Turning Your Dreams Into Action


Whether you need a kick in the pants or gentle encouragement, success begins with your dream!

How often have you heard, "You can do anything you set your mind to!"

Things have changed.

From "What do you want to be when you grow up?" we've come to, "Just be grateful if you have a job."

Teenagers are watching adults flounder, and their dreams are slipping away into apathy. And adults have often given up on their dreams entirely and now just hope to survive.

According to one study last year, nearly a quarter of today’s teens aspire to work in healthcare whether or not they have particular talent in the sciences, simply as a job security factor. Yesterday’s teen girls, for instance, dreamed of creating a family with a successful husband; today’s girls are thinking education and career first, then maybe family later. Yesterday’s teen boys often dreamed of being a sports star, driving a fancy car, and making boatloads of money as an engineer or architect. Today’s boys more often simply hope they can get enough financial aid to get through college and hope not to join the lines of the unemployed.

What has happened to your teenager’s dreams? What happened to yours?

One factor affecting teen’s dreams is that they’re simply taking longer to reach maturity, while struggling with some degree of “growing up too fast”. According to a marvelous article by Po Bronson at Newsweek, society has created an entire generation of protected young people – they’ve been protected from life, sheltered within their own age group, rarely permitted to experience ‘real life’ as in apprenticeships or actual jobs. Then we wonder why teenagers are bored and apathetic and satisfied to endlessly play computer games and hang out with their friends.

What has happened to your teenager’s dreams? What has happened to yours?

A second factor affecting teen’s dreams is the prevalence of an entitlement attitude. As a direct result of a lifetime of hearing the message, “You deserve more/better” without being tied to their actual performance or maturity level, teenagers today are awash in an attitude of entitlement. Have a hard time studying? You must have a disability – you now get special allowances and extra time for assignments and tests. Have a bad attitude, depressed or angry? Your hormones must be out of whack – lets get you on some medication to balance things out. Have nothing better to do than party, experiment with alcohol and marijuana, or play endless computer games? Thats okay – you’ll grow up some day. This entitlement attitude has at its base a great self-centered focus: “What can you do / give to ME? I deserve it just because I’m alive.”

What has happened to your teenager’s dreams? What has happened to yours?

A third factor affecting teen’s dreams is the sense of crisis and discouragement of the adults they’re following. No longer is it a given that teens will be able to “grow up, finish school, get a job, be successful.” Adults are afraid, unemployed, scrambling to redefine their careers, adding second and even third jobs just to make ends meet. News of political corruption, financial meltdowns, and homelessness is constantly in the news. Its no wonder teenagers are often unwilling to embrace the old ‘dream’ of the adults who appear so unsuccessful at their own.

What has happened to your teenager’s dreams? What has happened to yours?

If you’re parent (or teacher or mentor or grandparent or friend) to a teenager, you’ve seen these three factors played out in the lives of the teenagers you interact with. It would be easy to simply throw up your hands and say, “There’s nothing to be done until society changes!” But that won’t help your teenager find their way successfully, and it won't help you reignite your own dream.

YOU have a pivotal role to play in helping your teenager navigate the treacherous ground of preparing for an adult life of success. YOU have a pivotal role to play in creating the life you used to dream of.

Here are some powerful ways to change RIGHT NOW, from apathy to action!

  1. Stop insisting that wants are actually needs. START to intentionally learn about budgeting, and involve your whole family in the process. START living your life by your definition of success, even if the reality hasn't shown up yet. This means living within your means, having a plan for change, and intentionally going after it.
  2. Stop putting up with selfishness. Selfishness is a normal part of development that needs parental involvement to grow out of. STOP insisting that your kids get special services unless they actually need them. Stop giving them the message that their needs/wants come first. START giving them reality checks and helping them see the results of their choices, then encouraging them to learn from their mistakes. And the most powerful way you can start this is to stop being the doormat - in your family, in your community, and in your work.
  3. Stop your own defeatist attitude right now! Sure, the economy stinks. Jobs are scarce, you may have lost your lifetime career, lost your home, and be riding the bus. However, YOU are the adult. START acting like one! The ONLY way your children will learn how to grow through difficult situations with a healthy attitude is if you show them how. Cut up your credit cards, re-learn how to cook every night instead of going out to eat because its convenient, and put into practice the life changes you’ve been telling yourself you really need to implement but have been too discouraged or overwhelmed to get begin.

Become a powerful advocate for your teen’s active involvement in rehearsing for adulthood. Don’t expect your teenager to be excited about getting a “McJob” if you’re already providing all they need, especially if you're just beginning to rebuild your own life dreams. Volunteer locally, together. Use your adult connections to give your kids an opportunity to shadow various career options, then make use of shadowing to create a career for you. Get involved in a cause you choose to care about, and show your children what it means to work through discouragement and practice sacrifice.

What has happened to your teenager’s dreams? What has happened to yours?

Those dreams are still there, just hidden beneath piles of self-doubt, selfishness and apathy. Clear it away!

Those dreams are still there, just hidden behind a facade of “it doesn’t matter”. Stand up and MOVE FORWARD!

Those dreams are still there, just hidden from view or given up on. Changing this one is completely up to you!

From working with hundreds of families I have become convinced that everyone today is positively screaming for a little help to get back on track. Those dreams might have changed just a bit, but its not time to give up yet! Send me a message today and lets get started grabbing hold of your dreams and making them your reality!