How to be a successful teenager is something that should be talked about more often because starting productive habits while you’re young will help set the foundation for you to attain teenage success. Now, of course, this is going to look different for different people because we have to factor in where you are in the world, what your cultural background is like, your upbringing, and stuff like that.

Unfortunately, many have not grown up with this concept. Many teens come from broken homes, a history of poverty, or maybe grew up in a household that was successful but was never taught on the hows or whys it was. Many teens are suffering in this area, and you may be suffering right now because you want to know how to be a successful teenager but don’t know where to start.

It’s so important to look past your time in school and not only go with the flow that can find yourself wasting away with the days especially during this season of life. Understanding the significance in looking past where you are into the future by making moves in the present is huge. Many times, there are other things stealing your attention like problems mentioned above, bullying, or getting involved in destructive behavior.

How to Be a Successful Teenager| 7 Tips for Teenage Success

1) Define Success

Everyone’s idea of “success” is different. I’m going to say this first so BEAR WITH ME and really take this into consideration. As a Christian, it’s important to know what the Lord says about what success is and that includes who you invest your time in for future marriage and your future children. This may be something you never thought of before or don’t want to because the world defines success much differently than the Word of God. As a teenager you guys aren’t used to thinking that far into the future either because of what you’ve been taught, seen, or experienced so far. Why does an element of success include marriage and a family? Well, it is one of the first jobs the Lord gave us.

“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen. 1:28)

Does this mean as a single person you can’t be successful in the Lord’s eyes? Absolutely not, but it does matter what you do with your singleness. In 1 Corinthians, there are details on the married and single life and honoring the Lord in both. Take some time to read through it and take note because it does matter.

Why is this important? As a teen and young adult, you are going to meet a lot of people and find possible love interests. You want to know who you are going to invest your time in. Like with any business, but obviously with more care as we are dealing with hearts not only assets, is it worth the risk? Will they be an asset to what you are trying to build or are they going to hinder you?

Many have found their wives and husbands young, who do you want to join hands with and be successful in this life?

One thing I am trying to emphasize here is that wealth is not the only element of success. I have met many wealthy yet lonely people. Some have chosen a design outside what the Lord has laid out for our protection. They live a life of ungodly behavior destroying themselves and those around them thinking money would fill the space of emptiness by trying to fill it with stuff.

You can be wealthy by the world’s standards yet bankrupt in spirit.

Our existence has both natural and eternal weight.

All of that to say, don’t forget to factor in your future generations when thinking of success. At the end of people’s days, it’s not their things but people who surround them at the end.

Now, define success. What does it look like to be successful? House? Car? Place to vacation? Being able to provide jobs for other people? Having multiple businesses? Take the time to define what you see as successful and remember to check scripture with it to make sure you aren’t out of the will of God.

Here is a question to ask yourself to see if you’re aligned with God in His standard or definition of success and then we will continue on with practical tips on how to be a successful teenager:

Question #1: Is it Godly?

I didn’t ask if it was good or if it was legal, but is it Godly? There are many things in this life that will be legal or have a look of being “good” but it’s ungodly. If you have a question, ask the Lord to reveal it to you without a doubt and for FULL clarity. Also, be aware that your plans may not be His. Have the heart to look at your goals with stars in your eyes, but with obedience in Who created the stars in the first place. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Prov. 19:21). Please don’t be tempted to think the Lord is holding out on you, that was Eve’s mistake. His plans are ALWAYS better than you could ever imagine. I look at my husband and see evidence of that. You will see it too in many areas of your life. Trust in Him, always and this is major in learning .

Lord Jesus Christ, show me if this opportunity is from You or from the enemy because I know both You and the enemy have assignments for my life. I want to make sure I’m going down Your path. If it is not from You, I pray the veils would be lifted from my eyes and I will be able to see it clearly. I pray doors will be closed if it leads me to destruction. Remove people from my life who are not of You. Show me those who are of You and can help me lead a successful but Godly life. Help me to see Your ways are better even when I think my plan is best. Help me to trust You beyond my years so I can live the full life You have planned for me. I pray all of this in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” (2 Cor. 11:14-15)

“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” (James 1:5)

2) Write Down Goals

Writing down goals accomplishes a few things:

1-It helps you visually see your goals.

Visually seeing your goals makes it more real and makes it tangible. You can cross it out, you can see everything that is stuck in your head, help break down what is important, what can wait, and what may take a little longer to accomplish. Make it a “to-do” list so you can actively start doing.

