Blog/Media

Just One Belief Away -” The Self-Sabotager”

de5768527399a1f25df614dd16c28ea823 year old Mark and I sat across from one another at a cool  alternative cafe near his college campus yesterday. When I walked in he was busy chatting with the manager and two girls who were waiting in line to order.

He’s good looking, outgoing and an extrovert, and though he is about to graduate from one of the more prestigious Universities in the US, he’s a pretty legitimate  underachiever.

If there was an award given out for “self-sabotage” Mark would be a finalist.

The number of times he has slept through a critical exam, forgotten a deadline or left his car parked in a no parking zone just long enough to get ticketed and towed is almost laughable. None of this happened because he was just an irresponsible kid or was so “ADD” that he was incapable. It literally happened as he got lost in stress and worry and insecurity that came from feeling so much pressure to survive as an outsider in ways that were real (financial) and imaginary (social) and just plain wrong (that his GPA & status amongst his classmates alone would make the difference for his career, the way it did in high school). 

His story is not so simple.Though he looked like your typical U____ student, he wasn’t. 

Unlike many of his classmates, he is not at this very prestigious and expensive private school because did well in high school and his parents are wealthy and have the money to pay for it. He is here because he was an academic high achiever in high school and money was left for him in a trust designated only to pay for his college education, Otherwise, he was very much on his own.

When others wanted to join Fraternities, their parents wrote the check. He was excluded from this aspect of campus social life, and it really marginalized him.

 When others needed a new laptop, wanted to go out to eat with friends and or just needed new clothes to dress up for an interview, they used the credit card their parents provided. Not so for Mark.

Everything that was easy for most of the kids around him was never easy for him. He had to work, often two jobs, and had to choose between getting enough hours to pay rent or go to class and lose his job. He had to find ways to study and learn material without the help of tutors. He lived in a closet one year because it was all he could afford.

But the worst thing of all to him was the way he never lived up to his potential academically. His grades were often at best average. He so wanted to be a stand-out student like he was in high school so that his professors would write raving letters of recommendation. He wanted to be the guy who impressed all the Alums and was offered that killer job that everyone else in the Business program yearned to get.

Instead he was just a mediocre student who would get his degree, but not stand out and probably not even be remembered by many of his peers, sadly, because he couldn’t afford to party with them or be their Frat bother.

And while he sat there with me berating himself for having just missed another deadline, and looking discouraged and despondent, my only thought was: AND NONE OF THAT MATTERS.

NONE OF THAT MATTERS.

This is a story about Mark, and the millions of other Marks and Margarets out there. It is a story about every Millennial youth who has had their soul get crushed into anxiety by being CONVINCED that their worth and hope for their future is measured by their GPA, Class Rank, the prestige of the name on their college degree AND their place in the social rankings of their peers.

Any potential employer, investor or business partner only cares about One Thing: YOUR ABILITY TO PRODUCE RESULTS that matter to the business. 

RESULTS

Any potential employer, investor or business partner only cares about One Thing: YOUR ABILITY TO PRODUCE RESULTS that matter to the business. 

They don’t give a damn about your grade point average, where you went to school or what you wrote your Senior thesis about. If you can produce results, they want you. If you can’t, they’ll encourage you to wipe your ass with your pretty diploma or at the least, caution you to not let the door hit you on the way out.

Mark’s task is to convince potential employers that he can Produce Results. Period. 

The most valuable skills he can learn now, are how to go from stranger to hot commodity.

The most valuable skills he can learn now, are how to go from stranger to hot commodity.

All this comparing himself to others, not feeling socially accepted by them and feeling insecure about this, is a 100% complete and utter waste of his time.

And I told him this, in an animated way. 

“I REFUSE  to spend even 10 more seconds listening to you mope about how bad you feel because you didn’t get the grades or the praise you wanted here!  If that’s what you want to do, go hire a therapist who’s happy to take your money and listen to you pout about shit you can’t change and that doesn’t matter in the least!”

