Destiny Discover
3 Strategies to Inspire Your Teens

By Dr. Karyn Gordon
Strategy #1: Be the Inspiration

Try to be honest with yourself. Are you an inspiring person? Do you love your life? Do you love who you are? Are you happy with how you are using your gifts? Inspiration is powerful and contagious. Spend time with an ‘inspiring’ person and most of us just feel better, energized and more alive. The key to inspiring our kids is that we ourselves need to work on inspiring ourselves first. We can preach about being inspirational but without living it – our words are flat and our teens will tune us out.

So how can we tap into our own inspiration? Be clear about what it is you want to do in 2012 and what character traits you want to work on in yourself. Just last Monday I decided to dedicate a full day for my dreams / goals in 2012 (I don’t do that nearly enough). By the end of the day I was fully energized, focused and excited for 2012! It helped clarify what I need to say “yes” to and more importantly what I need to say “no” to so I can protect those goals.

On January 18th I’ll be on CityLine talking about how to set goals successfully and one of my favorite strategies is to set aside 1-3 hours (go to a coffee shop or somewhere you can be quiet and still) and write down your goals for 2012. This simple strategy creates a road map for how you want this next year to unfold.

Remember that kids & teens love to see their parents ‘love their life’. Your inspiration will be contagious for them!

Strategy #2: Talk About Dreams (Not Goals)

I’ve shared this before but want to highlight it again. Most teens do not like the word ‘goals’ (it reminds them too much of school). This is one of the key reasons why our event is called ‘Dare to Dream’ (and not ‘Dare to Set Goals’). Many people have dreams – it’s the big picture – the snap shot for how they want their life to turn out. Goals are more specific and too often teens associate goals with a specific subject in school. So try asking your teen about their dreams such as: “What are some of the dreams you have in your life?” Ask them about their dreams related to traveling, volunteer work, family or money. Try to bring up school & career dreams at the end. And while many have dreams – some teens may not (they may be afraid to allow themselves to dream). If so, simply be patient and bring it up again with them in a few weeks.

Strategy #3: Surround Them With Inspirational People

One of my favorite books is called “The Power of Focus’. In this book, the author talks about the importance of surrounding yourselves with inspirational people, movies, biographies & books.

So tune into what your teen is interested in. What movies do they like to watch? Who are their role models? Can you get the biographies (TV or video) of one of their role model’s sharing about their life’s journey? Or do you have aunts / uncles / cousins / friends or other people in your life that your teen would find inspiring? If so try to facilitate them spending time together. Something this simple could be all it takes to ignite their inspiration!