Success Skills and Attitudes

Students demonstrate and continuously seek to enhance the values, skills, and traits that increase personal happiness and the successful achievement of their academic, personal, and career goals.

Key Beliefs:

I will be a better student if I act on the following beliefs: 

  • I have the skills and attitudes that will bring me happiness and success.
  • Successful achievement comes from having a “can do” attitude.
  • I can achieve my goals with perseverance and effort.
  • The mind is a muscle that gets stronger with use.
  • Model and illustrate the life skills that will help achieve happiness and success.
  • Share your ‘best’ mistake of the week with you, and what they learned from it.
  • There are many ways to employ effort effectively, such as seeking out challenges, setting goals and making plans, using creative strategies, and sticking with it when you are having difficulty.
  • “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden
  • “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” – John Maxwell
  • “Strive for progress, not perfection.” – Unknown
  • “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills
  • “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
  • “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” – George Lorimer
  • “There isn’t a person anywhere who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can.” – Henry Ford
  • Soul Surfer  – On Halloween in 2003, a shark bit off part of Bethany Hamilton’s arm and she didn’t let that stop her from doing what she loves.
  • Hall of Fame – Achievement comes in many forms. For some it’s attaining a top grade in school, losing weight, or excelling in a sport, for others it’s overcoming an obstacle, attaining accolades at work or building a relationship. Whatever the goal, it takes much effort, skill, and courage to achieve great things. Set to the uplifting song “Hall of Fame” this message inspires viewers to achieve their own goals.
  • Power of the Dream – Falling off the beam was a real challenge to her! Yet she did very well. This spot also has an extra layer of meaning for those who know ESL (English Sign Language), which the hearing-impaired gymnast and her coach are using to speak to each other.

Demonstrate the relationship between learning and work. (Elementary)
The students will be introduced to the ways different community helpers learned how to do their jobs. They will compare what they are learning to the education these workers have had.


  • Gather materials showing people performing a job.
  • Ask students to describe what is being done such as someone working on a house, driving a truck, working on a highway, conducting a trial, working in a laboratory, and many others.
  • Students list some of the skills needed to do the jobs such as measuring, reading a map, planning, studying laws, writing out procedures, etc. • Ask students what subjects (mathematics, reading) are required to do these jobs.
  • Have students account for the relationship of those skills they listed to the schoolwork they are now doing.
  • Students describe how a house would look if built by someone who could not measure. What would happen if a paper was written by a lawyer who did not know the laws of the land?

Extension: Have students draw a picture of a house built by a builder who cannot measure. Have students tell one thing they have learned.


  • From a list of simple jobs, students write some of the skills needed for that work.
  • Students interview their parents about how they learned to do their jobs.
  • Students compare the different jobs and education required for all school workers.

Attributes and Traits of School Success: How They Help (Middle School)


Identify the traits and skills that help you be a successful student. Next to each, write how this trait contributes to school success and worker success. After you have completed your answers, rank the traits with number one being the most important to you and number ten being the least important to you.


For the top five traits, journal on the following statements:

  • How I have used this trait to be successful
  • The help I need to be even more successful in school.

How Your Attitudes Shape Your Life by Michael Josephson
A long time ago a reporter visited a rock quarry where three men were cutting granite out of the walls. He asked the first what he was doing and the man grunted, “I’m making bricks.” The second man grinned and said, “I’m making the foundation for a building.” The third smiled, “I’m building a great cathedral.”

All three were doing the same job, but their different attitudes about their work determined how they experienced their lives.

The first fellow saw his labor in a narrow way – making bricks to make a living. The second looked through a wider lens, realizing his bricks would be part of something lasting and important – the foundation of a building. The third man had the widest vision of all. He saw himself as part of a grand and uplifting enterprise – building a cathedral!

Could you guess which was the happiest? Which one would you hire?

Let’s apply this story to teachers. The brick–maker type would say, “I teach math.” The foundation–builder would say: “I teach math but I also teach my students how to learn so they can be more capable of anything.” The cathedral–builder would say, “I teach math and lay a foundation for my students to learn other things, but I also help them see their full potential and build their character because each one is a cathedral!”

Which teacher would you rather have? Which do you think enjoys his or her life the most?

Could you apply this to your life? Are you just learning the least you have to so you get the grade you want, or are you taking the opportunity to build skills and habits that will help you achieve other goals? Imagine how much more you would get out of school if you saw yourself as a cathedral under construction, developing skills and character traits that will allow you to live a truly happy, rewarding, and worthwhile life.

Remember, it’s your attitudes, not your circumstances that determine how far you will go and how much you will enjoy the journey.

Educational Outcomes: