The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

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.