320Success seems to be connected with action. 1Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they never quit. 1

422Efficacious people stick to a task until it is completed. 1They don’t give up easily. 1They are able to analyze a problem, and they develop a system, structure, or strategy to attack it. They have a repertoire of alternative strategies for problem solving, and they employ a whole range of these strategies. They collect evidence to indicate their problem-solving strategy is working, and if one strategy doesn’t work, they know how to back up and try another. They recognize when a theory or an idea must be rejected and another employed. They have systematic methods for analyzing a problem, which include knowing how to begin, what steps must be performed, what data must be generated or collected, and what resources are available to assist. Because they are able to sustain a problem-solving process over time, they are comfortable with ambiguous situations.

1023Students often give up when they don’t immediately know the answer to a problem. 3They sometimes crumple their papers and throw them away, exclaiming “I can’t do this!” or “It’s too hard!” Sometimes they write down any answer to get the task over with as quickly as possible. 1Some of these students have attention deficits. 1They have difficulty staying focused for any length of time; they are easily distracted, or they lack the ability to analyze a problem and develop a system, structure, or strategy of attack. 3They may give up because they have a limited repertoire of problem-solving strategies, and thus they have few alternatives if their first strategy doesn’t work. 

The above is from an article titled, Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind, Chapter 2. Describing the Habits of Mind by Arthur L. Costa that we use in a program of, and can annotate among other high school students and teachers.

After a really really bad night of Wriggley being tended to at the ER in Salisbury, MD, coming through like a champ, and me exhausted, I woke up and examined these habits of mind:

and realized two groups of people came to MY MIND (see what I did there?) Classic Upward Bound students and Cross Country runners. I often see many that are not able to see past today, even tomorrow if they are lucky. But when they catch a glimpse of what the future could bring, (which is a hard thing to change their scope of vision) they become a better runner, student, and shaker and mover.

I could say more, but do not need to, despite 1001 things that often consume our lives, this one quality out of 16 is one of the most enduring and can change a person. I admire that in the students and athletes that keep up the good fight and persist.

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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