The hero in the "school story" is not the student who fears their efforts may not have been enough and hesitantly peeks at her results only to find out that her dreams of good grades (or admission to college, etc.) have been fulfilled. We may feel good for her, but she is not the real hero. She is not the hero because she has failed to learn a most important lesson.
The lesson: her results are a product of her process, not the hopeful outcome of some flip of the "coin of fate."
The hero in every story goes through some transformation. Events lead to decisions. Actions are taken. A grand purpose is honored throughout. Trials and tribulations force the hero to reflect on the goal, the path, and whether or not to give up and submit to a less honorable calling.
The hero is not going about life as usual, without direction or purpose, hoping that something better happens. The hero does not wish for better. The hero acts as if better is just around the corner.
The hero trusts that his process for honoring a higher purpose will lead him (and others) to a better place.
For the student/hero, the higher purpose is to create knowledge; to join the population of other learners in the quest to gather information, record thoughts and ideas, create meaningful work, and share that work in a manner that elevates the collective understanding. The reward for honoring that purpose is an education.
That is where successful processes begin; with an understanding that an education is not the goal, but the reward for taking action and contributing to the high purpose of creating knowledge. However, purpose alone is not a process. It is only a foundation for one.
The student/hero builds upon that purpose by then reflecting on the current reality of her educational experience (journey) and comparing that reality to a vision of an ideal experience. The differences between those two states are used to craft goals that are specific, challenging, realistic, and flexible.
Getting to this point is not easy. Self doubt, criticism, and staus quo are all working against the student/hero. Though her process has only just begun, temptation to honor a lesser purpose is all around her. It is at this point that the student/hero makes her first significant step towards being a confident learner. She needs to take action. Unless she does, the goals she has developed are little more than hopes and dreams.
Taking action, however, is a complex step. Taking action requires ownership of the action and the results of those actions. Feedback needs to be digested with a growth mindset, a mindset that allows the student/hero to learn and improve future actions. Actions also involve habits. The more you do something, the closer it resembles a habit. Identifying habits that help and those that hinder is an exercise in vigilance. Actions are also multidimensional in the sense that simply knowing what to do is inferior to also knowing when and where to do it.
Finally, the student/hero understands thaty no great accomplishment is a solo act. There is always a support system (team, coach, mentor, parent, etc.) in place that has an impact on one's success. Strong support systems require supportive relationships.
Building relationships based on friendliness, responsiveness, interaction, trust, and reliability is the foundation for making mutually beneficial connections. These connections not only provide useful feedback, but also strengthen the student/hero's efforts to create knowledge.
This process of honoring the call to create knowledge enables a learner to begin an exciting journey of discovery and transformation. What emerges is a motivated, successful, and satisfied learner who is prepared to take on her next learning challenge.