Let me ask you a question. Do you know what you want to do with your life right now? Do you know what you want your career to be, do you know where you want to live, and do you know who you want to spend the rest of your life with? If you are like most teenagers, the answer would be no, and that’s OK. You might not even be considering such big questions right now.
Even though you might not be contemplating those questions right now, I am going to share something that can help you make sure you have the best opportunities to have all you want in your life. In this article, I am going to talk about determination and how powerful it can be. Determination can set your life on the right track and help you overcome challenges and obstacles you might face.
First let’s talk about what determination is. If you were to look up determination in the dictionary, one of the definitions would be “a firm or fixed intention to achieve a certain desire”. How this relates to your life is that when you find determination, it can help you achieve your goals. It can help you make good decisions, stay motivated and stay out of trouble.
Now like we talked about above, chances are you don’t know yet what you want in your life. You might be wondering how you can be determined about something you don’t even know you want yet. The answer is that not only can determination help you get things you want, but it can also help you avoid things you don’t want.
If you are like many teenagers, it is much easier to identify things in your life that you don’t want rather than things you do want. The things you don’t want could be painful or hurtful situations you have gone through or are currently experiencing. It could be negative situations that friends or family members have gone through. Or it could be any other type of awareness of things you definitely don’t want to happen in your life.
Once you have clarity on what you don’t want in your life, you will start finding your determination. This newfound determination can be life changing. Let me tell you a story about when I was a teenager and how finding my determination changed my life.
I was in my mid-teens and I wasn’t sure where my life was headed. My grades weren’t the best and I didn’t know what career I wanted to pursue. I wasn’t applying myself in school and I concentrated most of my time and energy on my social life. I was just living in the moment and wasn’t planning anything for my future.
Even though I wasn’t sure about what I wanted, I was very clear about what I didn’t want. You see, my home life wasn’t the best. My parents got divorced when I was 13 and I lived with my mom. My mom became an alcoholic and my father wasn’t around much. There wasn’t a lot of love and support around me and many times I felt alone and sad.
Not only was my family life not the best, but I was picked on by my friends at school. To make matters worse, I also had a feeling of scarcity. My family wasn’t poor, but I felt afraid to spend money on things I wanted. I was taught money should only be spent on things you need.
Now I know some of you can relate to those feelings I experienced. You also might be experiencing other negative situations right now. It can be hard to see what any possible value could come from the current hardships you are facing. The good news is your current situation can help you find your determination to live a better life in the future. It can prevent you from experiencing those situations and feelings again.
Once I stopped and took a look at my life and saw all the things I didn’t like, it helped me formulate a plan for my future. The first thing I was determined to have was a better family than the one I grew up in. I was determined to surround myself with people who would love me and support me. I was determined not to be around people who were mean to me and didn’t appreciate me for who I was.
I was also determined not to have an addiction to anything. I saw firsthand the damaging effects of addiction and I was determined not to put myself or others through the pain that addiction causes.
I also decided I would never have to have a feeling of scarcity in my life. I was determined to make sure I would always have enough money, not just for things I needed, but also for things I wanted.
Now that I made a list of all the things I was determined not to experience in the future, it allowed me to see things differently all around me. I began seeing how seemingly small decisions I was making today could hurt me in the future. I used this knowledge to begin making better choices. Suddenly it was easy for me to see what changes I could make to be happier now and in the future.
I saw that school was a big deal and doing well would help me get a better job, which would mean I would have more money. I started applying myself in school and getting better grades.
I refrained from experimenting with drugs and smoking, even though many of my friends were doing it.
I became more aware of the way I treated people. I became a better listener and a better friend.
I stopped hanging around people who didn’t appreciate me and I made new friends.
My life quickly started to transform when I started making better decisions. I started having more positive experiences than negative ones. I was feeling happier and more hopeful about my future. I didn’t feel stuck about where I was currently in my life because I knew I had the power to change it and I felt good about taking control of my life.
What I would like you to do now is take a few moments and right down the things you are determined not to experience in the future. Once you have them written down, take a look at your life now and the decisions you are making. Are you setting yourself up for a better future or are you setting yourself up to repeat the painful situations. You might be surprised to see that you are not making the best decisions for your future. The good news is there is still time to change.
Let me give you some final food for thought:
If you don’t want to struggle financially, you have to finish school and do as well as you can. It can open more doors for you than you can imagine. If you want to have love and have good relationships, you need to treat yourself and others with respect, kindness and compassion. Always treat people like you would like them to treat you. If you want to stay healthy and active, you need to avoid drugs, eat well and exercise regularly. Remember, all bad habits start with the first time. Do yourself a favor and don’t even experiment with things that can hurt you.
Soon you will be an adult and all the freedom you have been longing for will be at your fingertips. Remember though, that along with that ultimate freedom comes ultimate responsibility. You have the power to do anything and be anybody you desire, but be aware that the decisions you make today will affect how good your life will be in the future. So find your determination now and use it to guide you to your best life!
About the Author: Michael TARBY, Monthly Mentor, is a life change expert and author of the best-selling book Living Your Big Juicy Life, The Secrets to Having More Love, Joy and Success. His varied background allows him to resonate with people from all walks of life. He has been everything from a police officer to an actor. In college, he was the class president and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and is also Board Certified in Radiography. Michael has dedicated his life to helping others learn from his successes and many failures. He has spoken all across the country and received standing ovations from large and small audiences. Read More…