Work Ethic Chapter 2 Plan to Win

From here on out, preparation will be a major key to your success or failure. The second component is execution, but in order for the execution to be successful, there must be a plan. Making the best plan you can make, then getting it done will do more for your success goals and self-esteem than 1,000 hours of positive self-help book reading. The plan you create is, essentially, a road map to where you desire to go. You don’t have to know every step of the way, but you must know there will be steps– plenty of them. You must plan as much as possible so you have an understanding of the task at hand. The right planning may help you see you may not really want to pursue a particular goal after all.

Plan to win by knowing your real desires and what you want to accomplish. One of the things that puzzled me early in my teaching career were students that didn’t hard, even when their parents were taking away privileges and staying on their case about making better grades. I have been in those kids’ shoes as a high school student. My parents stayed on my back about getting the best grades I could so I could go and “be something”– whatever that meant.   I sat through many parent conferences where the parents promised the kids would do better work, then the teachers would ask the kid about doing better work and the kid would promise to do better work – without coercion. For many years, I found myself in teacher conferences making the same promises of grandeur that kids have made for decades. I made them just to get the pain of my parents and teachers to stop, even if it meant I would mess up a week later.

It still puzzles me to this day why I did it, and why other students do it. Why do we say stuff we don’t mean, and never say what we really mean? I remember those conferences. They would cause me to pick it up a little bit, but in reality, the C grade was cool with me. After years of sitting in conferences, knowing the kid was lying and he wasn’t going to improve, I started to ask better questions of the students in inquisition. While I was in high school, all I cared about was playing baseball (successfully) and being social. Out of all my teachers, only my art teacher found a way to connect my baseball playing to classwork. During my senior year, Mr. Johnson approached me with an opportunity to strengthen my hands so I could be a better baseball player. It was throwing 25 pounds of clay on the wheel and forming it into pots, bowls, or vases. All he had to do was make the connection and I was all in. I believe he knew my real desires (baseball success) and how to connect it to what his class had to offer. I believe he realized that in order for me to focus, he had to connect to me somehow. As a high school student, you have to know what you really want to accomplish. I realize not every student will have a teacher help them connect what they really want to do with class work, so sometimes you have to do that for yourself. How does what you really want to do connect to your math or science classes? The moment you can start to do challenging work for yourself is when you start to head down your own path. You have to take the time to find out what your real desires are, or you will be unmotivated to do the crap work that comes along with being successful.

Pierce Brunson , M.Ed., is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, and spends his time working as a mentor and speaker while developing businesses that help improve the high school experience for students and teachers. He has over a decade of experience teaching in the public school system as a high school Social Studies teacher, majoring in World History and Sociology. Pierce believes everyone can do more to help improve the education system in their local communities, which is part of the backbone of any society. Pierce’s advice is simple: stop complaining and do something to help improve the situation. Good people have to stop being afraid to fight for what they believe in. Get in the game, help others, share culture and move the world toward equality and justice. Connect with Pierce at,, and

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