Wondering how to keep your child’s spirits up as he is preparing to face his annual exams? Here are some motivational quotes to draw inspiration from.
By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj
‘Climb high, climb far; your goal the sky, your aim the star.’
‘You can’t cross a great chasm in two short steps.’
These are a couple of quotes that adorned the walls of the auditorium of my alma mater, St Francis Xavier’s Anglo Indian High School, Chennai. They are etched deeply in my mind to this day, though it is decades since I stepped out of that campus. Such is the power of quotes. In fact, we had quite a few such quotes displayed in various strategic places on the walls of our school. Also, every morning, one class representative was to write a ‘Thought for the day’ on the blackboard. Inevitably, I took on this interesting task almost every day for the sheer joy of writing a different motivational quote each day and observing the effect it had on all those who read it. This started off my romance with quotes – writing a quote on the top of each page of all my notebooks, adorning my college bag with a collage of quotes, and so on. Well, this association with quotes has taught me that these words have the power to inspire, motivate, cheer and what not. So, what better time than before exams to motivate your child through these quotes?
1. You can do
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then, by all means, paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Inspiration for your child: Van Gogh, the famous Dutch painter, is said to have created about 2,100 works of art in just over a decade. He couldn’t have achieved this if he had not believed in himself. Though he was virtually unknown during his lifetime, today he is considered one of the greatest painters, and many of his paintings rank among the most expensive in the world. Teach your child to have self-belief. Developing a ‘Can do’ attitude, will motivate her to do well in her exams.
2. You do have time
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H Jackson Brown Jr
Inspiration for your child: All the great people mentioned by the American author Brown lived full and successful lives making significant contributions to society. This was possible by managing their time well. Make your child understand that every moment is precious and cannot be wasted. Let him realise that rather than saying, ‘There’s no time,’ he’ll need to find time to complete all his lessons before the exams.
3. Work hard
“There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
Inspiration for your child: This comes from one of the world’s greatest inventors, who singly or joint, held a world record 1,093 patents! Nothing but sheer hard work would have made him achieve this. Ensure your child believes in hard work. Nothing can replace it. Teach him to not only work hard but also put in consistent effort in his studies. Consistency will help him reap rich benefits.
4. Dame Fortune will assist you
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson
Inspiration for your child: America’s founding father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States – Thomas Jefferson couldn’t have been all of these if he had waited merely for luck to favour him. He did put in tons of hard work. And, yes, fortune did seek him out. Ensure your child understands that if she works hard, luck will certainly come to her aid (probably, an exam paper that she can easily crack!).
5. Prepare well
“You were born to win. But, to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar
Inspiration for your child: These words of the World War II veteran and America’s most influential motivational speaker Zig Zaglar underline the significance of preparation being the key to winning. Let your child focus on planning and preparation. The more she focusses on this, the better will be the chances of her succeeding in her exams.
6. Don’t give up
"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Inspiration for your child: Stowe, the social activist, whose popular anti-slavery novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ made the tide turn in favour of the slaves and set off the Civil War in America, knew what it meant to never give up. That’s a lesson for your child – he may have faced failure in his exams earlier and may, therefore, be diffident now. But, you need to motivate him to never give up. Let him keep trying. Success will certainly be his.
7. Don’t buckle under pressure
“You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.” - Dr James G Bilkey
Inspiration for your child: The American author Bilkey’s words are quite true. Life is so full of stress and anxiety that we need to strain every nerve to achieve what we need to. Without all that stress, success will not be as sweet. Teach your child that though exams may build tension and pressure, she needs to be able to deal with the same effectively in order to excel and come out in flying colours.
8. Pave your way to success
“Recipe for success: Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” - William A Ward
Inspiration for your child: What could be a better formula for success than this? This quote from America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims is on the lines of the famous Aesop’s fable – The ant and the grasshopper. All summer, the ant worked to save food for the winter, while the grasshopper danced away happily. Come winter, the ant had enough food to eat whereas the grasshopper had to go hungry. Let your child understand that there’s a time for everything – a time for work and a time for play. Let him not model his routine on those lazing around. Instead, let him work, work and work towards success.
9. Don’t delay
“Procrastination is the thief of time.” - Edward Young
Inspiration for your child: The English poet Young has personified procrastination as a thief, and rightly so. Putting off something to be done right now for later, will not ensure success. For, that something will never get done and precious time will be lost. Help your child to get into the habit of completing her lessons and assignments then and there. Let her never postpone anything for later. For your child to excel in her exams, she needs to be prompt and diligent in her studies.
10. Face the challenge
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” - Robert H Schuller
Inspiration for your child: These words of wisdom come from America’s Christian televangelist, motivational speaker and author of 30 books including six best-sellers. Preparation for exams may be an arduous task requiring a lot of dedication, effort and focus. However, if your child prepares well and doesn’t buckle under pressure, he will be able to successfully overcome the challenge that exams pose.
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