At one point the young woman at the table next to us, stopped typing on her laptop and began listening in on our conversation.

I told him he only had TO CHANGE ONE BELIEF AND HIS ENTIRE LIFE WILL CHANGE, HIS FUTURE WILL OPEN UP AND HE CAN LAUNCH INTO HIS LIFE.

And it’s not an easy one to give up, but it is the only one to change to get everything he wants.

It is the belief that how he did in college and who he was socially accepted by in his college peer group matters in any way whatsoever.

The moment he can change that, he is liberated. LIBERATED.

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He’s LUCKY TOOSt-Patrick-Minimalist-Clover---1.0.0-2400px
Many of the people I meet are about 9 beliefs away from getting everything they want. He is only ONE. 

your-beliefs-pave-your-way-to-success-watermarked

 

My work now is to assassinate that one all-encompassing stupid ass belief and liberate him from the bondage of giving a shit about the opinions of the wrong people and of believing that his GPA in school matters in REAL world out here. 

Stay tuned. This story is just about to get interesting. 

I believe it, just as I believe in him. 

Death By Video Game

DO NOT BUY YOUR TEEN SON A VIDEO GAME MACHINE OR GIVE HIM  COMPUTER ACCESS IN HIS ROOM IF HE IS EITHER:

  • A) Prone to addiction to TV (every time the screen is on he can’t stop himself from staring at it)
  • B) Socially shy or socially struggling

If you do, it is almost 100% guaranteed he will develop a serious addiction to it. He will slowly withdraw from the world and become socially isolated. iStock_000017411376XSmall

These machines are toxic, soul-sucking and utterly destructive for a boy with one or both of those tendencies. They work much like the slow descent into marijuana dependency… it starts slow, stays slow then one day they are on it morning noon and night, no longer wanting to go out with friends (if they ever did at all) and falling far out of sync with their peers in the productive, contributing world…  They will tell you that they have plenty of “friends online” and even will talk about how they want to “be a professional gamer” or how they want to work in the industry. But nothing they will so will progress towards this becoming a reality.

I’ve seen this too many times now. By the time they are this deep in, radicle intervention similar to heroine addiction is needed.

Save him now by not but allowing that shit in your home, in his room and in his life. 

Growing Up Doesn’t Just Happen Between 9 & 5

This blog posting shows real "screen shots" of text messages 
that were sent to me just in the last few days.  I think this 
gives a real glimpse into the world of today's adolescents. 
This is especially for those who are seeking to better understand 
the model and methodology of work I do with Evolution Mentoring. 

Growing Up Doesn’t Just Happen Between 9 and 5.

 Many life challenges can’t wait until a week from Tuesday at 4:00pm before the therapist or consultant is willing to be available. They need resolution now.

We’ve all been there! Something happens and we need to make a decision, pronto.

We need advice before the 5pm deadline.

We find ourselves in a difficult relationship situation and need to figure out what to do about it or what to say to this person – and they are on their way over right now.

We come home from a night out to find our teen decided to throw “a little kickback” that turned into a full-fledged teen party. Now we need to decide how to handle it.

A promotion offer came in just days before we were ready to accept a new job at a different firm. Should we stay or should we go? How do we handle it with everyone this impacts?

 

Appt schedule3This one to the right is from a college senior. He just learned that the application deadline for a highly selective government job that he is applying for was moved up by two weeks.

He called seeking two things:

  • Advice about how to best rewrite two of his essay questions. He keeps me on his short list of 5 people he turns to for these things (his father, two Professors, one of his close friends and me).
  • Help keeping his attention in the right place so that he stays calm and focused. He knows how to do this and has built an amazing capacity to do so over the years. This is one of the rare times he has reached out for this and it makes sense given the significance of the circumstances – a true “once in a lifetime” opportunity. (can’t say more given the confidential nature of this)

 

 

Appt schedule2This one to the left is from a college freshman. He’s been in a real funk. Thinking of changing his major and questioning whether or not he’s at the right school.

