The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Carli Lloyd’s Recipe 4 Success 2 Achieve Your Dreams

Ok, I’ll come clean. I’m not a huge football/soccer fan but even I couldn’t help but get caught up in cheering on the US Women in the FIFA Finals against Japan yesterday. This morning there was an interview with Carli Lloyd, one of the keys to success for the team, and they asked her, “Carli, we know you talk a lot about visualization. Did you visualize this win? How did that help or make a difference?” Her response? “Yes, when I would practice out on the field I would visualize a US finals win and also visualized kicking 4 goals during a finals match. You should never underestimate the power of the mind.”

Um, mind blowing? Yes and no. Visualizing what you want to achieve is incredibly powerful but she followed up on this with an interesting statement. She said dreams can come true but you need “hard work, dedication and sacrifice.” The take away message? Visualization is nice and it’s an important ingredient when it comes to achieving your dreams but it’s not enough on it’s own. You have to put in the hard work. You have to be dedicated and devoted to your goal and you may even have to make some sacrifices along the way. What kind of sacrifices? You may have to give up some down time to practice. You may have to text less and study more. You may have to exercise even when you don’t feel like it because you need to be stronger and fitter.

Hard work.



and visualization.

Carli Lloyd’s recipe for success with a US Finals win to prove that it works.

What can you achieve with the same recipe? What have you achieved? I’d love to hear about your recipe for success and I’m sure other teens would love to hear it too!

U R What U Think So Why Not Think Yourself into a Ferrari?

The mind is everything. What you think you become. – Buddha

Every moment of every day you are thinking your way into your own reality. If you think things are going to turn out badly they probably will. If you think the world is your playground and that it will rise up to meet you in greatness, it probably will. So why are you wasting your time and energy thinking negative thoughts?

You are what you think. Or, as Buddha said it, what you think you become. I’m not suggesting that you can think your way into owning a Ferrari. No, you actually have to do the work to make the money to buy your dream car but if that really is your goal and you don’t let negative thoughts get in the way like “Oh, you’ll never own a nice car because you’ll never be successful.” then yeah, you probably will trade in that old clunker for a sporty Italian sports car.

A car is a simple and silly example of the power of your thoughts but I offer it just to help you understand that everything – literally everything and anything – is possible if you stay positive and keep your mind focused on it. Let me be clear though. This isn’t some magic power that you can just cross your fingers and wish your way into your reality but, with a positive outlook and hard work (did I mention the hard work – it’s sorta critical in all of this), you can live the life of your dreams AND live happy.

Isn’t it time to stop thinking so negatively? What thoughts are you caught up in? What dreams do you want to achieve? How have you become your own worst enemy? How can I help you live happy?

Search 4 a Dream, Not a Job

These days I hear so many teens worrying about what college they will get into and what kind of job they will get (or fears about not getting a job once out of college) and I’m here to beg you to change the way you think about your future.

Please please please search for and pursue your dream and don’t worry about the actual job. Think about why this is important. Surely you know people who hate what they do right? Think about the adults you know (maybe even your own family members) who drag themselves to a job they hate every day just so they can get a paycheck. I’m not saying there aren’t times when you might need to take a job because you need to earn money but if you start planning the right way now, hopefully your job will just be you living your dream and happening to earn a paycheck as a bonus.

Use your time at school to help you build this dream and vision.

Go into college being open to new ideas and new experiences. Take classes that you might not even think you’re interested in because it could be the one that blows your mind and changes your perspective on life. Get good grades because you are inspired to learn. Plan your future and create an action plan to get you where you want to be, not to just get you a job. Don’t come out of college and go on and aimlessly search for something that sounds moderately interesting just because it’s time to make some dollars and join the real world. Nothing could be more depressing.

