Question 16 - Language Arts: Reading Practice Test for the HiSET Test

Which statement best represents a main idea found in both attached passages?

Passage 1: Learn How to Set a Goal

… Setting a goal, whether it be to lose weight, earn a promotion or spend more time with your family, is easy — it’s carrying through that proves problematic.

And yet, the world’s most successful people are intensely goal-orientated. They know what they want, and they focus on achieving it every day. So what’s the difference between a top executive and everybody else?

“The fact is that successful people fail far more than unsuccessful people,” says Brian Tracy, a top management consultant…. “Successful people try more things, fall down, pick themselves up and try again — over and over before they finally win.” So how can you learn to quit giving up on your goals? SUCCESS Magazine offers the following tips for more successful goal-setting:

– Write down a list of goals. Cynthia Kersey, author of “Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You,” suggests focusing on how you want to be remembered. “List the qualities, deeds, and characteristics for which you would like to be remembered by your friends, spouse, children, co-workers, the community and even the world.”

– Set out a plan to accomplish your goals. Tracy suggests listing what little steps will take you to your goal, then organizing them by priority and sequence. Figure out how much time and money you will need to accomplish your goals, and revisit and revise your plan accordingly.

– Manage your mindset. Keep your focus by surrounding yourself with people who will help you accomplish your goals. Arrange your workspace and home so you’ll be reminded of your commitments. “When you form the habit of starting your productivity earlier in the day…you will find it easier to succeed,” says Jim Cathcart, professional speaker and founder of the Cathcart Institute Inc. “Become the person who would achieve your goals and who would deserve them.”

Passage 2: Hone Your Ability to Bounce Back

In his new book…businessman and author Paul J. Meyer stresses that Americans need to cultivate negative capability, or “the ability to bounce back from failure, to overcome obstacles and to take calculated risks.”

People with negative capability do not allow bad times to get them down. They face every day as a new opportunity to succeed. Sure, it might be easier said than done, but developing negative capability is hardly impossible. Meyer offers the following advice to Americans looking to bounce back from current hardships:

– Learn to expect obstacles. While many people repeat stories about entrepreneurs who find instant success, most endeavors require persistence. You are going to face objections, hang-ups and last-minute disasters — they are parts of life. Know to expect them.

– Don’t give up. Even if you acknowledge that you’re going to face some sort of obstacle, that doesn’t mean you can anticipate every possible bad outcome. Unexpected obstacles can put a hitch in your plans — but you can’t ever give up on your goal.

“Unfortunately, when many people encounter strong unanticipated obstacles, they become frustrated and overwhelmed, begin to question the validity of their goals and often decide to quit,” says Meyer. “They just needed to dig a little and remain persistent. The fact is, 90 percent of all failure comes from quitting.”

– Learn to see obstacles as opportunities. You know to expect obstacles, so learn to see them as normal. Don’t allow negative emotions to dictate your reactions. Instead, learn to see hindrances as opportunities to learn the lessons that will take you to the next level. Rocks in the road aren’t impossible barriers, but hurdles that you, with a little creativity, can learn to leap over.

As Meyer says,”When you cease to view obstacles as threatening or even inconvenient, you become unstoppable.”

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