Every day we’re faced with challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. It’s important for your teen to understand that learning doesn’t stop when he leaves high school or college. School provides the foundation. The real-world education your teen will get after school can present many opportunities to help him reach his goals, if he remains open to learning.
The world is constantly changing. Technology is evolving at a faster rate than at any other time in history. Information is being shared and created at mind-numbing speed. To keep up with constant change, it’s imperative for your teen to be always open to learning new things. Teach your teen that, just like the world, he never stands still. He is always changing—moving forward or backward, up or down. He isn’t the same person today as he was a year ago, or even a few months ago.
Make sure he understands that determining the direction his life takes isn’t based on one big, important choice. It’s a continuous series of choices, and some of the smaller choices can end up having the biggest impact. Your teen is at a point in his life when he has a great opportunity to develop positive attitudes and habits for continuous learning.
No matter our age, one of the best ways we can put ourselves in an environment to learn is to surround ourselves with mentors and others we can learn from. SUCCESS for Teens points out three ways to learn something new:
1. Study how it works and what to do.
2. Learn by actually doing it.
3. Find someone else who’s already mastered something you want to do. That person can teach from his or her experience.
Learning from someone who has gone before us and already experienced the successes and failures can be invaluable. Help your teen identify his support team. Who can he learn from? Who can help him reach his goals? Help him set up meetings with these people so he can stay in contact and learn from them. If he learns what works and doesn’t work for them, and if he can find a way to apply that knowledge to his life, he can really get a head start in reaching his goals.
Another important principle covered in SUCCESS for Teens is the importance of being able to change course. Just like driving a car, you never hold the wheel in one position all the time. If you did, you’d eventually run off the road. Instead, you constantly make little adjustments to stay on the road. The same principle applies to your teen’s life. The choices he makes will create small or big adjustments in his life. These choices will either keep him on the path toward his goals or steer him away from them.
If your teen isn’t currently on a path toward his goals, help him identify some areas where he can make adjustments. He may discover that the adjustments he needs to make are very minor. Things like habits, schedules and priorities can be adjusted slightly to help him achieve his goals.