Tips for Success to Pass on to Older Teens

As we grow older many of us wish that our younger selves had known some of the stuff we know now. Wisdom comes to us through experience, but it’s also a great idea to share that wisdom with our youth. Now, granted, some lessons simply must be experienced to become ingrained in our lives, and there are many teens who think they already know everything and won’t listen to what we have to say. But, despite those obstacles, sometimes it’s worth trying to share some of our insight with the next generation. This may be especially helpful for teens headed to college. Hopefully they will listen and understand, and be on the road to success before we were! So, here are some tips for success that you might want to share with our youth:

You are the captain of your ship.

While some people simply wander through life, waiting to see what will happen to them, successful people tend to become masters of their own fate. They believe they are in the driver’s seat and actively work on making their dreams become reality. Do not assume that if you work hard, success will fall into your lap. Hard work will definitely help, and other people will definitely help you along the way, but to be successful you must also be clear about what you want and assert yourself to get it.

Your perspective will change.

Recognize that your perspective on life – your definition of success, what you think is important, what feels exciting, etc. – will change as you age. It’s ok to redefine your life goals to fit your life as it evolves.

Purpose comes from within.

There’s a lot of people who talk about wanting a meaningful and fulfilling life. The only person who can ascribe meaning to your life is you. Don’t pursue a life you think someone else expects of you or what you think will make others approve of you. Instead, determine what feels meaningful to you and follow that path.

Character is developed in adversity.

Martin Luther King, Jr. one said that “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” It’s easy for all of us to act great when things are good, but when crisis hits, how do you respond? Success follows people who show good character during difficulties. And good character is only developed through practice, so we must go through difficult times to become better people.

Focus on energy.

There are two types of people we all come in contact with: energy drainers and energy builders. Energy drainers are generally negative people, who complain, blame, gossip and want others to do things for them. Energy builders are generally enthusiastic, passionate, and optimistic people. Not surprisingly, success is drawn to energy builders. First of all, you should make sure that you are an energy builder wherever you go to ensure you are successful. In addition, you should try to avoid anyone who drains your energy.

There’s more where that came from.

Sometimes our culture promotes a scarcity complex – the idea that there’s not enough to go around… ‘if I help that person, then there won’t be enough for me’ or ‘if I give this information to someone, then they will use it against me later.’ This is generally not true. Most successful people tend to share their resources and wisdom with others in an effort to lift others up as well. Mentoring someone else can be a very rewarding and meaningful experience.

The biggest risk in life is not taking one.

Success depends on your willingness to take risks, learn from them, and keep moving forward even if you fail at first. Risks tend to lead to mistakes, which is why so many people try to avoid them, but making mistakes is where we learn and improve. As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Sitting on the sidelines of life will generally lead to regret, not success.

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