Is Failure An Option?


The stress and anxiety that students and parents exhibit each day can significantly impact accomplishing large and small goals. Each day we rise with our motors running, knowing that each precious minute counts, and we believe we are ready to face the day. Each day we face deadlines, decisions and debacles that we need to tackle. Whether you are a student with assignments, tests, or papers due, or an adult with bills to pay and personal goals to conquer, the potential for stress and anxiety is just a stone’s throw away.

Can we really divorce ourselves from the stress? Often, the response is, sure we can – it’s simple, if you follow these principles: prepare in advance, utilize quantifiable data to organize tasks to accomplish and create a “to do” list incorporating immediate-, short-, and long-term goals. Sounds easy, right? Though it is simplistic in design, it can often be challenging to manage incorporating these strategies and focusing on our goals. For many people, it’s the execution of the plan that becomes the daunting task.

Many people believe that everyone else’s output is greater than their own. The playing field, whether for parent or student, is incredibly competitive. Many people procrastinate, tell themselves accomplishing a challenging task is out of their grasp, and believe some goals are fit just for a select few. I believe that one of the greatest challenges in our society today is the rapid-fire information that hits us – the many interruptions that seem to inhibit us from staying on task and also can have a profound effect on our moods. In light of all this, it’s inevitable that – like computers – parents and students sometimes feel as though they are crashing.

This is perfectly reflected by a recent scenario I experienced with my daughter en route to her college orientation in New Orleans. Our bags were packed, boarding passes printed, and alarms set for 3:00 AM. My daughter and I were travelling without my husband, who loves to arrive to the airport early. He arranged for a car service to arrive at 3:45, giving us more than enough time to get to the airport. It seemed as though all of our targets were hit – however, both my daughter and I didn’t realize until too late that our phones were both either on vibrate or silent. Fortunately, I have an early internal clock. My eyes popped open at 5:05am – an hour before our flight. I woke my daughter and phoned the number of the car service that came up as missed calls on my phone. I stated my issue frantically, and after a hectic car ride, we arrived at the terminal.

Now, the next leg of what seemed like a wild relay race was in play. As we dashed out of the car and leapt onto the sidewalk, I tripped over the curb. I got up from my fall and forged ahead, even though my knee was throbbing. We raced through the TSA line, excusing ourselves along the way. When I alerted security of our flight time, they continued to get us through. We raced to the gate and made it with enough time to purchase water at a kiosk nearby. As we sat in our seats, ready for takeoff, my daughter and I both glanced at each other and smiled, as if to say, “Operation-Getting-Emily-To-College-Orientation now complete!”

So what’s the lesson learned here? There are a few. First, check all devices to make sure they are set properly, especially when you must be awake early. Pack the night before to save some time in the morning. Don’t leave yourself last minute tasks to deal with. Most importantly, always remember that if something is important enough to you, then failure isn’t an option. If you truly want to make something happen, and you can visualize it, you can achieve it. In our situation, a little luck was helpful, too.

As we settle into a new school year, talk to your children about the importance of rebounding from challenging situations. As parents, modeling behaviors is extremely important. Our children may not always be hearing us, but they are always watching our actions, interactions and reactions.

Wishing you and your families a school year of creating outcomes over the obstacles that may meet you in your path!

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Elyse Goldstein is a recognized specialist in the fields of education, communications and parenting, and a sought after independent consultant.  Her career began in the classroom and she was praised for her ability to connect with colleagues, students and their families. For over 20 years she has enhanced the landscape of her students learning by understanding their uniqueness and how they learn. Elyse has created a model that tailors the academic, behavioral and social components of learning to the individual students learning needs.  She holds a BA in Speech Communications and an MA in Early Childhood, Elementary and Adolescent general and special education.  Elyse is the founder of Educational Management Solutions, a boutique consultancy based in New York maintaining a client base locally and nationally.  She believes that education is a personal experience and her objective is to impact her students and promote thoughtful, productive and goal oriented learners.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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