14 High Distinctions For Mature Age Student


In the last MMN I foreshadowed that a full description of M M’s study techniques would be available, whereby as a mature age student M M achieved 14 High Distinctions over 3 years. M M had family challenges including the death of her parents during this time, which makes her achievement even more remarkable. What follows is the emailed sequence of events including a complete description from M M – thank you M M.

M M’s First Email To Sandy

Just over four years ago I attended one of your sessions in Sydney and not long after this I was accepted into the Queensland College of Art...... a dream I had aimed at for a very, very long time. I set my goals extraordinarily high ...and am now about to graduate ..... I have completed my degree with an academic record of 14 high distinctions, an HD for every subject I sat. As a consequence I have been awarded a Griffith University Medal for academic excellence and the Trevor Lyons Award for Print Making. Whilst I was doing my degree I worked 30 hours a week as an Artist in Residence at two local schools and as a tutor to 50 private art students. Both my parents died during the last two years of my study and I also experienced some other rather challenging family and personal health issues.

I know this sounds like I am blowing my own trumpet ... the point I want to make however is that I could not have achieved this if I had not participated in your workshops, developed my meditation practice, learnt to set goals, built a peaceful place, developed my resilience and so on. I followed your student guide to educational success to a tee. At present I am taking a tiny break from your wonderful music audios ... I'm surprised I have not worn them out .... I don't think this will last for long as they are so important to calming my mind. I might add I commenced a sound and supportive yoga practice two years ago which has provided a wonderful balance to all that I have learnt from you. It hasn't all been plain sailing as my family will tell you, however I did it and we all survived!

Plans for next year .... a year off to work on my arts practice which, thanks to uni, is now very sound. Will then decide if I want to do Post Grad, it’s a big debate between being an artist and having a more academic slant. A year off will be great, I can spend more time with family, grand-children and a wedding as well ..... and of course there are a million art projects, exhibitions etc – all good. Will need to sit down soon though and prioritise those goals again.

Sandy I mentor a number of children and teenagers with their art practice and the skills I have learnt from you are so valuable for them as well.

Email from Sandy to M M

What I would like you to do is to spell out how you used the Student Steps To Success – including the book

You perhaps used the Kit and Book more in the first year and then went on and used ,say, only components of it later. Did you use Mind Charting all the time?  Did you use the process of 7 Steps to Accelerated Learning? Which meditation did you use most – No 10 and no 11?  Did you use Infinite Joy or the AL Music or both. Did you use daily goals? Did you use Accelerated Reading? And many more questions!!

You received great results and I have a couple of other people who are just starting to work with the Learn Faster Kit. The more information I can give them the better.

M M’s Description Of Her Study Regimen

I hope I can answer this successfully... the most important thing I did was to read and listen to the Student Steps to Success several times. (From Sandy – The Learn Faster Kit incudes the book and 3 audio tapes which is what MM read and listened to) I probably am a bit obsessive..... and whilst doing this I made sure that my peaceful place, emotional anchor and meditation skills were all strongly implanted into my daily way of being. (From Sandy – the Kit also has two meditations – “Self Worth and Confidence” and “Achieving in Exams and Study.”)

The other most important thing I did  was to set my goals ... big ones, middle sized ones and small ones. I made sure I had lots of small goals so that I felt a sense of achievement on a regular basis. I recorded these and then made ticks and stars and used children's stickers as a reward system ... amazing how well it worked. By recording even the smallest successes, then when something didn't go my way I was able to balance disappointment or frustration against the ticks ... and it didn't seem to matter how small an achievement, it just balanced out. Flexibilty and being able to shift the goal posts when relevant was also very important –  I constantly changed and realigned my goals throughout the course. I had to work very hard to develop this skill. (From Sandy – to be fair – this is not taught in the Learn Fast Kit but in the live-in Seminar Creating Happiness Intentionally.)

