If there was a window of time that teens would allow me to spill out all of my years of advice and wisdom from being a life-coach and mom, this short list is what I’d like them to know…
I know it’s hard to see past this time in your life and you may feel disconnected, but, I promise you- you WILL make it through and you will be able to look back and reminisce about these very days sometime in your distant future. (Probably when your teens are going through the same trials and you wish nothing more than to be able to ease their stress)
I have made it my personal mission to help teens get through the tricky time between high school and adult life though classes, workshops, coaching and essentially being the “other Momma”. But just in case I don’t get a chance to meet up with you, here are just a few things that you probably won’t learn in school, and the test you take on your comprehension of said items, is not a pass or fail grade but a level of success and happiness to be found in your daily life.
So if I’ve kept your attention this long, my easily-distracted teens, keep reading. Here comes the good stuff.
1. The choices you make today will impact your future. You may think that the things you do right now don’t matter, but even when you turn a giant airplane’s direction a fraction of a degree, it completely changes its destination.
2. Your destination is not pre-determined. You have the power to create the future you choose. Don’t ever let anyone tell you anything different.
3. No one owes you anything. If there is something you want, go to work for it.
4. In order to have friends, you must first BE a friend. And not all friends are true friends. Those are few and far between and should be treated as special as they are.
5. Goal setting and taking action is the key. Even if it is a small action. Work toward your goals a little bit every day. And you WILL reach them eventually.
6. A goal without action, is just a wish.
7. Always, always take the high road and walk in integrity.
8. Anything you share on social media is NEVER private. If you don’t want your mother to see it, don’t post it. Don’t send it. Don’t… you know what, better yet, delete it. Delete it right now.
9. Get enough sleep. Your brain and body need it to help you in this huge mental and physical growth spurt you are enduring.
10. Choose your friends carefully. They have more influence over your decisions than you realize. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Who you spend the bulk of your time with will shape how far you will go in life.
11. Never stop dreaming. When you see your dream to reality… dream a new one.
12. Read something positive or influential every day.
13. Choosing a spouse is the single most important decision you will ever make. Do not rush into a lifetime commitment, but once you do commit, never let go.
14. Learn to take responsibility for everything in your life. Your words, your choices, your actions and reactions. By taking responsibility (even though it sounds super scary) is actually the key to your freedom.
15. Value your family.
16. Keep your commitments. You are only as good as your word.
17. Technology cannot and should not replace human relationships
18. If you feel your parents would disapprove of something you are about to do, practice the Pause. Think it through to what the consequences might be. Those “gut” feelings are there for a reason. Take heed and if you must proceed, proceed with caution. But trust me- you don’t want to walk willingly into regret.
19. Manners make a difference.
20. Life is hard. It’s supposed to be. It’s molding you and shaping you into the person you were meant to be. Don’t give up. You appreciate things more if you have to work for them.
21. What is your story? Who are you? What do you believe about yourself? When you know your story, the answers to many of life’s toughest questions are already answered for you. Have faith in your story.
22. Be good to your parents. They are doing the best that they can, and really do want what is best for you. (They are not out to ruin your street cred!)
23. Don’t waste your time, money or brain cells on drugs. Need I say more, cause I can go on for days…
24. Take photos. Smile. Commemorate your life. Appease your mother when she insists on family photos. You’ll be glad to have them to look back on when she is gone. These small capsules of your life will keep you company when you are lonely.
25. Don’t judge others. You have no idea what they may be going through and you don’t like it when it’s done to you.
26. Be kind to yourself. What you tell yourself everyday will either lift you up and make you stronger or break you down and suck the self-confidence away from you.
27. Always be willing to help others.
28. Don’t’ take anything for granted. Be thankful for the good, the bad and the lessons learned.
29. Always be kind to others. There is absolutely no reason that you can’t be kind.
30. Don’t ruin a perfectly good today by dwelling on a not so good yesterday. You can’t change what has already happened, but the future is wide open.
31. You don’t HAVE to be in a relationship. Enjoy your own company! Figure out who you are. Be patient. Love will happen when it’s time. Work on becoming the right person and the right person will come to you. (Not necessarily in high school, but someday.)
32. Sometimes things don’t have a solid answer. Sometimes things aren’t all black and white, either, or, this or that. Don’t spend your nights thinking on things that just don’t have answers right now. Sometimes you just have to accept things as they are and let the rest go. Eventually all the pieces will fall into place, just right.
33. Actions speak louder than words. Without exception. Actions prove who someone is. Words only show you who they think they want to be.
34. If you continue to live your life thinking that everything should be about you, then eventually, that’s all that you will be left with… just you.
35. And one last thing; You are unique and precious and so worthwhile. You fill my life with sunshine and give me purpose. You- yes you- can accomplish anything you put your heart to… and I’ll be right here cheering you on.
(motivational teen-life coach and creator of the Total Truth Workshop for Teens. For more information about her Workshop, classes or coaching, check out her website: www.totaltruthworkshop.com)