9 March 2023
Reading 4:06 minutes

How to achieve anything you want. Yes, anything.

J., my stepdaughter, was upset.

When the postbox cover banged, she ran downstairs. Hearing the commotion, her mum and I went to the corridor to see what was happening.

J. tore open the envelope and scanned the paper. Then she froze. Her hands dropped, eyes turned watery, and the letter slid down in slow motion, landing on the carpet.

Her mum hurried over and hugged her. I came behind, picked up the paper, and looked for that one crucial entry.

In the last year, J. studied hard.

She put immense effort into it because her dream was to go to a specific college for business studies. There was no doubt that she would be able to get in if she managed to get a B in English.

Every other subject was already in the pocket, except for English.

Three years ago, J. never spoke a word of English.

When she moved to the UK with her mum, starting school was hard. But J. picked up the language quickly. Last year, she received a D. That was the moment J. decided that she would change it to a B, so she could get into her dream college.

But on the report the entry read:

English - C

J. sobbed. “There's no point in going there.”

J. had an open day at the college coming up. With the English results not matching the requirements, she was ready to give up.

“All the other subjects are okay, J?” I asked.
“If you do not go there, you will not get in. If you go and ask, you have a chance.”

She had known me for a few years now. She had seen how I operate. There was a spark of hope in her voice.

“What do I have to do?”

Questions are better than telling someone what to do. So I asked.

“How long have you been learning English? And what grade did you achieve in that time?”

It clicked.

J. was both excited and terrified.

She knew that she would have to talk to the principal.
They were not interested in hearing from me. It was she who had to convince them.

I patted her hand. “It's okay. You're ready. You know what to do. Let's go.”

She exhaled and nodded. The door flung open, and she stepped out of the car. She straightened up, head high, a warrior ready for the battle.

In the college, I asked where we could find the principal.

This was the only thing I could do for J. Bring her in front of the most important person. The person who was able to make the decision and suspend their requirements. There was no point in speaking with someone else.

I knocked on the door and entered with J. in tow.
“Hi, I wonder if we could speak with you about my daughter.”
“Of course.”

The principal looked at me. I stepped aside and nodded at J. She confidently stepped forward and started talking.

I am telling you this story because it embodies the most important principle to achieve anything in your life.

We encounter setbacks and difficulties daily. Everyone does. Some of them may seem trivial, others are serious and crushing. But each of them is aimed at one thing only.

To stop us from achieving the thing we want.

And there is only one way to conquer setbacks, and it's not quitting. The only way is to get up, find out where the weakest point of the resistance is, and strike a blow at it.

J. could have given up, but she has seen me charging forward and changing what seemed impossible.

When I told her, "If you don't go there, you won't get in. But if you go and ask, you have a chance," she knew it was true. She saw this in action when we were on holiday, and I managed to get us into places no one else was allowed to go. She also saw it in shops, where I got discounts or something extra just by asking.
She heard about it when I talked about my work. She even saw it in action last summer, when I got her a work experience placement in our company.

I refused to let circumstances stop me; I made them.

J. knew that even if everything seemed lost, it wasn't over until she gave up.

And she refused to give up. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it.

And yes, J. was admitted.

In that office, she gave the best business deal presentation imaginable.
She presented herself and explained why she received a C in English, as well as what she planned to do to rectify it.
She showcased all her other results.
She included the endorsement she received from our company.
And she asked for an exemption from the requirements.
J. based the request on the fact that she had only been learning English for three years and had already achieved a C.

(A side note: the endorsement was well-deserved. Our company director was thoroughly impressed with her abilities and commitment at such a young age. Later, J. came to work for the company full-time.)

The principal made a phone call, conferred for a moment, and then gave J. a condition: she had to take extra classes and achieve a B in her first year.

And that was it. She was in.

My tip?

When everything seems lost, take a deep breath.
Ask yourself, "Do I want this badly enough?"
If the answer is yes, then go for it.
Find out who or what can change the situation. Find the weak spot.

We went to the principal because he was in a position to make a change.
J. spoke up because she had to show that she could communicate in English very well.
She presented her achievements to show that she had what it takes to be a businesswoman.
She brought endorsements from school and work experience. It had shown that the people who knew her believed in her.

She stacked the card upon the card.

Do the same.

Get your trumps in order and present them where it matters.
Don't give up.
Go for it.

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See you next time.


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