“Phaliśyatiiti vishvásah siddherprathama lakśańam” (Sanskrit: I must be successful in my mission.)
— Shiva, circa 5000 B.C.

This was the first sentence of Shiva’s reply to Parvati when asked about the secrets of success. I guess human beings haven’t changed much in 7000 years! This firm determination, or resolute decision to accomplish something is indeed the cornerstone to success.

In truth, in any field of human endeavor, determination is the cornerstone to success.  Educators strongly believe that it is all the more so in the field of education.  Studies clearly indicate that students who demonstrate determination to succeed can improve their overall performance in school and meet with greater academic success in their school years.

Here are five foremost reasons why determination is important in school success:

1.  Determination is the grass root from which stems several important qualities vital to success in school. A student who manifests a strong determination to succeed, is bound to put in maximum hard work. Nothing deters him from achieving his goals. It is this latent resolve which spurs one on to make greater effort in attaining academic success.

2.  Determination triggers self-motivation. It compounds the student’s desire to make his parents, teachers and most especially himself, proud. A self-motivated student is certainly not the one to give up easily, no matter how difficult a subject may be. Such a student strives hard and stays determined to overcome obstacles and meet challenges that may come his way in school.

3.  Determination compels a student to be self-reliant. A self-reliant student needs no goading from his parents to study or reprimands from his teachers to complete his class assignments or submit projects on time. Self-reliance is a critical quality that could vastly improve a student’s academic performance and significantly contribute to his success in later years.  

4.  Determination facilitates a student to encounter positive educational experiences in his school years and beyond. Positive experiences raise the student’s self-esteem and builds up the student’s confidence level. A student having a higher confidence level is generally driven to excel in his academic performance and meet with greater success in school.

5.  Determination can help develop a sense of purpose in life. Each of us has something special to offer to others, and to the world. Being consciously aware of the needs around propels focused attention on the student’s studies. Internally they feel, “the world needs me to be at my best.” By staying focused, the student puts in as much work as possible in his studies. He quickly finds how much more you can do with the right tools, which leads to more focus and determination—a virtuous cycle.

Final thoughts: Success is the outcome of several factors coming into play. However, determination is the golden key to your child’s school success. Although basic intelligence is important for school success, determination is the single-most important factor in the child’s school success. Determined kids have a strong will power; they refuse to be held back by set-backs; they have an inbuilt resiliency to bounce back and achieve the goals they have set for themselves.

Teaching children the value of determination and encouraging them to follow it with appropriate action, can help them to take charge of their lives and move forward confidently along life’s journey.