This is the final installment of The Slacker's Guide To Success, based on my work with teens, young adults and their families. The introduction can be found here. The other chapters are available here.
One more thing:
So you went from being a slacker with unrealized potential to a mover and shaker in the world in 13 steps. Or more likely, you just read all the blog versions of the whole book (without skipping over too much, I hope) and you are wondering a bunch of questions. I will answer the questions first and then get to the ones who have gone through the 13 steps.
a) How long does it take?
The first two sections (steps 1 - 7 and steps 8 - 10) can take as little as six months or as long as two years to complete. It is really dependent on how much resistance and negative mind-speak the client has to shovel away to be open to finding their daily personal powers. Very often once the client is on the right track, there will be one or two major diversions that will throw off everything. These are to be expected as they are the inner-self testing to see if this thing that seems to be working is worth it. Section three is a life-long pursuit.
b) Does it really work?
Short answer: Yes! It really does work. What makes it work is that it is in the small, daily routines that we find our character and our faith in ourselves through these small acts. Once we learn to transpose those character-building qualities into other aspects of our lives and figure out the modifications that need to be done, we learn we can do anything, with a positive mental attitude and the will to work at it and learn from our mistakes. This is a sure-fire recipe for success because it comes from within.
c) What makes you qualified to tell me what to do?
Nothing. No one can tell you what to do. But having worked with struggling teens and young adults since 2001 and having seen their amazing successes, I do feel qualified to share my system with you. It is entirely your choice to decide to follow the system. You are in charge at all times and that is the best way.
d) How does one go about it?
I would read all 13 steps (the book should be out December 2012) first. Then I would go through one whole step at a time, making notes and then do what that step suggests to you. The most important part will be getting a mentor and making sure that they are on the same page as you (literally). Most importantly, understand that mistakes and mess-ups have the seeds of finding your best work. Don't give up and don't lose hope. I would also suggest keeping it to yourself and a very select group of confidants. There are so many people out there who live through their fears and can send out negative thoughts and ideas on any project.
e) How do you know if it's working?
In the first six months you are looking for micro-successes not the final "out in the world" results. For example: If you were often failing tests before and you have stopped failing tests but are just scrapping by, that is an improvement. It's not the end result you want but it tells you that you are choosing to not fail. That is a first step. You must choose to first embrace success (not fail), then you learn to try stuff and mess up, learn from the "mess-ups" and do better the next time. Then you raise your investment (the amount of time you work on whatever it is your are trying to improve) and see how that works. Adjust and refine. You know it's working because the micro-successes are there and you don't give up or retreat if you fail but come back and repeat or modify.
f) How do you know when you've arrived?
For steps one to eleven, there are clear indications that you are ready to go on to the next step. When you can look over the chapter and know that you are succeeding in all the suggestions given to you, you are ready to move forward. As for your goals in following your bliss, creating a full life and finding your passion mission, these are ongoing life-long projects. If you meet your target, you will want to find a new target. They are the journey of life.
g) What is the best-case and worst case scenarios?
Best-case scenario is you move slowly and steadily through the process building up a faith in your own ability to succeed under your own horsepower that will be with you for the rest of your life.
Worst-case scenario is that you start the process and when it gets a little difficult or you meet a setback, you give up. Even in this scenario there is hope. You can always come back. You can always start again. You can always choose to give it one more try.
After the 13 steps
Even if it is after the first eleven steps, may I congratulate you. You don't really need any outside praise at this point because you believe in yourself now and although it is nice to hear how well you are doing, you are no longer dependent on the good or bad comments of others. Your own inner-compass is the one you follow with the outside world being more of a radar blip to help you understand how your work in being regarded by different sorts of people. Reflecting more about them then about you.
The next step is to bring your success skills into the following arenas: relationships; budgeting and investing; sales skills; nutrition and body-care; parenting and blah blah blah.
I will have books on these subjects in the coming while but I am always open to responding to any mail on any subject in regards to your success.
My weekly newsletter is a way to get my most recent articles on whichever book I am working on and there is always place for feedback. You can get the newsletter by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mentors' Workbook.
The Mentor's workbook is the companion book to this method. Giving your mentor a deeper explanation on how to implement each step of this method. It gives a lot of examples and it is as close as you can come to having me personally guide you through the process as you can be without coming to one of my workshops or being one of my clients. (My client's parents have access to one-on-one sessions with me as well.) The workbook really opens up each step.
I hope it's clear by this point how much I believe in this generation and the possibilities that exist for them in making a wonderful world worth living in. This is my passion and it is my hope that each and everyone of you find your successes in life and have at the very least, one moment of absolute joy in each and every day. May your journey be challenging, may your thoughts be of greatness, may your rise above your challenges and find your greatness and write greater books than I could dream of. We are all midgets standing on the shoulders of giants. Thank you for sharing this time with me. Until we meet again, my best wishes to you for a happy and successful life. And remember, a life worth living is a life lived willing to take risks.
Stay tuned for the Parents' Mentoring Workbook blogs .....