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Ten Tips for Graduating Teens! Take This One Last Test with Your Teen

As graduation time approaches, parents, grandparents and friends are trying to decide how to best help the young people around them make the most of their potential. Take this quick quiz together with the teen in your life:


Y/N: I have a mentor who motivates me.
Y/N: I under s tand the power of "not yet."
Y/N: My top go al is clearly written on a bright 3x5 card. (I have it with me right now.)
Y/N: My life board would be boringly blank.
Y/N: I can strengthen my risk muscles by trying something I don't usually excel at.

If your teen answered no to any of the above statements, consider having your teen do the following:

Find a mentor. Decide what you want to do, then find someone who is successful in that field. Then just ask. Ask that person how they achieved success. You m ay be surprised who can be your mentor. Ready for a bigger surprise? That person will be honored to share with you. Two generations of basketball players have sought to emulate Michael Jordan; only a handful has actually sought him out a s a mentor. "Who do I admire that is successfully doing what I want to do? How can I contact that person? What three questions can that person answer right now?" Nothing builds dreams like hanging out with a mentor.

Understand the power of "not yet." Did you know that the answer to your sincerest dream is never, "No" - merely, "Not yet"? We keep watch on the shoreline of our dreams so we can "catch the tide of greatness" when it rolls in, says Shakespeare. When that time comes, if you are prepared, no force on Earth can stop the infinite good your dream is meant to create. Replace each "no" with "not yet." Try it for just one week.

Write your top goal on a 3x5 card. Dream big. Aim high. Challenge yourself. But ground your dream in reality with a time limit. Word your goal so that you alone are responsible for its achievement. "I will bench-press 200 pounds by July 20th." "I will play Stormy Night on the piano with no errors by July 31st." Every goal should begin with 'I will' and end with 'by xx date.' Your mind needs the clarity that comes from confidently going after your goal. Write it down. Say it out loud. Carry it with you. Every day.

Create a life board. Gather pictures from photo albums, quotations from magazines, clippings from newspapers or print-outs from websites. Then arrange them on a poster board to depict your life visually. Find a picture of your personal heroes. Print out your favorite poem or prayer. Dig out a ribbon you won at summer camp. How about your college acceptance letter? Be creative. The life board is your own personal creation, a mirror that you alone make to see who you were, who you are and what you still dream of becoming. Celebrate what you have created. "I avoided doing the life board for a whole year," says former student Christina and recent award-winning teacher. "Now I proudly display it on my wall for all students. It's powerful."

Just ask! Decide something specific you want and take the most direct route to getting it. Until you are clear about your goals, you will not see results actively coming to life. It's one thing to know what you want. It takes a deeper level of strength to say it out loud. Be clear. Be simple. And just dare to ask.
Exercise your risk muscle. Do something you're afraid to do but really want to, or know you must do, to attain your goal. Rule #1: Become outgoing. Strengthen your risk muscles by trying something you don't usually excel at.

Let go of one issue that is not yours. Distinguish between what is and is not meant specifically for you. Do a 'tissue toss.' Find an 'issue,' write it on a tissue and symbolically throw it out. Life demands that old things die away and new ones arrive to take their place. Take what is yours, work through it and keep growing. If it's your thing, then use it, store it, save it, work it or do whatever you need with it. If it's somebody else's, let it go - it wasn't meant for you anyway.

Plant a seed of good luck. Wonderful things happen to each of us every day. Without exception. On a single Post-It sheet, write the following message: This is a good luck Post-It. Keep it with you today and watch for something wonderful to happen to you. Stick it on a penny and hand it to someone early in the day. Who's going to get your 'good luck Post-It' today?

Place a trigger for happiness. Find a memento from a favorite memory and keep it with you for a while. Create a trigger with someone special. Find a trigger that is simple, personal and meaningful.

Award-winning author and teacher, Roger Leslie uses original and dynamic techniques to help educators and students achieve brilliant success in their personal and academic lives. Read more about the Success Express: 50 Activities that Will Change Your Life and about Roger Leslie at www.ksblinks.comor at The book was recently featured on Dr. Laura's show.


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