Lesson Plan: What It Actually Means to Be Successful

a trophy in grass

Big questions make for great lessons. Whenever I jot down the question “What does it mean to be successful?” on the board, opinions start flying across the classroom like paper planes. This is a simple lesson plan I keep coming back to. Here are some questions on motivation to get your students started.

Lesson Plan

Straight forward and simple, this lesson plan consists of two main activites: one in which the students discuss quotes on success and one where they are tasked with presenting a person they think epitomises what it means to be successful.

Quotes on Success

Read the quotes below. Explain the meaning or message behind each quote. Choose three that resonate with you and explain what you like about them.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
— Albert Einstein

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
— B. R. Hayden

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
— Pelé

“All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success
in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for
yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
— Danny Thomas

“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.”
— Oprah Winfrey

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
— Herman Melville

“Failure is success if we learn from it.”
— Malcolm S. Forbes

“True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.”
— Paul Sweeney

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
— Swami Sivananda

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is
knowing how to get along with people.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”
— Steven Hawking

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your
— Winston Churchill

A Success Story

Equipped (hopefully) with a better understanding of what success means to you, you are now going to prepare a presentation on someone who embodies your idea of success. You may, in other words, choose to talk about a celebrity or your grandma’s best friend. As long as the person in question is successful in your eyes, anything goes. Your presentation should include the following:

  • A short introduction, presenting the person.
  • Your ideas on what constitutes a successful life.
  • How your person embodies these ideas.
  • A meaningful life lesson you draw from your person.

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