When we spoke that night he told me :

“I went to the Counseling center on campus, figuring they must deal with this kind of thing all the time. They gave me a 20 minute “drop in” appointment then told me I could come back for a full appointment on February 20th – a month from now, which was their next available appointment. I said “no thanks” and that’s when I reached out to you!”

 

How common is that in today’s world? What a difference it makes to have someone who will answer a message and be available that night.

Appt schedule

This one to the right is from a 19 year old who is needing to make a decision about how to handle a complicated relationship situation. I wrote about it in yesterday’s blog entitled Looking To Play Chess In A Candyland Culture.

Sometimes things come up that can feel too awkward to bring up with parents. Sometimes they just need to hear the words from the right source.

Sometimes they need to speak with someone who they know and trust can really “see” them, will not sugar coat it and who knows enough about the complexities of the world they are living in at their age.

 

 

Appt schedule9

 

This one is from a 17 year old High School Junior. A classmate friend of his has been spreading some very unkind rumors that are negatively effecting relationships in their friend group. 

He wanted to discuss ways he could handle this. Rather than just talk about this girl behind her back, he wanted to step up and directly address her. 

 

 

 

Appt schedule6

 

 

This is from a 16 year old high school student at a boarding school, who wound up having to switch out of her dorm after her roommate began having all sorts of disturbing issues. She was forced to deal with and confront some very “grown-up” circumstances, including not being able to openly discuss with others what went on and why things changed. 

 

 

 

 

Appt schedule7This is from a 22 year old who is dealing with some very difficult changes in her friend group. She wanted some advice and perspective on things she’s observing, and how to have appropriate boundaries given the realities of all involved. 

As she lives in New York, it was possible to just meet up in person a few days later. I travel to the east coast once a month to see clients in person. I worked with her extensively when she was younger. Now she just reaches out a few times a year when things like this come up. 

 

The Easy Daily Habits 24 Executives Say Give Them an Edge

As a teen counselor the relationship I develop with a young person can carry on through time, and I am now seeing more first and second job twenty something clients who are finding that they need additional input to succeed in demanding social and professional contexts.
My work has been published widely and includes this mention in Inc magazine which is a global monthly aimed at the business and entrepreneurial demographic.
Anyway you might be surprised at the routines some of the high achievers swear by in the article.
http://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/24-executives-share-the-daily-habits-that-keep-them-on-top.html
Maybe you have recently read Tools for Titans by Tim Ferris and are looking for similar mentors in real life, rather than just in print? I can help guide your search. Contact me to find out more.

The Four Traits Teens Need To Be Successful

According to Laura Padilla-Walker, BYU university professor and associate director of the school of Family Life, there are four main strengths that are needed for a teen to grow into a successful adult. These are based around being more intrinsically motivated and yet also aware of ones impact in and connection with the world.

Family figures like grandparents or parents play a part in developing this awareness and inter-related skill-sets, as may other mentors in a young persons life, like a school guidance counselor, track and field coach or other subject specialist or just someone who lives life well.  Here’s a link to the article below.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865657291/The-four-traits-teens-need-to-be-successful.html

Feel free to come back to the blog and let me know what you think of it, ok?

Who Are These College-Aged Creatures?

Who Are These College-Aged Creatures?

Best parenting advice: Be an expert in raising your own kids

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/best-parenting-advice-expert-raising-kids-article-1.2626491

Pressure to be accepted into elite colleges is crushing our kids

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/pressure-accepted-elite-colleges-crushing-kids-article-1.2622192

OpenForum

Small Business Week Provides Opportunity to Reflect On Growth and Challenges
Running your own company today brings a unique set of challenges. This Small Business Week, discover what keeps today’s small business owners on their toes… Read more:

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/small-business-week-provides-opportunity-reflect-growth-challenges/

The Missing Piece For Older Teens – Live Presentation

The Missing Piece: The Answer To The Driving Question Of Teen Life

Wellington College, London: International Conference on Coaching In Education:  November 2013

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