In the beginning I tried to do everything in the book and realised that that wasn't possible all at once. As the study progressed I drifted in and out of phases eg Mind Charting or focussing on a different one of the 7 steps. Somehow different things took on a different relevance at different times and these often changed according to the subject I was studying. Through meditation I maintained an open mind and made many wise decisions in this state. 

Stopping negative mind chatter has always been an enormous problem for me and I used mediation and goal achievement to assist this. Infinite Joy especially useful here. I had some big challenges for as well as working 30+ hours a week and dealing with my son who has some major issues, both my parents died during this time. Again meditation was the key here plus lots of bright colour...... clothing, writing with felt pens, flowers etc. I worked very hard at keeping a positive spin on everything and focussed on remembering  good things and accepting things as life's journey. I focussed through meditation on the fact that I wasn't a victim. Forgiveness of myself and others was also very important here. (From Sandy – the meditation “Forgiveness” is not in the Learn Faster Kit.)

I am an extremely intuitive person and I listened closely to my intuition. I found that different procedures or skills were better for different subjects. Sometimes I would focus on mind mapping or a particular meditation but then would become overfamiliar with it and then had to discipline myself to not be lazy and then to switch to something else that rekindled my interest. I re-read the books and re-listened to all the tapes each holiday to refresh...very valuable.

Music was very very important and as well as using Sandy's CDs (From Sandy – 2 Baroque Accelerated Music CDs are in the Learn Faster Kit) excessively (it’s a wonder they still work) I sourced other music as well. I had to work at not becoming complacent. About half way through I started to get bored with all the techniques etc and eventually I took up yoga and found a couple of good instructors. I found yoga a brilliant companion to Sandy's teachings and that really gave everything a big boost and my yoga practice combined with Sandy's philosophies are fantastic. It helps my mental discipline as well as physical wellbeing  it  helps me to relax...therefore better meditation....

I undertook some accelerated reading instruction and also worked hard at learning when to disassociate myself from negative people and situations. You can not study if your head is full of other people's negative rubbish. Using my peaceful place image was great for blocking out negative people.

When I re-read this is sounds easy..it wasn't.... it took a great deal of discipline.....I am using the word discipline in its original meaning of to learn (which is a positive connotation)... learning about myself and my potential through the power of meditation.  My family will tell you that at times I was just plain horrid and revolting to live with so maintaing an honest communication with everyone was very important. Again through the skills I learnt I kept reassessing and shifting my goal posts in a way I have never done before.

Tomorrow is my graduation day and my entire immediate family, my husband two daughters and my son are attending my ceremony and as a family we are going out to dinner. Despite my sometimes difficult moods (assessment times) I have become much more aware of how I interact with others and peaceful place and meditation maintain the honesty. I have become very good at switching to a relaxed state in seconds. When I do I'm often told that I all of a sudden look taller.

Achieving my Fine Arts degree with a major in Print Making and Drawing has been a life long goal and I never once lost sight of that goal. I had always dreamed of achieving high grades. I had to convince myself that I could and I did this by starting with small goals that got bigger as I progressed. I did however keep them realistic...... and somehow it all worked. It amazes me how often a solution will just appear if I follow what I call Sandy's ground rules, starting with a peaceful place, sound meditation and goal setting practice. Then all the steps to following the accelerated learning pathway fall into place.

I found that with my new approach to my life skills other opportunities arose and I was able to go overseas twice on two study tours. I have never been in a position to do this before. I believe that amazing things happen if we set goals that are true to us.

Sandy I hope this helps I have just sat down and written this as it has come into my head...I think the spontaneity captures best the real essence of what has happened. Let me know if there is anything else you want me to add. (From Sandy – you will notice that M M said in her original letter to me “Both my parents died during the last two years of my study and I also experienced some other rather challenging family and personal health issues”. This is a huge challenge to go through at any time let alone whilst studying and should never be underestimated.)

So, if you are interested in achieving in study then M M's letter will be useful. I have another site dedicated to study which will also be usefulhttp://www.studentstepstosuccess.com/.

All the best,


"Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it."

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