As a sophomore at Herriman High School in Utah, a counselor gave Jaxon Stuart SUCCESS for Teens: Real Teens Talk about Using the Slight Edge, the cornerstone book of SUCCESS for Teens, a personal-development curriculum by the SUCCESS Foundation.
Admittedly overconfident at the time, Stuart wasn’t overwhelmed by the book. “Attitude is important, little things matter and good habits are powerful, but I felt that I was doing just fine in life and I already knew everything that was being explained [in the book],” he recalls.
According to Stuart, his life was typical: His grades were good; he played sports; he was well-behaved. But when he picked up the book again six months later, he was experiencing an inner struggle, wondering, Who am I and what do I want to become?
A sentence in the first few pages of SUCCESS for Teens stood out like a revelation:
“[Make] the transition from passively waiting for life to happen to actively pursuing your dreams.”
Related: 7 Steps to Achieve Your Dream
Now an 18-year-old senior headed to the University of Utah to study finance or marketing, Stuart considers his second reading of the book a turning point. (SUCCESSFoundation.org offers free downloads of the e-book, facilitator’s guide and audio to qualifying public schools, churches and nonprofit youth-development programs.)
“It wasn’t necessarily about changing parts of my life; it was more about adding things to my life,” Stuart says.
He decided he needed to find a passion and joined both the business and marketing clubs at school. He became a club officer for DECA, an organization for students interested in careers such as marketing, finance and entrepreneurship.
The book also helped Stuart become more of a communicator, which wasn’t easy for the self-described shy teenager. In the end, though, the greatest takeaway from the book for Stuart was attitude. In the past two years of high school, he began waking up at 4:30 a.m. to work out before school. He also meditates and keeps a journal.
When he wakes up in the morning, the first words he sees are on a whiteboard in his bedroom. It’s a quote from the book, which reads: “When you stop blaming, you accept the fundamental truth that you are the cause of what happens in your life.”
Stuart adds, “I can only control one thing in this life and that is myself.”
To download the SUCCESS for Teens e-book, learn about the program, share your story about it or make a contribution, visit SUCCESSFoundation.org. Leaders, participants and donors can request a profile in SUCCESS by emailing info@SUCCESSFoundation.org.
This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.