Thursday, February 2, 2012

Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success by Cynthia Kocialski

Why the Average Child is Perfect?
By Cynthia Kocialski

When children are born, parents have no idea what lies ahead for them in the future. As parents we hope, but we don’t know.  As they grow up, teachers, relatives, and strangers love to encourage the child as well as parents. They tell us how talented or how smart our kids are. But do they really believe it, or are these people just presenting hypocritical praise. Should we be skeptical?
Most parents realize that only a rare few have an extreme talent for anything. Somewhere we embraced the notion that those superstars and those most successful are those that are the most talented in the world at something. Is this true? Is there no hope for those who are just average?
Of course not, there is always hope and in fact, the odds of success are actually in their favor.  Over my career, what I’ve learned is success in life doesn’t hinge upon having an extreme ability or getting the top grades. There are lots of average people who are highly successful. If talent alone were the determining factor, we wouldn’t see drop outs being billionaires. The biggest and best corporations would be headed by the alumni of the top universities, and that’s not true either. Scientific breakthroughs would be discovered only by those with the highest IQ’s, and studies have disproved this as well. It seems contradictory to what we’ve been led to believe. Why is this?
Most of us and our children spend our early impressionable years focused on school.  Our lives centered around the school system. For those of us who have passed through our school years and have reached the middle of our careers, we realize that what we needed to know was so much more than what was taught in school. Schools pass on the wealth of human knowledge to the next generation. This is not say that there is anything wrong with the school system; I don’t know any better way to pass on this knowledge. But in this process, we got it stuck in our heads that success simply requires talent.
To achieve, it all begins with a shift in thinking as to what is truly required. It starts by accepting that an extreme talent isn’t necessary. It begins by dispelling some of those concepts we learned in school, notions meant to help us learn the subjects, but don’t necessarily hold true for reaching our dreams.
In the first chapter, Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success opens with why straight A grades are not required for success.  Too many people equate academic success with future professional success, and this book begs to differ.  Why average works for success is because it’s not one single talent that matters as much as the combination of qualities. So any one talent simply needs to be ‘good enough’. It’s those secondary skills and soft talents that carry the day.
The book further discusses some of those misconceptions and half-truths, which when taken for literal or face value will hinder success.
-Every school child has heard it, “Good things come to those that wait”.  Is this really wise advice if you want to reach your dreams? Shouldn’t it be “Good things come to those that wait, better things come to those that ask, and the best things come to those who go out and get what they want.” Now imagine what would happen in a classroom if children knew more than the opening, could a teacher keep control?
-Happily and successfully ever after don’t just happen. School children are always asked what are their dreams or what do they want to become. Why does no one ever follow that up with asking how they are going to make that vision a reality? Why don’t they help plan a detailed strategy to accomplish the goal? An objective with no plan is nothing more than wishful thinking. I don’t think our children want their dreams to stay just dreams.
- The words “effort and reward” are used in conjunction, almost as if they are married to each other.  Effort alone doesn’t bring reward. The reward comes when the effort yields a result. It’s the accomplishment that brings the reward. Somewhere we left out the middleman. It should be effort, result, and then reward.
-Everyone wants to fit in, often rushing to get the things everyone else has and do what everyone else does. Why try to be like everyone else?  Success demands standing out from the crowd. This means being different and unique, not the same.
There is no big secret to success that needs to be uncovered. Superstars weren’t preordained for stardom. It is possible for just about anyone to be successful.
About the Author
Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three tech start-ups companies. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in dozens of start-ups. Cynthia writes the Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog Cynthia has written the book, “Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success: How to Prosper Without Being at the Top of the Class.” The book serves up tips, insight, and wisdom to enable young adults and parents of kids to know what it will take to forge a successful career, no matter what their academic achievement.
More info about the book here.


  1. Looks like a great book for youth that are planning their career path.

  2. I am so excited to read it. Hoping to learn a lot!

  3. Your blog looks so good! I'm glad I found it! - Lo

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you did too. I really need to spend more time blogging but the writing and cute boys demand me more!

  4. I believe resiliency--building that into our children as much as possible, goes a long way.

    Interesting thoughts.
    ~ Wendy

  5. You're so right, Wendy. Just clarifying, does that mean my 5yo shouldn't have a tantrum everytime I tell him to get ready for school? I keep telling myself it's just that he likes being with me!


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