You've thought about going back to school for a long time, yearned to finish your degree or earn your certificate. How do you know you'll succeed? Follow our 10 secrets to success as an adult student and you'll have a great chance. They're based on Dr. Wayne Dyer's "10 Secrets to Success and Inner Peace."
1. The First Secret
Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.
Around the world, college campuses, classrooms of every kind, are the best places to find wide open minds. People who seek learning, especially those who return to school at 25 or older, ask questions because they want to know. They're curious. Generally, nobody is making them learn. They want to learn. They're minds are open to whatever possibilities await them.
Return to school with a wide open mind, and let yourself be amazed.
Wayne Dyer says, "Refuse to allow yourself to have low expectations about what you're capable of creating."
The second part of this secret is being attached to nothing. What does that mean?
Wayne says, "Your attachments are the source of all your problems. The need to be right, to possess someone or something, to win at all costs, to be viewed by others as superior—these are all attachments. The open mind resists these attachments and consequently experiences inner peace and success."
2. The Second Secret
Don't die with your music still in you.
Wayne Dyer calls your inner voice, your passion, music. He says, "That music that you hear inside of you urging you to take risks and follow your dreams is your intuitive connection to the purpose in your heart since birth."
Listen to that music. Most of us could hear it clearly when we were children. I have a photo of myself at 6 with a child-sized typewriter on my lap at Christmastime. I knew at 6 that I loved language and wanted to be a writer.
What did you know as a child you were good at? If you don't know, start listening. That knowing is still inside you. That knowing will tell you what you really should be studying in school.
Listen to that music and follow it.
3. The Third Secret
You can't give away what you don't have.
This secret is about filling yourself with love, respect, empowerment—all the things you give when encouraging others. You can't help others if you don't have those things in yourself.
This secret is about positive self-talk. What are you telling yourself? Do you think about what you want, or what you don't want?
Wayne Dyers says, "By changing your inner thoughts to the higher frequencies of love, harmony, kindness, peace, and joy, you'll attract more of the same, and you'll have those higher energies to give away.
What does this mean for you as a student? Stay focused on why you're in school, on your goal, and the universe will conspire to help you.
4. The Fourth Secret
"Silence reduces fatigue and allows you to experience your own creative juices."
That's what Wayne Dyer has to say about the power of silence. The small spaces between the 60,000 thoughts we are said to have every day is where peace can be found. How do you access those small spaces? Learn to make them bigger through meditation, through training your mind. Your thoughts are your thoughts after all. You can control them.
Learning to meditate can help you balance school, work, and all of the wonderful things you want to fill your life with. It'll help you remember what you study.
We've got easy instructions for you: How to Meditate
5. The Fifth Secret
Give up your personal history.
One of my favorite Wayne Dyer analogies is his comparison of your past and the wake behind the boat. If you've ever seen a boat go by, you've seen the wake it leaves behind. It can be gentle or turbulent, but whatever kind of wake it is, it has absolutely nothing to do with driving the boat forward. It's just what's left behind.
Dyer suggests you think of your past as the wake behind the boat, and let it go. It does nothing to drive you forward. It's just what's left behind.
This is important for adults returning to school because it doesn't matter why you didn't finish the first or second or third time around. All that matters is that you're trying again. Let the past go, and the future will be easier.
6. The Sixth Secret
You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it.
"Your thoughts are the source of virtually everything in your life." — Wayne Dyer
You may not be able to change the world, but you can change the way you think about it. Change the way you think about something, and you change your relationship with that thing. If your thoughts are filled with problems, chances are good you'll perpetuate those problems.
Think about what you can do, not what you can't do. Change your thoughts from problems to solutions, and watch your life change.
7. The Seventh Secret
There are no justified resentments.
"Anytime you're filled with resentment, you're turning the controls of your emotional life over to others to manipulate." — Wayne Dyer
Resentments are low energies that hold you back. Dyer tells the story of an enlightened master who teaches, "If someone offers you a gift, and you do not accept that gift, to whom does the gift belong?"
When someone offers you anger, guilt, or any other kind of negative gift, you can choose to respond with love, not resentment. You do not need to accept negative gifts.
This is important to you as a student because it means you can let go of fears of being judged too old to be in school, too far behind to learn, too...whatever. You have every right to be exactly where you are.
8. The Eighth Secret
Treat yourself as if you already are what you'd like to be.
Wayne Dyer quotes Patanjali as suggesting that inspiration "involves a mind that transcends all limitations, thoughts that break all their bonds, and a consciousness that expands in every direction."
Act as if you are already what you want to be, as if you already have what you want to have, and you activate the forces of the universe that will help you create those things.
Wayne Dyer says, "From thoughts to feelings to actions, they will all react affirmatively when you stay inspired and get out in front of yourself in ways that are consistent with what you want to become.... Whether you think this is possible or impossible, either way you'll be right."
Manifest good grades and the job or degree or certificate you want by acting as if you already have it.
9. The Ninth Secret
Treasure your divinity.
Most people who believe in a divine spirit, whatever they call it, believe that we are all one. Dyer's ninth secret is that if you do believe in this higher power, you are a part of the whole. You are divine. Dyer quotes the Indian Satya Sai Baba's response to a reporter who asked him if he was God, "Yes, I am. And so are you. The only difference between you and I is that I know it and you doubt it."
You are "a piece of the divine intelligence that supports everything," Dyer says. This means that you, as a student, have the ability to create whatever it is you want.
10. The Tenth Secret
Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you.
Dr. David Hawkins, author of "Power vs. Force," writes about a simple test that proves that negative thoughts actually weaken you, while positive thoughts give you strength. Power, which is associated with compassion, allows you to reach your highest capacity. Force is a motion that creates an opposite response. It consumes energy, Dyer says, and is associated with judgment, competition, and controlling others, all things that weaken you.
Focusing on your own inner strength, rather than on beating someone else, will strengthen you, allowing you to perform your very best.
To buy Wayne Dyer's book, "10 Secrets to Success and Inner Peace":