Looking back at my teenage years, there were a lot of confusing influences. So many directions, choices, and experiences to place my attention that I often wonder how I reached the position I am today. However, many of my classmates and close friends were not as lucky as I was. The constant struggle for status and acceptance among peers was a very real cause for mental pressures, pushing even the most genuine children to do, say, and portray irrational action. I witnessed amazing youth, that I considered very smart and capable, receive terrible grades, have bad relationships with their family, and distance themselves from reason; all because of the social pressures of their environment.
My personal experience was strengthened due to my early dedication to wholesome activities and ease of access to great role models that frequently took me out of harmful environments. Outdoor adventures, small family gatherings, or even the occasional road trip gave me a greater perspective to human behavior. I knew that the future held a greater purpose, family became more important than my friend's opinions, and stronger bonds were grown between my parents and me. Much like the athlete who must place his or her body in different situations to be prepared for the contest, youth need the opportunity to "train in different situations", or in other words, know what is outside of their immediate environment. Individuals grow and expand as they learn that there is more to life than anxiety causing social pressures.
I forever hold dear the memories I've made interacting with new people and places, always learning and taking in information about how I can be my best and contribute to society. Being around like-minded individuals who seek success has driven me to success. Being around people with low standards and lack luster goals reflects likewise. The key to successful behavior lies upon motivation.
Finding the right motivation can take any man, woman, or child around the world and back; through trials, hardships, and triumphs; all with in the bounds of respect, loyalty, and honor. The young teenage years are primarily where our life motivations are sprouted, therefore it is imperative to harbor our activities and relationships in a positive manner as to propel us on the path to happiness. We may always be able to pick up more shifts and generate our income, but we may never get our time back. Spare no expense when it comes to creating experiences that shape life's journey. We will be eternally grateful to those who provide these experiences for us and who we share them with. We will also never regret them.
Though environment may be the enemy, it is also the ally. Positive environments harbor positive behavior and negative environments harbor negative behavior. This information comes with a catch, well prepared individuals may create their own environment wherever they may be. This is an invaluable skill that is not given, bought, or found; but is learned through valuable experiences. I challenge you to be the one to create the environment and be the one to create the experience. Your life will take a positive turn and you will find true progression, true happiness.
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