I found an article by a Harvard University professor that’s good advice for high school dropouts.
What’s the advice? Four Reasons Any Action Is Better than None according to Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter. It was meant for business executives, but the advice is just as useful for high school dropouts.
Small wins matter
As professor Kanter wrote:
Small wins pave the way for bigger wins.
For some, passing the GED may seem impossible. You’re 29 years old, married, you have two kids and a third kid on the way. When someone asks if you finished high school, you drop your head a little and say, “No. I had to dropout out of school because I needed to work to help support my parents.” Or some other reason.
Sure, you remember that Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492 but you think you’ve forgotten everything you ever new about math.
But you learned how to tune-up your car from a book working in the alley behind your apartment building. Didn’t that feel good?
Accomplishments come in pieces
Again, here’s more advice from professor Kanter.
Every step you take now adds up by getting that much closer to a goal.
Here’s some practical steps you can take today that can bring you closer to passing the GED test (General Equivalency Diploma).
- Find GED test locations, GED test dates, and local GED study centers in your town. You may think this is hard but it’s not insurmountable. It may be as easy as visiting your local library, looking for a reference librarian, and asking them for help. Your local librarian is probably your new, best friend in your search for GED information.
- Purchase the GED for Dummies book. This is your textbook for studying for and passing the GED test. It’s only $20 new.
- Visit a local GED study group (your local librarian helped you find one) and join them.
- Find a mentor. Look around your neighborhood and decide on who might help you study for the GED. Ask them if they will mentor you. They might say no. But they might say yes.
- Start a GED study group. You and your friends spend hours discussing sports or new recipes. Is it so strange to stand up and say: We’re studying for the GED.
You could take any one of those actions today and follow it up with another good action tomorrow. Accomplishments do come in pieces.
Perfection is unattainable anyway
A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
I don’t know who wrote that saying but it affects all of us: dropouts, Harvard professors, car mechanics, politicians, everyone.
The perfect life is unattainable. You dropped out of high school because you were pregnant, or you were the sole support for your aging parents, or you had physical illness. You will never walk across a high school stage and receive your high school diploma. You probably missed the Senior Prom. Get over it.
But you could pass the GED test, get a better job, and earn an Associates Degree from the local junior college. Or, you could pass the GED, go to college, and become a lawyer. It’s possible.
But it all begins with having a good day today and spending 30 minutes studying GED math or GED writing samples.
Actions produce energy and momentum
A final word from Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter.
It simply feels better to take action than sitting around navel-gazing and getting sluggish.
It’s April 15 today. How many times did you procrastinate doing your tax returns and how did that make you feel? Organizing the revenues and expenses in a drawer felt good. Visiting the tax preparer felt even better. Sending your tax return will feel great (well, kind of great, you finished it).
All of us procrastinate. High school dropouts delay things, and so do professors, doctors, lawyers, anyone.
Why not lay out your week now and get something done today?
- April 15, Friday, visit the local library for GED test locations and study locations.
- April 16, Saturday, order GED for Dummies.
- April 17, Sunday, you can take it easy today.
- April 18, Monday, visit a local GED study center.
- April 19, Tuesday, ask the smartest and nicest person you know if they might be a GED mentor for you if you have a problem.
- April 20, Wednesday, call a good friend if he’s a high school dropout and tell him you’re studying for your GED.
- April 21, Thursday, your GED for Dummies book came today. Don’t be overwhelmed. Read the back cover, study the Table of Contents to see the topics, read a few pages. Do not be overwhelmed. Look for things you already know so you can enjoy your success.
If you do something each day for the next 7 days, you’ll be surprised at the energy it gives you.
Take action on passing the GED test today
Read Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s Four Reasons Any Action Is Better than None today. Her advice will help you take action today to pass your GED test in the next year.