So how do you actually do this? How do you build a dream and not just become a job seeker? All it really takes are some actions (which you can actually write down as an actual plan but that’s another blog post) that you execute along the way.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you want to go to college with a goal of opening your own cupcake business. Now think about what you need to learn and do to build that business. You’d probably want to take some business classes and maybe some finance-related classes in school. You might also want to take some cooking classes on the side and maybe an art class to inspire your creative mind. Maybe you get a summer job working at a bakery to learn the ropes. Maybe you find a mentor who has created a successful business. Maybe you spend your free time baking up new and interesting batches of delicious cupcakes to test on your family and friends. Perhaps you go to a bank to learn about small business loans and what would be required of you. Maybe you read books about successful entrepreneurs (or famous bakers!) for inspiration and ideas. I could go on and on but basically, there are any number of steps you can take to design and pursue your dream.

Now, it might turn out that you go on and find an add for a job as a baker and that’s great but you can also take deliberate steps to pursue a dream and not just a job. You’ll notice the one thing I did not say is required is that you go to Harvard, Princeton, Yale or Stanford to achieve this dream. There are many many wonderful colleges and universities out there where you can learn, grow and plan your future. The name on your college sweatshirt will not make or break your dream. Trust me on this.

Want some help? Comment here with your questions and I will try to help you map out your dream!

Already dealing with broken resolutions? Start with a vision.

 “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”  – Buddha

What we think we become.

5 words but such powerful ones  and, it turns out,  the perfect solution to broken New Year’s resolutions. A vision is a powerful picture that your mind will believe and support (especially the more you focus your mind on it!)  Resolutions are nice but they often aren’t rooted in a vision of what you want to accomplish. Resolving to lose weight, exercise more, read more books, study harder, get better grades, are mostly just lofty goals. Easy to say but not very motivating when it comes down to doing the work to make them happen.

A vision of what you want to accomplish can be much more effective in motivating your actions and in making your mind believe in what you’re proposing. A vision that you live by and think about and dream about is much more likely to come true (which is not to say that you don’t have to work on achieving that vision – work will always be necessary.)

So how do you know if your goal or dream is really your vision?

A vision is something you jus can’t stop thinking about. You wake up and go to sleep thinking about it, you daydream about it, you modify it and edit it and still can’t stop thinking about it. You can see yourself doing it. You can see yourself being successful at it. It makes you tingle and makes your nervous and makes your doubtful and yet you still think about it! That’s a vision.

So, go ahead. Reassess your resolutions. It’s ok. No one is judging you. Make sure they align with your vision. If they don’t, maybe they can be next year’s resolutions and maybe it’s time to focus on what you really want to achieve. Maybe it’s time to pursue your real dreams. Maybe it’s time to turn your vision into reality.







Got Goals? Good for You. But Why?


Goals, dreams, accomplishments…it doesn’t matter what you call them. At the end of the day, all you know is that you have a strong feeling that there is something you need to do. No, something you must do. It might be to write a book. Or to become a successful musician. Or to become a doctor. Or to make a varsity sports team. It might be big. It might be small. But you know deep down that you must do this thing.

But why?

It turns out you actually need to think pretty deeply about the motivation behind your goal because that understanding matters. You might discover that your motivations aren’t really ones that align with your moral code or set of values. If that’s the case, it’s time to re-think them. You might discover that your goal is actually not related to what you think you need to accomplish. For example, you may feel the need to write a book but when you look at the reasons why, you might realize that what you really want to do is touch people and improve their lives. As you look deeper, you may figure out that you don’t actually need to write a book to do this. You may decide that you could also become a speaker or a teacher or a health care worker or any other number of things. What you’ll find is that there are often many paths that can help lead you to your dream and the “thing” you need to accomplish, may actually just be an action you need to take.

At the end of the day, your goals should be driven by the experiences you want to have and the person you want to be in this world.

Let me say that again just to make sure you’re hearing me:

Your goals should be driven by the experiences you want to have and the person you want to be in this world.

Your dreams should help you to grow and should help make your life richer and deeper. Your dreams should be about what you want to contribute to the world and the journey you want to take.

So think about your goals and dreams and ask yourself:

Why do I want to achieve this?

What does it mean to me?

Where will it lead me?

Who will it make me?

What will it allow me to contribute?

What will I look like at the end?

What will the world look like at the end?

Understanding the motivation behind your dreams is a powerful tool to helping you achieve them.

