep course isn't enough anymore. In fact, it's risky.
The best way to achieve massive success is to passionately plan, prioritize, and pursue your vision today, not tomorrow! Landing your dream job, winning the world's most prestigious scholarships, and getting into your top choice school has more to do with the choices you make today rather than how well you fill out your application. College students from across the country, even from the most prestigious universities, learned this lesson the hard way last year when fewer positions were available and recruiters had stacks of hundreds of resumes.
Below are some examples of students who planned, prioritized, and pursued their vision early and achieved massive results:
- Successful serial entrepreneur, Joshua Newman
, was offered a senior technology analyst position before he graduated from Yale by one of his former clients over dinner.
- Devi Sridhar won the Rhodes Scholarship, the nation's most prestigious scholarship, when she didn't even decide to apply until a few months before the application was due. Some of the people that didn't end up winning had been preparing for over three years. She had done most of the work in the years prior when she was pursuing her vision.
- Jamie Gonzalez, a successful student entrepreneur from the University of Oklahoma, got the highest job offer in his class even though he had a paltry 2.4 GPA.
- You’re failing if you’re not making enough mistakes. One thing successful people have in common is that they fail a lot. The average millionaire goes bankrupt more than once. Pursue your dreams and use failures as stepping stones. “Every adversity carries with it the seeds of a greater benefit. ” – Napoleon Hill, Best-Selling Author, Think and Grow Rich
- If you don’t have skeptics, than you’re not thinking big enough. To be in the top .000000001% you cannot follow the road most taken. You must create your own. “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. ” – Albert Einstein
- Never take a job for money. Like a business, we all have tangible and intangible assets. Intangible benefits to our brand, network, growth, and knowledge are more important than our salary or hourly wage when choosing a career. “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. ” — Benjamin Franklin
- Good grades and test scores are risky. The opposite of good is great. By achieving our school system’s goals, we are set up to be good, but not great. We must create our own path in life. Like a business creates a business plan, individuals must create a life plan. “There is no correlation between high SAT scores, good grades, and money. ” — Thomas Stanley, author, The Millionaire Mind
- Experience and knowledge can make you close-minded. By having experience of how things should be, we become close-minded to how they could be. Today’s youth, the first generation to grow up with the Internet, have access to and the ability to implement new opportunities that adults can not see. “Young people will dominate most of the twenty-first century. ” — Don Tapscott, best-selling author, Growing Up Digital
- If you are comfortable, than you’re obsolete. By being comfortable being uncomfortable, we create new possibilities in our lives that allow us to excel over others who refuse to change or grow. “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress. ” — Thomas Edison
Don’t pursue backup plans. Because of fear of failure, many people pursue careers that are safe, but that they are not passionate about. By doing this they set themselves up to be average. Individuals who plan, prioritize, and pursue their vision are bound to succeed. “Most people live and die with their music unplayed. They never dare to try. ” – Mary Kay Ash, founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics
- Don’t always listen to your friends and family. While your friends and family may have the best intentions for you, their first reaction is often to shelter you from being hurt instead of encouraging you to take risks and pursue your dreams. “Be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best - night and day - to make you everybody else. ” — E. E. Cummings, poet
- Pursue Extreme Endeavors. Pursue unconventional, success activities that you friends only dream about such as; making a job in a company or your own business, taking time off from school, shadowing a role model, attending interesting and relevant seminars/conferences, and conducting informational interviews. “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. ” — Coco Chanel
- Plan, prioritize, and pursue your vision before you graduate. It is better to have a quarter-life crisis than a mid-life crisis. The decisions that you make now determine whether you have a life of success or distress. “The time is always right to do what is right. ” — Martin Luther King
Michael Simmons is the author of the best-selling book, The Student Success Manifesto : How to Create a Life of Passion, Purpose and Prosperity and an award-winning entrepreneur. He is also one of America's top youth motivational speakers for college campuses . Read his online journal at young entrepreneur journey or click on the following link to download his free success ebook