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Success for teens

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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 5:45 am

For the next eight months we will be doing a series of articles that are focused on teens. We will discuss ways teens can become successful in school as well as outside of school. We will discuss the importance of defining goals, and practicing small efforts that will yield success.

We urge you to share these articles with your teen(s), and discuss with them what they like about each article. If you feel that your teen is enjoying each article feel free to contact us for information about the book, “Success For Teens,” which has inspired us to do this series. We are excited to share this and hope that you look forward to each article every month.

This month we will discuss how the little things matter. These three words are the main principle of almost everything we will discuss for the next eight months. Simple actions or choices repeated over time can yield great results and can help shape the future that you want.

Little things matter

The little things that lead to success are easy to do. But, they are also easier NOT to do. This is all about the choices you make every single day. Every day, every hour, every minute you make choices. These choices are whether to take a positive or negative action. It can be as easy as waking up early rather than late for school.

Taking the time to study ahead of time for that big test rather than spending that time to play video games or hang out with friends. An example of this is someone who decides to be the best batter on their baseball team. That person will do little things like go to the batting cages for one hour every day after school to get better. Each day, that person will get better and better. A little extra effort each day will result in success in whatever you do.

Think about it — what small steps can you do today and every day to reach your goals?

Knowing what to do is not enough

Knowing what you need to do is totally different than actually doing it. Knowing what small steps you need to take to reach your goals is not enough. You must put them into action. If you are going on a road trip to California, just knowing how to get there is not enough. You must actually get in the car and drive. Sometimes we all know what we need to do, but it may seem hard or just too unfamiliar to us. If that is the case, ask someone your trust for support so you can be confident in your choice and plan of action.

Think about it — what is stopping you from doing what you know you should be doing?

Your actions affect everyone

What positive things have you done that affected someone other than yourself? The small actions that you do affect you and other people around you. This is called the ripple effect. You may not see the effect of your actions, but they can ripple outward just as an object thrown into water creates ripples all around it. In life, when you take positive steps, you sometimes do not know what can happen. Those steps can affect others and you will not ever know it. Just a smile or saying hi to someone that you don’t know in your class can be the beginning of a great friendship or just help someone having a bad day.

Think about it — have you ever done something positive and seen it “ripple” or affect someone else?

The right choice at the right moment

People who are successful have made the right choices at the right time. If you are a teen in middle or high school, making the right choice for a successful future must be made now. Sometimes making that choice takes a lot of courage to do. It’s even harder if your friends do not support your choice. These choices are for your life and your life only.

Think about it — what choices are you struggling with and what is stopping you from making it?

When you do the little things in life, it will lead to greater success. I If you just commit to doing something small each day to help reach your goal, then you will achieve it. It takes knowing what to do, a positive attitude and making the choice to just do it.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michael Bond is the owner of Ahwatukee-based 1st Place Tutoring. His company assists students in grades K-12 with math, reading and science, and has SAT/ACT test preparation classes for high school students. Reach him at (602) 751-3594, or

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