So the next time you think about a goal ask yourself: Why? Then ask it again.


Devotion. Dedication. Loyalty. Pick Your Word But Do It 4 Your Dream.


To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Passion. Desire. Faith. All critical components for achieving your dreams but we can’t forget this very last critical ingredient – devotion.

Devotion (noun) is defined as  a :  the act of devotion <devotion of time and energy>,  b : the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal.

Call it devotion. Call it dedication. Call it loyalty. Use whatever words resonates the most with you but make sure you’re devoted to your dream.

What exactly does it mean to be devoted though?

It means putting your dream first and being loyal to it (much like you would be loyal to any relationship or promise.) It means taking the time to pursue your dream and making time to work on it. It means you’re invested in your dream and you’re willing to do whatever is necessary to keep it moving. It means not letting other things stand in your way or distract you from your dream.

Devotion isn’t simple and it’s not just a word . Devotion means work. Sometimes hard work. Some might try to convince you otherwise but if you look at anyone who has pursued a dream, they will tell you that there’s always hard work involved.

Ask yourself: are you devoted to your dream or are you willing to give up on it if something else distracts you or gets in the way?

Start to pay attention to your level of devotion. A lack of devotion doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pursing the wrong dream but it may mean you need to look at and perhaps shift your priorities.  Then again, it might mean that it’s not the right dream for you and that’s ok too. Look deep into your heart and think about what you’re devoted to and why. See if you can apply that same level of devotion and dedication to your dream.

Work hard and don’t give up.

Be loyal.

Be dedicated.

Be devoted.

Spark Desire 4 Your Dreams in 3 Simple Steps


“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

The definition of desire is actually pretty simple:

Desire (noun) 1) a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.

Given that definition, it’s going to seem pretty obviously when I tell you that desire is essential to achieving your dreams but let’s think about it a little bit. In fact, let’s think about it using a really common goal – eating healthier.

Everyone, at some point in their life, is likely going to set a goal of eating healthier.  The spark for wanting to do this may result from a trip to the doctor or it may be as simple as your jeans getting tighter. Either way, you resolve that from now on you’re going to start eating healthier.

Until someone asks you if you want a cupcake and who wants to give up a cupcake?

Well, you might actually say “No thanks.” to that cupcake if you really have a strong desire to eat healthier. If you really really want to make your goal happen. If, it turns out, you don’t really care all that much about the goal, it’s going to be much easier to give up on it.

The good news is that you can actually take some steps to make sure the desire is there. Here are my favorite three.

1) Share your dream with positive people who are going to support you. 

Having others cheering you on and telling you they believe in you makes a world of difference. Don’t be afraid to share your dream with others because you worry you’ll feel embarrassed if you don’t achieve it. The right people will support you no matter what happens and will increase the odds of getting to the finish line.

2) Know what you want and why you want it. 

Saying “I want to make a lot of money” might seem like a goal but it actually might not be. You might want to make a lot of money because you want security in your life. You might want to make a lot of money because you actually want to travel and see the world and that takes some serious cash. You might want to make money to help others. There’s usually a reason you want to achieve something (if there’s not, that’s another problem) so figure out what that is and focus on that.

3) Surround yourself with your goal.

Talk about your goal. Put up pictures of what it will look like. Write about it. Spend time every morning and every night thinking about it. Check in with others about it. If you set a goal and then file it away, it’s going to be easy to forget about it or ignore it. Constantly reminding yourself about your goal will keep re-fueling and igniting your desire.

What it boils down to is that desire is the necessary spark to igniting your dreams.

No spark, no fire.






Got Passion? You’ll Need It 2 Achieve Your Dreams

katy perry

Want to go to Mars? Or be a race car driver? The scientist who cures cancer? The next big fashion designer? World’s best cupcake maker? World’s best cupcake eater? No matter what your dream is, I’m here to tell you straight up that if you don’t have passion, it ain’t gonna happen.

