Teenagers have a very different view on life to adults. Adults seem to want to stop you having fun. They are very quick to tell you that you can’t do this or you can’t do that and that you can’t be what you dream to be when you grow up and leave school.
Adults are partly right. They know that there is a cost to living. They know that you have to find money to pay for food, clothing and accommodation. And they ‘think’ they know that the chances of you becoming famous, for example, are slim.
What do you want to do when you are older? Many teenagers tell me that they want to be an actress, a doctor, a lawyer, a motocross champion, a professional football player, a pop star, a computer programmer, a pilot, a soldier, a racing driver or an astronomer. Someone even told me they wanted to become a magician.
Not many people tell me that they want to work in a hotel, work in an office, pick fruit or vegetables, cook food, repair cars, maintain roads or perform one of the hundreds of jobs that the majority of people do each and every day to keep a roof over their heads.
So what happened to all of those ‘everyday’ people, did they have the same dreams as you?
Yes, most people dream of great things when they are a teenager but very few go on to achieve them. What can you learn from them that will stop the same thing happening to you?
The first thing that you need to appreciate is that success does NOT just happen to you. There is a lot of hard work and effort that goes in to every success story. You will not just stumble across success, or become a pop star, simply because you want to be one.
Speak to any successful person and they will all tell you the same thing – you need to have goals. You need to know exactly what you want, not just some vague notion about the ‘lifestyle’ that accompanies this dream. You need a main goal and also lots of smaller goals – things that you have to achieve on the way to achieving the big one.
You need to discover what skills or knowledge that you need to be able to do the thing that you want to do. You need to find out if there is a qualification that you need to have to gain you entry into that profession.
If you want to be a singer it takes more than the ability to sing. You are competing against thousands of other singers, many of which have been singing from an early age and take lessons with professional voice coaches several times per week. They practice seven nights per week and already perform in front of small audiences and enter talent contests as often as they can. Are you doing this?
If you want to be a motocross champion it takes more than the ability to ride a bike. You are competing against thousands of other amateurs like yourself who have been riding motocross bikes from the age of four and have been competing almost every weekend for years. They really know how to ride a bike. They have put in the time to develop and hone their skills and their parents are fully behind them buying them the best equipment and travelling to new meetings to put them up against faster riders. These people are very fast. Have you put the same time in at the same level?
I am not trying to put you off. I want you to wake up to the fact that if you are not already practicing and competing at the peak level of your dream activity then you need to start damn quick or accept that someone else is going to live your dream and not you.
What you need to do to become the person in your dream is to work out the difference between your life now and what it is you need to be the person in your dreams.
You need to work out what skills you need and how you are going to achieve them. You need to work out what knowledge you need and where you are going to get it. You need to work out where you are going to find the time to do this and how it is going to be paid for. You need to ask yourself if you are prepared to put in the hard work and long hours that are required to get you to where you want to be.
Many of the best actors and actresses in the country went to a highly competitive stage school to learn their craft. Students of these schools have to work long hours and extremely hard just to survive, never mind stand out as a future star. But stage school doesn’t even begin there. Entry to the best academies is competitive and you need to prove to them that you have ‘what it takes’ just to get in. You need to have been performing in plays and stage shows prior to applying. You need to show that you have a track record of excellence in acting. Can you prove this?
On your way to your dream position you need to LEARN all of the things that will be necessary when you are in that position.
You need to work backwards from your dream and calculate all the steps required to get to where you want to be. A lawyer, for example, needs a law degree. Depending where you intend to study places can be very competitive so you need to have good school or college grades prior to getting in to university. Don’t think that you can just turn on your school work in the last couple of years prior to university – you need to work hard at school in all your subjects, in all your year groups, to achieve the required grades.
So, if you still want to live your dream and you are prepared to put in all the hard work and effort to get you to where you want to be then I wish you good luck.
But consider one thing, if you are not going to put in all of this hard work or you mistakenly still think that it is still just going to happen to you, what are you going to end up doing to provide you with the money you need to live? Probably the same thing as most people in their routine jobs.
Start to enjoy learning. Learn the things that you are interested in. Find out how to improve your learning to make it more useful to you. Become an expert in whatever field you want to excel in. Set yourself some goals and start today.
Oh yes, and the person that told me that they wanted to become a magician has now been making a good living that way for over 10 years. He has performed on more than one occasion to Prince Charles, the future King of England. He has also performed for a host of other celebrities and even topped the bill on New Year’s Eve at the ‘6 star’ BURJ AL ARAB hotel in Dubai.
Live the dream.
© 2005 Max Wiseman
Max is a learning expert and believes that learning is the key to success in life. Visit his website for more inspirational and thought provoking learning articles.