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I Can Succeed in Sixth Grade

James success

Rearranging my office today (new furniture at last; goodbye, Ikea!), I once again looked for the best spot for this, my favorite piece of inspiration. It was written by one of my sons at age 10. He had been nominated for his elementary school’s big academics/citizenship award. As the first part of the selection process, the kids were taken into the multipurpose room, told they were nominated for this award, and given 30 minutes to write an essay on the topic, “I Can Succeed in Sixth Grade.” This is what he came up with. I’ve kept it on my desk ever since, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing. When I was in school for my MBA, one of my professors put this up to show his class of undergrads. He said, “This is it. This is how you do it.”

P.S. He didn’t win. But he was a winner to me and his dad, then and always.


I Can Succeed in Sixth Grade

By James N–

To succeed you must be capable of a lot of things. It takes responsibility and organization. That means you must be ready and have all the things you will need. You are expected to hand in all your work on time, and completed.

Most people succeed because they try. If you don’t try you will never get anywhere in life. It’s not only trying, it’s seeing if you are capable of the things you must do. You must believe in yourself and have courage. Most people succeed not because they are destined to, it’s because they are determined to. They are devoted to their work.


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10 years ago

Beautiful post. i love that you still have this letter. It speaks to the type if parent you are. and it is inspiring and simply true!

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
10 years ago
Reply to  Kristin

Oh, gosh, I made so many mistakes. But I hope my kids always knew that I loved them. That one, I think I got right. Thank you!

MJ Guidry
MJ Guidry
10 years ago

Brought tears to my eyes! Bravo, Mom!

Mary from Boise

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