It’s been said that life turns on small things. Sometimes it’s hard to see how small choices can change your life. But when compounded over time, the little things can make the biggest difference.
The overall theme of SUCCESS for Teens is “Little Things Matter.” The book helps teens identify small, positive choices they can make in their lives to help them reach their goals. Many teens don’t realize how the little choices in their lives can have lasting effects. They often are focused on the bigger events, such as a major exam, the big game or competition, or choosing a college. Those things are easy to see coming. The little things, however, can go unnoticed unless your teen understands how important they can be.
The little things that lead to success are mostly easy to do. You just have to do them. Help your teen identify a few areas in her life where she can make small, positive choices. It might be as simple as getting up on time, prioritizing her schoolwork, putting in an extra 10 minutes of practice or using some of her spare time to help someone else.
Nineteen-year-old Kyle Freas used to be on his school baseball team and would play every day after school. When the season was over, he had an empty three hours a day and didn’t know how to use his extra time. So he started spending an hour every day looking for ways to help other kids. Over the last few years, his projects have raised thousands of dollars to help abused, homeless and sick children.
Even with all he has accomplished, Kyle sees himself as a regular teenager. “I’m a normal kid with normal friends,” he says. “I play video games and sports. I’m nothing special. It doesn’t take anything spectacular to have an influence like I’ve had. I just put in a little effort every day.”
Kyle took advantage of the time he had and made a positive impact, but it didn’t happen right away. It took time for his commitment to have significant results. He spent just a little time each day generating something that ended up benefitting a lot of kids. The important thing to understand is that Kyle made the positive decisions necessary for success. He saw an opportunity and took action.
Seeing an opportunity and knowing the right choices to make is not enough. You have to act on it. Since the little things are easy to do, they are also easy not to do. It’s easy to not study for a test or not practice for a few extra minutes every day. Whatever choice your teen makes will have an effect on her life, and it will affect the choices she makes in the future. Making positive choices now will increase her chances of making more positive choices in the future. This is known as “the ripple effect,” and it’s also true for making negative choices.
Make sure your teen understands that even though she may not see the results of her positive choices right away, they are building on each other and taking her on a path that will lead to success.
Sponsored by the SUCCESS Foundation® and adapted from the book SUCCESS for Teens®. For more information and to order the book, go to SUCCESSFoundation.org