Four Powerful Questions for Teens Committed to Success
Okay, you’re feeling the power of your youth. You feel invincible, as though you are the hero of your own life, and you can achieve anything you put your mind to! This is true! You can, in fact, accomplish anything you want!
And to be fair, you can achieve anything you want at any stage in life. The difference with adolescence is the presence of feeling invincible, powerful, and committed.
Even if you feel the emotional and social challenges of being a teen, underneath, you might still feel a strong pull to succeed, achieve your goals, and live out your dreams.
One very simple obstacle to success, however, is the tendency to never take the time to uncover what you really want and how you might achieve it. It’s easy to follow the typical goals that society places on you, such as going to college, finding a well-paying job, getting married, having children, and buying a house with a white-picket fence. These are common life milestones for middle to upper class families.
But what if you want to travel? Start a business? Marry in your 40’s and not your 20s? Become an artist and avoid working for a corporation? Or pursue a career in dance instead of settling down with a 9-5 job?
The choice is yours. But the first and most important step is uncovering what you want to do. This can be difficult because part of being a teenager is discovering who you are. It’s a time for forming a sense of self, forming your social, political, and spiritual beliefs, and getting to know the values and morals that are uniquely important to you.
The questions below are meant to facilitate that discovery and help you create the future you would most like to have.
1. What do you want?
Perhaps you want to break this down into various life segments such as career, love, family, recreation, and financial. Certainly, these aspects of life will feed into the other, but you can decide which to focus on first. For instance, if you already know that you want to become a professional singer, and you know that this requires extensive training and commitment, perhaps starting a family will come later in life. Taking some time to think about this, create a vision for your life, and see yourself as already successful can help bring it into your life.
2. How might you get it?
What are the steps you need to take in order achieve the vision you just created? If want to get married young and start a family in your 20’s, perhaps the next step is joining a local singles group to meet a potential spouse. Or if you want to become the next nationally recognized nature writer, perhaps you need to do some extensive travel first in order to have the experience needed to write for a nature magazine.
Another way to sort out your steps is to pretend that it is 10 years from now and that you’ve already accomplished your vision. What did you do to get there? What changes did you need to make initially in order to have what you have now? You might also think about ways that you have already accomplished what you wanted in the past, as well as the attitude, mental and emotional changes required to be who you want to be.
3. How might you commit to that over time?
Perhaps as an adolescent, you are just getting to know your personal habits, those patterns that might get in the way of your success. If you can identify these, you can think about what you need to do or change before you even begin. What are other ways that you might stop yourself? Would fear, self-sabotage, or overwhelm get in the way? If so, perhaps seeing a therapist while you work towards your goal would be useful. Another important question to consider here is how can you maintain the momentum you need in order to continue to move towards your vision over time?
Thinking about and answering these questions can facilitate overcoming obstacles as they arise.
4. How will you know that you’ve got it?
What will mark your success? Is it having your book published? Is it having one million dollars in the bank by the time you are 40? Or is it being married with children by 55? What are the specific details in your life that will bring feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment?
There aren’t any right or wrong answers to these questions. However, the more specific you are, the more you will know what to do and who you need to become in order to create the life you want.
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