How to Help Teens Realize Their Interests

As a parent or elder in your community, you have the opportunity to steer teenagers toward positive life choices. Teens may feel directionless. You can help!

Begin with a Simple Question

Ask teens in your life what interests them. Treat any legal pursuit as a correct answer. As video gaming and YouTube channels taught everyone, with persistence, a teen can eventually become successful in any field. Listen, discuss and let conversations flow and meander during this period. You never know which light might suddenly glow in a budding person’s imagination.

Introduce Them to Diverse Pursuits

If your position allows, take your group of teens on outings, and invite guest speakers to meet with your bunch. Include museums, athletic events, meetings with business owners and demonstrations by professional musicians, for example. The next Jeff Bezos or Jay-Z could be in your midst. Provide the spark that lights their flame.

Pick an Interest, and Set a Goal

You can attach a goal to any interest. The goal could be admission to Harvard or Juilliard, or it could be winning a local science or athletic competition. Be the adult who tells young people they can be anything, even if it seems improbable. Most teenagers have plenty of people telling they can’t do big things. Show them they can!

Teach Goal-Achieving Strategies

Star motivator Tony Robbins preaches skill development through repetition. Do the same. People laud gifts and talent, but success is not tied to those. Teach teens that success comes from consistent, focused work. You may have heard championships are actually won when nobody is watching. In other words, repeated practice is more important than natural ability, and that concept applies to any pursuit.

Nobody knows the future. Twenty years from now, teens you mentor could be doing everything from starring on Broadway to running a welding business and ordering welding supplies online. Your positive influence will help them discover their ideal lives.