Happy New Year: Encouragement and Overcoming Obstacles

For many of us, the new year means a new start. When it comes to school, it means we’re halfway through the academic year. This means celebrating that accomplishment as well as a fresh start, which makes it a good time to reinvigorate goals and determination to make it through until summer.

To that end, Learning Liftoff will feature articles offering inspiration and encouragement this month, beginning with Tips for Teens to Set Spring Semester Goals and 5 Ways Successful People Overcome Major Obstacles. We’ll continue with a series of profiles on famous people who overcame incredible obstacles, failed many times or defied grim odds in order to succeed, including Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey, and Stephen Hawking.

Learning Liftoff writer Elizabeth Street was motivated to produce the series upon noticing a trend in these stories.

“It’s easy to think that truly successful people were just more fortunate from the beginning,” she writes. “They had the talent, the looks, the money—everything they needed to succeed. And to some extent, it is true that those from stable families who were not burdened by poverty or physical limitations did have it easier than those who had major obstacles to overcome. But there are countless examples of people who have reached unparalleled success despite significant challenges in their lives. In fact, it could be that those very limitations propelled them to strive for heights they may not have reached otherwise. Whatever the reasons for their success, these are people who can inspire our children to accomplish their goals despite their own specific obstacles.”

Writers Ashley MacQuarrie, Michael Solow, Anne Watt and Sarah Mills will also contribute to the series.

Please feel free to offer your ideas for the next half of the school year in the comments below. And Happy New Year!

Image Credit – Cristiano Betta / CC by 2.0


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