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Glenford Smith | Help! I’m feeling lost and losing hope

Published:Sunday | February 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM

QUESTION: I am a young adult who is attending university. Originally, I was doing a bachelor's degree in information technology. However, due to an indecisive manner, I fell short of the degree and switched to a business and computing course.

I'll now eventually receive a bachelor's degree in education. However, that will take a couple more rigorous years.

I'm sort of losing hope and afraid I'll not complete it. What motivating advice can you offer, as I'm feeling somewhat lost?

- A. Brown

SMITH: It's uncertain what precisely you mean by 'an indecisive manner'. It's important, however, that you look deeply into why this caused you to 'fall short of' attaining the IT degree you had originally set out to attain.

According to Napoleon Hill in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich: "Lack of a well-defined power of decision is among the 30 major causes of failure."

After conducting a 20-year study of America's 500 richest men of the early 20th century, and 25,000 persons in total, he made an important discovery. He found that people who succeeded reached decisions promptly, and changed them - if at all - very slowly. On the other hand, people who failed reached decisions - if at all - very slowly, and changed them frequently and quickly. It's crucial, therefore, that you correct your 'indecisive manner'.

A great place to practise decisiveness is right where you are, currently, in your educational pursuits. You state that you're losing hope and afraid you'll not complete your course. My advice to you is simply this: Don't quit; keep persisting.

Here's a practical motivational regimen you can use every day to empower yourself.

- Switch your focus from a negative to a positive outcome. Your feelings of hopelessness and fear come from thoughts of you failing. Choose instead to think of yourself succeeding. Use your imagination and willpower to master your mental focus.

- Clarify the reasons you must succeed. Motivation is a function of your motives - why you must do a thing. Write down your most compelling reasons why you must succeed, and why you can't afford to fail.

- Take control of your closest relationships. Associate with students who are doing well and limit time spent with people who are struggling academically, or who have negative attitudes.

- Devise a daily motivational maintenance programme. Whenever critics of motivational speaking would charge that getting an empowerment boost at a motivational event isn't going to last, the famous motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, used to quip: "Neither is bathing. That's why it's recommended we do it every day."

Schedule time daily to read a motivational book, listen to a programme on self-develop-ment or watch an inspirational biography.

Ultimately, you have to harness your will to win. You have to resolve to succeed; it doesn't just happen.

Winners know that success is a daily choice. Success hinges on your decision to toughen up and keep on pressing on.

Remember former US President Calvin Coolidge's words: "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.