In case no one has ever asked you, I’m asking you that now. When it comes to your life, your future, your hopes, your dreams…what do you want?
The average life expectancy for a U.S. citizen is 78 years-old. That means, for those who fall between the ages of 11-19, you’re believed to have a good 60-67 year’s worth of life to live.
So what do you want to do with that time?
Take a look around you—your parent(s), role models, family members, elders, teachers, etc. Each one of them were a teenager just like you. Some may of had their hopes and dreams, and followed through with them; others may have taken more of a “YOLO” approach to life and landed wherever their decisions led them; some may have even taken life too seriously and subsequently ceased to enjoy the moments that one can never get back; and others, too overcome by the challenges and fears of life, may have never stopped to explore their potential or push pass their fears.
Now look at yourself in the mirror and answer the question: what do you want to do with YOUR time here on earth?
It can be hard to figure out what you want to do with your future (and, let’s be real, even your present) or how you’re going to make those dreams of yours a reality. But trust me, it’s worth figuring out.
Below are a few thoughts and questions to help jumpstart your thinking and hopefully, provide some sense of clarity about where you’re headed in life and what you’ll ultimately choose to do with your time.
- If you don’t take the time to learn you, someone else will.
- While it can be beneficial for those within your personal relationships to know you and know you well, it can also be hazardous when you haven’t taken the time to learn you and your habits. It’s extremely important to know what motivates you (likes, dislikes, fears, insecurities, hopes dreams) because the truth is, once another person figures that information out, they can greatly influence/control your thoughts and actions. If they don’t truly have your best interest at heart, that leaves you in a very compromising situation. Learn yourself now and you’ll position yourself to be able to master life later.
- You are what you think.
- So think positive. Train your mind and you subsequently control your quality of life for this journey that you’re on. Think negative, you get negative. Think positive, and live your dreams.
- You are not powerless or helpless. You always have a choice.
- One of the most important things to recognize in life is that you do not have to be a person who reacts to life, rather you are the creator—the builder—of the future you envision. Every decision, good or bad, is bringing you closer to or further from the future that you envision and the lifestyle that you deserve. Choose wisely, my dear. A word of caution: a decision that you know to be bad will certainly have its consequences; if you don’t reap them now you will reap them later.
- You don’t have to know your purpose in life right now, but look for the hints that are being revealed at this time in your life.
- Think about the things that you are passionate about, good at or highly interested in. Think about the opportunities (such as an internship, after school program, or club) that you’ve passed on because they were out of your comfort zone. This is a good time to figure out what you like and what you don’t like, but it’s also an even better time to seek opportunities that will allow you the space to grow and evolve in a positive manner. That may require you stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new! You may not be able to act, but who’s to say you wouldn’t be an awesome script writer given that you enjoy poetry?
- It all comes down to now…or later.
- What you put off today you will have to face tomorrow. And the real truth is that you may not face it tomorrow, but five and ten years from now you’ll find yourself struggling with the same issues, the same demons, the same struggles. What you aren’t willing to do for your dreams today can greatly affect the time in which it happens [if it happens] and the quality of opportunities that you’re granted.
So, I’ve asked “what you do want?” and provided ways in which you can begin to empower yourself in hopes of obtaining that. I’ll now leave you with this: how are you currently working to ensure that the next 60-67 years is worth everything that you’re going through or have been through up until this moment?
Syreeta “Sincerely Syreeta” Martin is a mother, freelance journalist, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, life guide, strategist and creator of SincerelySyreeta.com. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook (@SincerelySyreeta) and/or Twitter (@SincerelyReeta).