Dreams are great things but, as I revealed in the 10th secret, there are some concrete things you need to possess or do in order to make them happen and passion is a key ingredient. It’s nice to fill your mind with lots of “what ifs” and “maybe somedays” but if these are just random thoughts  and not something you’re really truly passionate about, they really are nothing more than that –  nice random thoughts.

Think about some of the famous people you admire. I, for one, like Katy Perry. She is someone who never gave up on her dream of singing, even when things got really tough, and now encourages others to do the same. The one thing that kept her going through it all was her passion.  Let’s face it, it’s really easy to give up on a dream when the going gets tough but if you really really want it, if you are 100% passionate about it, you will not be able to give up on that dream.

Dreams require passion.

It’s not just famous people who use passion to fuel their dreams. Check out this story about Alyssa Carson, a teen from Louisiana who wants to go to Mars. She eats, breathes and sleeps this dream and I have no doubt that she will achieve it because of her passion. Surely you have examples of your own. Maybe you are a living example of how passion can fuel a dream. If so, tell me about it!

So, take some time and think about your dreams. Which are dreams you really want to achieve and which are just random thoughts that would be cool to achieve. Which dream really makes your heart rate increase? Which one makes your skin tingle? Which one keeps you up at night? That’s the one you have passion for. That’s the dream to focus on.



The 1st Step 2 Achieving Your Dreams: Define Your Moral Code

dream girl





These are more than just words. These are actually values. In fact, they are some of my core values by which I try to live my life.

Your values are basically your moral code. They are the principles you live by and what’s important to you in life. When you are about to make a decision and you get that little fluttery feeling in your stomach that tells you something isn’t quite right, it’s probably because the decision goes against your values or moral code.

Here’s the thing about your moral code. It turns out that knowing your moral code is a really really important first step to achieving your dreams. In fact, I’ll guarantee you won’t achieve your dreams if they don’t align with your moral code.

Why you ask? Think of it like two puzzle pieces. If your puzzle (your life) is filled with pieces that fit (your moral code) and you try to add a piece from a completely different puzzle (your dream), nothing will fall into place. A dream that isn’t in sync with your moral code is like trying to fit a wrong piece into a puzzle. To make your dreams come true you need to make sure your dreams match your moral code.

Now It’s Time for You to Figure Out Your Own Moral Code

Here’s an exercise with 5 simple steps to help you figure out your own moral code. Be sure to write down your answers. Writing it all down is an important part of making all of this real.

1) When do you feel like you’re at your best or what makes you happiest e.g., what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Here’s some examples: When you help a friend, when you volunteer for a charity, when you spend time with your friends and family or pet, when you achieve a goal you’re worked really hard on.

2) When do you feel like you’re not at your best or what makes you unhappy e.g., when do you feel icky inside?

Here’s some examples: When you get caught doing something you weren’t supposed to do, when you leave your homework until the last minute, when you talk behind someone’s back.

3) When did you feel the most proud e.g., what’s the last thing you did that made you hold your head up high?

4) Now think about what values might be at play for these situations. If you Google “list of core values” you will find several different sites with lists of values to help get you started. Write down some of your values. Cross of the ones that don’t quite feel right. Try to come up with your top three or five. Do they feel right? Do they represent your moral code or how you want to live your life?

5) Now think about your dream. Does it align with your core values? If it doesn’t, it’s going to be tough to make it come true. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not impossible but a dream that fits well with the rest of your life puzzle is going to be much easier to plop into your life. For example, you may think that you want to work in a job where situations change quickly and you’re never doing the same thing (maybe like being a newscaster?) but in reality, one of your core values is stability and you don’t like change. Does that mean you can never be a newscaster? Not at all but it actually may not be the dream job you thought it would be because it doesn’t align with your core values or moral code.

Spend some time thinking about your moral code. Figure out what matters to you. What are your core values? How do you want to live your life? Understanding this is the first step to achieving your dreams so get going!

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
– Gandhi

The 10th Secret 4 Teens: Time 2 Make Your Dreams Come True


“When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires will come to you…”

Surely you know this song from Walt Disney’s Pinocchio right? A bit misleading if you ask me. Wish upon a star and your dreams can come true? Ready for some adult style truth? Sadly, I’m here to tell you that it’s not that easy. You can’t just look into the sky at  night, close your eyes, make a wish and wait for it to come to you. That’s the bad news.

