As we gear up for another school year, I'm urging our high school-aged patients to take into account a few key considerations:
Firstly, formulate a one-year plan. Reflect on what you aim to achieve in the upcoming school year. Setting goals and making plans often enhances our individual growth. Ensure that this plan is well-defined and attainable. For instance, aspirations like winning the lottery, buying a beach house, and becoming a movie star might lack detailed feasibility. On the other hand, aiming for a 3.5 GPA, excelling in tennis, and participating in the Spanish club are more realistic and reachable goals. Don't shy away from nudging your comfort zone slightly. If you've secretly longed to sing but hesitated to perform in front of an audience, take a step forward and join the choir. Trying new things can unveil hidden talents, and remember, the only way to guarantee failure is by never trying. Embrace the possibility of failure, as it often imparts lessons that pave the way for future triumphs.
Secondly, sketch out a four-year plan. While winning the lottery might not be a viable four-year strategy, purchasing a house or pursuing an acting career could be conceivable. For such lofty aims, crafting a one-year plan involving finding employment or enrolling in acting classes is crucial. Four-year plans are meant to be ambitious, so don't shy away from letting your imagination soar. While the details need not be ironed out, ensure your plan has a strong foundation for you to build upon.
Thirdly, put in diligent effort. Regardless of your pursuits or destinations, employers, coaches, and teachers consistently value individuals who exhibit a strong work ethic. Rarely does anyone reflect on their life and think, "I worked too hard on this." Most often, people regret not having invested more effort to realize their dreams.
Fourthly, commit to finishing what you start. The world is filled with bright minds who began remarkable endeavors but lost momentum along the way. Being dependable and seeing tasks through to completion, regardless of their scale, is a crucial aspect of personal reliability.
Fifthly, embrace the prospect of failure and the allure of novelty. Earlier, I touched upon this concept, and no, I'm not suggesting getting a tattoo or a piercing. I'm referring to venturing outside your comfort zone and pursuing something you've always yearned to do. Embrace the possibility of failure and always strive to try new things.
Lastly, make sound choices. We've all made regrettable decisions in our lives—spoken words we didn't mean or engaged in actions we shouldn't have. Learn from these missteps and avoid repeating them. Don't allow your mistakes or failures to define you; instead, harness them as motivation for future accomplishments. Learn from the past, but don't become trapped in it. While you can't alter the past, you can glean valuable insights from it and make more informed decisions in the present. While planning for the future is important, don't become so fixated on what lies ahead that you neglect the present moment. Live in the here and now, and endeavor to make each day the best it can be. Strive to win each day, keeping in mind that tomorrow will arrive in due course, but your focus should remain on conquering the present.
Wishing you a fantastic school year ahead! May success be your constant companion.