Advice to My Teenage Self

An old friend of mine (@ShelleyBear92) wrote an interesting post on her blog yesterday about some of the things she would tell her teenage self. I thought I’d follow her lead and give it a go too.

Have Audacious Goals

Big, far-out, seemingly unachievable goals. Aim so high that those around you think you’re nuts, then go and prove them wrong.

Your goals will likely change as you grow older. But don’t let that stop you from dreaming.

Don’t worry too much about formulating a detailed plan of how you’re going to achieved these goals. Things rarely go according to plan.

Grasp at Opportunities

Don’t be afraid to go for an interesting opportunity, even if it doesn’t immediately seem like it’s going to help you achieve your goals. You never know where it might take you.

You cannot connect the dots going forward, only looking back.

Break Away From the Status Quo

The current education system leaves little room for anyone that doesn’t wish to follow the status quo. High schools are set up to move you on to university, and universities spit you out into industry. If you’re not brave enough to step off the treadmill you might wake up one day and realise you’re leading a life you had no intention of living.

Don’t be afraid to break out and go your own way. Parents will protest, teachers will give up on you, and your friends may think you’re slightly crazy. But none of that matters. What matters it what you think. You’re old enough to make decisions for yourself. Have the courage to go your own way.

Work Hard, Really Hard

Isn’t it funny how people that work hard also seem to be lucky. It’s not a coincidence. Luck can be manufactured. All you have to do is work really hard.

That’s all I have to say on this, I’ll let Gary Vaynerchuk finish up:

Cool Kids Don’t Stay Cool For Long

Take some comfort in knowing that the cool kids that are bullying you and making jokes right now will be the same people serving you in the grocery store in few years time. Their defalted facial expressions recognition of a decade of poor decisions.

Let them enjoy their few years of being the big fish in a small pond, few of them can cope when they’re released into the ocean.

Education Doesn’t End Once You Leave School

Learning is a life-long pursuit. It doesn’t end when you leave high-school or graduate from university. Keep pursuing the topics that interest you.

You may even find that some of the subjects you hated in school actually turn out to be topics you’re really passionate about later in life. It’s amazing how your perspectives can change once you’re afforded the freedom to learn in your own way.

Final Thoughts

Being a teenager isn’t easy. You’re trying to find your way in the world whilst the whole time being bombarded by people telling you how you should live your life. Listen intently to what they have to say, but then make your own decisions.

It’s your life, live it on your terms.

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