Unlocking success with the right KEY

Francis Marion University instructor of business, Mary Dittman, spoke to a room full of FMU students on the “KEY to success” in every aspect of your life at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8 in the Lowrimore Auditorium in the Cauthen Educational Media Center (CEMC). 

Dittman spoke on multiple topics, but her message focused mainly on how to be successful. One may think that Dittman would speak on constantly working hard and pushing yourself, but Dittman’s message was a much gentler and scientific one; one that revolved around being kind to yourself. 

Dittman revealed halfway through her speech that the “KEY” in “the KEY to success” was an acronym that stood for “keep encouraging yourself.” This encompassed Dittman’s whole message, and she attested that success is linked to how we treat ourselves. 

“Your brain will only answer the questions that you ask it. So most of us don’t ask our brain good questions. We ask our brain questions like this: “how come this always happens to me?” “how come nothing ever goes my way?” Dittman said. “The problem is that when you do that you cannot think of solutions; you have to ask your brain different questions.” 

Dittman encouraged the audience to not get into a “fairytale line of thinking.” Instead of making wishes like, “if only I had a million dollars, then I would be happy,” Dittman suggested that students should logically think about what they can do and then make realistic goals for themselves. 

Dittman also put a lot of emphasis on not waiting to be happy. For example, instead of claiming that you will only be happy once you are dating someone, graduated, skinny, moved out of your house, etc, you should learn to make peace with things that cannot be changed or that will take time to change. 

Dittman posed this question: “What is it going to take for me to be happy if things in my life don’t change right now.?” 

“You can’t control whether or not things are going to go smoothly at work, you can’t control what your teachers are going to do, but you can control your actions and how you handle things,” Dittman said.

Dittman had a concise explanation, to sum up, the “KEY to Success.”

“I would say it’s managing your thoughts and your words and to keep encouraging yourself.” called “Studying Effectively for College Classes,” Dittman said. “You have to create habits that will lead to success.” 

She went on to call thinking positively one of these habits. Similar to brushing your teeth, once you get into the habit of thinking positively it will just come to you. 

But what about when you find yourself in a habit of negative thinking? 

“Everybody does, we all have things that happen where we’re like “man this stuff doesn’t work,” Dittman said. 

She went on to encourage finding a positive thought to replace your negative one. It always loops back to the brain and your way of thinking. 

“Most of us don’t think about what we’re thinking about,” said Dittman. 

Dittman, a University of Nevada alumni, is the director of FMU’s Internship Program and a teacher of many business courses. She runs a blog where she gives free tips on confidence, dating, and success. Dittman also teaches yoga classes in her free time.