Ready for the good news?

The good news is that you absolutely can achieve every single one of your dreams.

But wait, it gets better! Ready for even better news?

The even better news is that there are actually steps you can follow to make your dreams come true.

That’s the 10th Secret 4 Teens: You Can Create the Life of Your Dreams by Following the Dream Steps

Let me be clear about something – you NEED to follow these steps, all of these steps, to achieve your dreams. You can’t pick and choose. You can’t decide that you’re different and that you don’t need to follow all of them. You do. But it’s worth it.

There are plenty of websites, books, videos and articles out there about how to achieve your dreams. As you review them, you’ll see a lot of the same words like desire, belief, faith, action, visualization, manifesting, etc. etc. etc. You will keep finding the same words and discussions because these actually are the right words and the concepts you need to learn. The thing is, many people give you this information in drips and drabs without ever laying it all out in a simple plan or map or process for you to follow. That’s why you end up with vanilla statements about “making your dreams come true with desire” or “if you believe it you can do it” which are all very nice and inspiring but do you really know what to do with these statements?

What I’m going to do is give you a list of all the steps you need to follow to create your dreams.  They do require things like desire, belief and faith and, perhaps most importantly, hard work and action but when followed and implemented according to a simple plan/blueprint, you end up with something amazing – the accomplishment of your dreams.

So here’s your homework for now. Go back and review the first 9 secrets. These are an important part of the plan. You need to do things like stop listening to your little voice, approach life from a place of love and practice things like gratitude and forgiveness. All these initial secrets I’ve shared are all critical components of achieving your dreams and you need to practice them every day to make the dream steps that much easier to learn and implement.

So get excited! You’re about to learn everything you need to know about achieving and living your dreams. You’re going to have to work at it and you won’t just be wishing on a star but your dreams will come true. I promise.




The 1 Question U Need 2 Ask Yourself in School Over & Over Again 2 Live Your Dreams

boy school book

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.  – Albert Einstein

Can we talk about school and your education for a moment?

I actually think I need to vent a little  because I’m tired of watching people try to fit their dreams into a particular educational path or job. I see this in young people but I also see it in the people I work with every day and frankly, it’s really depressing and I believe you can do better.

You have an opportunity to do things differently and that’s why I’m going to share a really important question with you.  You need to ask yourself this question throughout your entire education and even after you’re done with school if you want to live the life of your dreams.

Ready?  Here’s the question:

Who do I want to be and how do I want to live my life?

This is what you need to be asking yourself as you go to your classes, read your books and take your tests. This is what you need to ask yourself when you meet with school counselors, pick  your classes and think about a college major. This is what you need to ask yourself when you’re done with school and you start looking for a job.

I see so many people graduate from high school or college and go on a job search site to look for something that sounds interesting. Marketing? Hmmm, that sound interesting. Sales? I could probably do that. Program analyst. I don’t even know what that is but why not.

I’m not saying there is anything at all wrong with these jobs but you should only do them if you have a passion for them. You’re going to spend a lot of time in school so why not do something you love when you’re done?  Why not use the time you spend in all these classes to start crafting the life of your dreams?

Everyone needs a basic education in things like literature, writing, history, math, science and  art. In fact, it’s amazing to be given an opportunity to just be a sponge and soak it all in while you’re growing up but then what? What are you going to do with all this education? Are you just going to take some job that comes along because it pays a salary or are you going to pursue the life of your dreams?

I’m here to tell you that you can be whatever you want to be in life but you have to keep asking yourself the question above AND be willing to put in the hard work to get there. Everything you learn in school and in life is information that will help you figure out who you want to be and how you want to live your life but you have to be open to it and you need to be thinking about it – all the time!

So as you sit in classes and do your homework and take your tests remember to keep your future in mind and keep asking yourself:

Who do I want to be and how do I want to live my life?

You are the architect of your life and your dreams so don’t let someone else hand you the blueprint.