2-It helps you track steps you actually have made.

The enemy is a liar and will have you believe you aren’t doing anything. There is this expectancy to become an overnight success, but many fail to realize that although one may look like an overnight success, there were many steps along the way. Writing down goals can help you see your progress even when the enemy rather you not.

3-It helps you pray over them.

Part of learning how to be a successful teenager, means going to the Lord consistently with your wants and desires. He will show you what is of Him and what is NOT of Him. Both are vital to know, so you don’t waste time.

3) Show Your Parents/Caregiver/Mentor

Sometimes the best kind of accountability is sharing your goals with someone. However, be prayerful and careful with who you share your goals and dreams with. Ask the Lord and test the waters with people. Give them a little bit at a time and see what their response is. Holy Spirit is there to help us discern. If you don’t like their response, it hits you in the gut a certain way, then that may be a sign to not share with that person.

If it’s your parents, there needs to be a little more leniency in that area because you may be under their household, they may be putting time and effort in helping you achieve your goals, and they may also have a lot of wisdom to share. Allow them to speak into your life. This may differ depending on your home situation. If there is abuse, then sharing needs wisdom too. Maybe they are in a part of their life where they can’t be supportive, and I would suggest you lean on Jesus Christ during this time and ask Him to send you the support you need.

4) Find Resources

Look into those who have been successful in the area you want to be.

There are a lot of free webinars online and they may have one available for you. One thing I have found is that you always learn something new even if you don’t purchase their package deal at the end. Take notes, ask questions if you are allowed to, and if its within your budget you may want to take their online courses. Some of them are pretty reasonable, and I would be very prayerful and ask your parents or trusted individuals to check it out first, so you don’t waste your money or time.

Use your library. Check out free online sources. Pinterest is a website that can help you find websites offering free courses. Sometimes colleges and universities will offer free courses as well especially during this season they have really stepped up and opened up some special resources for those who want to learn.

Again, do your homework and provide information for your parents or mentors to look over and make sure it’s not a scam. Try not to get offended if they want more information, many of us have been scammed and things look real good at first glance, but when looking further there can be inconsistencies found.

5) Ask for Help

Contrary to popular opinion, I have experienced that most people do enjoy helping someone at your age succeed. If this hasn’t been your experience, I would pray and ask the Lord to send you Godly people to help you.

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” (Prov. 19:20)

You can also ask your teachers or school administrators to see if they can help or know someone who can. It’s amazing how many resources you can actually find simply by asking. If doing it in person is too weird, send them a text or email. I would add your parent to it if you can so this can show them you are serious and you will have someone watching to protect from those who may not have the best intentions for you.

6) Be Active

Make those moves. The moves aren’t going to be made for you. Even if you fail at something along the way, that’s part of success too! Where there’s a “no” in one direction, you can stop going in that direction and head in the right one where your “yes” is waiting. Failure is important. No one runs a perfect race. There are mistakes along the way but take the “L” as in lesson not as in loss.

Keep moving in the direction you want to go. Yes, things take time, but the time is going to pass anyway so you might as well come at the end of the time having accomplished something rather than wishing you did.

7) Be faithful in all things

Whether it’s school, a part time job, babysitting, volunteer work, or whatever the Lord has put before you, be faithful in stewarding all of it well. To steward means to keep careful watch and take care of what the Lord has given you.

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” (Luke 16:10)

If you want to be successful, you must know that it comes in increments. Learning your skill, taking classes, making the game plan, if you are faithful in these things, doing the seemingly meaningless and tedious tasks, the Lord will bless you with more.

Keep in mind, you never know who you will meet during that time, what skills you are going to learn, or how the Lord is going to use that to grow you. Teachers, former employers, people you will work and go to school with, can all be contacts to refer back to later in life for different things.

Do your absolute best and MORE wherever you are. Go the extra mile because people will always look for those who do more when not asked, than those who do only what they ask or worse the absolute least.

How to be a successful teenager begins with a lot of fundamentals that can be frustrating. Ask the Lord for patience during this season because it’s a season that every successful person has had to go through and even though it was rough, many wouldn’t have taken it back.

Remember, whatever you do make sure it’s honoring to the Lord. It’s the only thing that will hold eternal weight. Even if you find success in all the ways you dream, you will experience at some point or many points the fact that Jesus Christ is the only One Who truly fulfills.

Baskets of Blessings,

Nina Daugherty

 

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