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Ten Tips for Teen Success


DR. WALLACE: Most teens want to be successful people, especially me. Last week, I looked through some of my older sister's (she's now married) teen magazines. I found an article that provided 10 tips for being a successful teen. I found them very helpful and would like to share them with my fellow teens. — Nameless, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

NAMELESS: Thanks for thinking of your peers. As a former high school teacher and principal, I believe that intelligence and talent are extremely important, but a positive attitude is the key element in successful teens. The following are the 10 tips recommended for Teen Success:

— Believe in yourself! Ever heard the saying, "If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will either?" Well, it's true! Healthy self-esteem is the single most crucial ingredient in the how-to-succeed recipe. Successful teens believe in themselves no matter what and don't cave into naysayers.

— Act with self-confidence (even if you don't feel it). That's right. Just follow the old "fake it till you make it" adage. Smile! Walk tall, with a confident pace, letting others know you're headed for success.

— Surround yourself with fellow go-getters. The people we hang out with affect how we think, feel and act. So, why not surround yourself with pals who look for the best in themselves and others?

— Dream and scheme. Exactly what is it you wish to accomplish? What do you dream of doing or being? Whether it's making the National Honor Society, getting an A on your history exam or getting that new guy's attention, if you don't set solid goals, your energy will be unfocused.

— Work, work, work! No one ever said success comes easily. Successful people are willing to work hard and make sacrifices to get what they want.

For example, if your goal is to earn spending money, you may have to miss out on a Friday night party in favor of baby-sitting. If you long to make finalist at the state gymnastics meet, you will have to spend countless hours practicing.

— Dare to dare. You can't really succeed if you're not brave enough to take some risks. It's so easy to sit back and make excuses like, "It's pointless to run for class president because I'll never get it." Realize that not trying is worse than failing.

— Don't take setbacks personally. When things go wrong, don't wallow in gloom and despair and think you're a failure. Feeling sorry for yourself because you didn't make the final cut for cheerleader is simply making the worst of the situation. Disappointment is a fact of life, but it's not all bad. Falling short teaches you what it takes to do something. Successful people look squarely at defeat and ask, "What can I learn from this?"

— Never, never quit! Remember, what matters is attaining your goal, not how long it takes to reach it. Stay committed, and no matter how high the hurdles, jump over them. An indomitable spirit and feisty sense of stick-to-itiveness will get you to the top.

— Have a sense of humor. It's the key to handling life's many ups and downs. A sense of humor will help you keep things in perspective.

— Reward yourself. It's important to give yourself recognition for hard-earned achievements. For example, if you've reached your goal of losing seven pounds, buy a new outfit to celebrate your new self. Treating yourself when you deserve it will encourage you to set — and get — new goals.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



2 Comments | Post Comment
Dr Wallace, if you're telling the truth and these ten tips are actually from a previous magazine article, you've just committed plagiarism -- not a great example for the youth you're advising! You've probably also violated copyright.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Kiki
Thu Sep 9, 2010 3:02 PM
The first comment is exactly what I was thinking. You should have, at the minimum, cited the magazine and author. Actually, you should have had permission to re-publish all 10 of the suggestions.
I have to agree it's a terrible example for you to set while supposedly advising young people how to live a good life!
Comment: #2
Posted by: Sally
Thu Sep 9, 2010 9:56 PM
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