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SUCCESS for Teens: Live the Moment

Does your teen understand the importance of using the moment to her advantage? Does she eliminate excuses and use the time she has today to take positive steps to reach her goals?

This fundamental principle can help your teen make the important decisions that will shape her future. SUCCESS for Teens offers four practical lessons on what it means to use the moment.

> 1. Your circumstances aren’t you.
Your circumstances can have a great influence over the person you become, but that does not mean they determine who you are. Sometimes it’s hard for teens to see past negative circumstances and create goals for themselves; it’s easier just to blame the circumstances
for their inability to change.
In SUCCESS for Teens, Tonya Groover talks about how she didn’t let the negative influences of the neighborhood she grew up in determine her future. “One reason I think I’m more successful than other kids my age is because I didn’t let my circumstances make me,” she says. “I was aware of problems in my community, and I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to become a statistic.”

2. You control your reactions.
Sometimes, bad things happen that are out of your control. Help your teen understand that what she does control are her reactions to the things that happen to her. She controls how she views her circumstances and how she views herself. She can either choose to react negatively by blaming and complaining, or she can act positively by making decisions that will help her gain lessons from her challenges and put her in a more favorable position. Teach her that while some of her circumstances are beyond her control, what she chooses to do about them is completely her choice.

3. Stop blaming and take back the power.
What’s the problem with blaming other people for something that happens to you? When you blame other people or your circumstances for your feelings, you give those people and circumstances all the power. If they have the power, then you have none. Teach your teen not to give control over his feelings and his life to someone else. Help him realize that he is in control and that ultimately he is the only one responsible for his life.
When he realizes that he is in control of his life, he will also realize that he has the power to choose simple actions that will serve and empower him.

4. Turn someday into today.
Someday will never come. Someday is always in the future. Using the moment means acting now, not someday. If your teen is always talking about doing things “someday,” point out to her that she is really cheating herself out of precious time. Today is the day to act and make positive choices. Help her realize that she already has the time and ability to start making positive changes. Success doesn’t happen all at once; it’s built on taking advantage of individual moments and making small, positive decisions over time. And that starts right now.

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