While I know that you are probably not going to believe what I am writing, you need to know something. I know exactly how you feel.
13 is an incredibly tough age. Your hormones are raging, your armpits are smelly, your confidence is at an all-time low. Here is some advice that will hopefully make it through that thick skull of yours.
- You think you are scared of girls? They are scared too. Every move they make, every word they say, everything they do, they scrutinize in their heads. This is what it means to be a teenager. You feel awkward…I get it. We have all been there. If you really want to impress the girls, be confident. In my many years of experience, I have come to find out that confidence is the biggest key to success in everything that you do. You may not know it yet, but the ability to speak with people and look them dead in the eye is going to be your key to success. I happen to think you are a very smart kid…and other people do as well. If you don’t feel that self confidence, then fake it until you make it. That girl that you asked to dance last year at the 6th grade dance? She said no, not because of you. She said no, because she was scared too.
- Be an empathetic person. When someone tells you about a problem they are having, keep the conversation about them. Don’t try to relate it to a story about yourself.
- On that note, be sure that you are kind to everyone. You will find in life that some people think they are better than everyone else. It is important to treat everyone with respect, whether they have a lot, or whether they have a little. Everyone deserves respect. You will meet the same people on your way down, as you met on the way up. Be nice to people. Oh, and always tip well.
- Avoid the negativity: In life, you will find people of all types. One type, which I have grown accustomed to are the “Negative Nancys”. These people always want to tell you why things cannot be done. These people never understand what it takes to achieve something. They will always find a way to discount someone else’s accomplishments in order to make themselves feel better. Avoid these people, as they will suck the life out of you.
- Study Hard: While your grades in middle school don’t seem like they will have an effect on your future, I can tell you that your study habits that you exhibit now will. When you get home from school, finish your homework. Then you will have time to “futz” around. Also, don’t get in the habit of waiting to study the day before your test. It rarely works.
- Eat healthier and exercise more. It’s much easier to play with your video games, and watch TV. It’s much more fun to eat pizza all the time. Take it from me, you only get one body, and you better prepare it for the marathon of life.
- Two ears, one mouth: You were given these for a reason. Listen twice as much as you speak. You LOVE to talk, but sometimes you would be better served to keep that trap shut.
- Read books. Read lots of books. Novels, self-help, business books. Read autobiographies written by people who rose up to accomplish things. Find people who inspire you, and then call them on the phone. Get in the habit of reaching out to these people. NOBODY is out of reach. When you get them on the phone, ask them for advice. Ask them for the keys to their success. You would be surprised by the answers.
- Find your passion, and become an expert.
- Don’t sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff. Today’s strife will be forgotten in a week. If you dwell too much on the things that go wrong, you will not find success. Everyone has a very short attention span, and for every mistake you just made, someone else made a bigger one. Learn from the mistakes and move on.
- Listen to your parents. They know what’s right…and while you may think they don’t know what you are going through, they do. It wasn’t that long ago when they were 13. They have dozens of years of experience that can help them understand you.
- Pick up that guitar and really practice. Chicks dig guitar players.
46 year old Michael