The ULTIMATE resource for being a teenager.
Being curious is the key to using the site
Just go wherever your interests lead you, at the pace you want to go
Talk with others about what’s here
Use the Worksheets (“thought catchers”) to capture your thoughts as you go
It is your journey & everyone has to find their own way – in their own time
The site is big & complex - so is the journey
There are 4 Main Parts to the Site
Part 1. The 3 Core Challenges You Face – Identity, Relationships & Competencies
Part 2. What to Expect on Your Journey – the roadmap – what’s normal and natural on the journey
Part 3. How to Manage Your Journey – 6 Strategies for being the author of your experience
Part 4. Special Sections – thriving, bullying, suicide, making a difference, quotes, other resources & More
You really are on a heroic journey
This is Your Story
Almost all cultures throughout time have used the heroic journey to guide people in creating or renewing an individual life or the life of a group or community.
It’s the fundamental story of change – but it plays out in unique ways for each person or community.
It’s about becoming the author of your life
You leave the known world of childhood and cross the threshold into the mysteries and challenges of being a teenager
You are challenged and tested to discover and master the ways of being an independent responsible young adult
AND You have to deal with the weirdness of “inbetweenity” – being in-between childhood and young adulthood for a long time
It’s an emotional rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs and successes and setbacks
It requires courage, perseverance, the support of others and resilience
So, Be Curious
Start Being Curious
3 Core Challenges
You face 3 core challenges on the journey to young adulthood.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
Challenge #1: Forming an Identity
- Your identity is like a puzzle you put together on the journey
- There are central pieces like purpose, values, and personal qualities and other pieces, like race, gender, sexual orientation, body image and faith
- You have a digital identity to manage – or it will be managed for you
Challenge #2: Develop Relationships
- You must develop new more mature relationships with parents, peers, and romantic sexual partners
- Relationships are always a matter of a good “fit” and, with everyone changing, finding and keeping a good “fit” can be problematic
- You can be a good friend or romantic partner and still see relationships end because the “fit” is no longer there
- There are some key skills that support relationships, like “emotional intelligence” and communications
Challenge #3: Building Competencies
- There are actually 12 categories of competencies to develop to be a successful young adult
- Many of these competencies will be available in your normal settings, like school, home or work
- Many, however, will require you to search out the opportunities for development
- Some competencies you only need to be OK at, some you need to be good at and a few you will need to master
- There is a path to developing these competencies, where you must “learn to love the plateau”
- Habits also play a key role
What to Expect
It’s a 10-Year Journey. You are Tested in 3 Different Ways and Grow on 5 Levels. And it’s a Rollercoaster Experience.
“You’re not going to master the rest of your life in one day. Just relax. Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.” – Unknown
The 3 Tests
On the journey, as you take on the challenges, you will be tested in three different ways:
- Let Go. You will need to let go of your childhood ways
- Discover & Master. You will need to discover and master (or be OK or good at) the ways of a young adult
- Manage “Inbetweenity.” You will need to manage being in-between childhood and adulthood for a long time.
5 Levels of Growth
As you take on the challenges and are tested, you will grow on 5 levels. Most of the growth will happen outside your comfort zone – that’s OK. You will grow:
The journey is a rollercoaster experience with lots of ups and downs and twists and turns. There are successes and setbacks. Sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes it’s scary.
Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli. Life, the Truth and Being Free
What to Do
You must become the author of your experience – and there are 6 strategies to adapt to your style and timing.
Be the Author
The heart of the heroic journey is becoming the author of a life. One key on the teen journey is becoming the author by facing the challenges directly vs. just letting life happen to you – adapting the 6 strategies as you see fit.
“I am not what happened to me. I am who I choose to become.” –Emma Watson
Adapt the 6 Strategies
Everyone must adapt these strategies for themselves. There is no recipe, so experiment to see which strategies are most important to you.
- Understand and Face the Challenges Directly
- Create Your Vision & Heroic Code
- Put an Action Plan in Place
- Connect with the Right People – Build a Web of Support
- Build Capability – Mastery & Habits
- Persevere – “Hold the Course”
Trust Yourself & Others
Because it’s a long journey, it’s your trajectory that matters. Are you on the path and moving ahead – even with all the inevitable stumbles? It will be important for you to trust yourself, even when unsure or dealing with setbacks.
Being on a teen heroic journey may look like a solo experience, but it’s really a team sport. Talk with others about the challenges and how to deal with them (use the site for common ground). Ask for support from peers and trusted adults. Provide support to peers.
Part 4: Special Topics
There are dozens of resources, hundreds of quotes and a bunch of special topics to explore – be curious.
As a teenager, you are on a 10-year heroic journey – just like in the stories and myths. You have to leave the known world of childhood, discover and master the ways of young adulthood, and deal with all the mysteries in-between (“inbetweenity”). It’s a rollercoaster and it naturally requires courage, perseverance and resilience – which build on the journey.
You face three core challenges – forming an identity as a young adult – developing new or more mature relationships with parents, peers and romantic partners – and building a range of young adult competencies. In the process, you learn how to become the author of your life.
This site can help you understand the challenges, know what to expect on your journey and manage your journey. There is no recipe and everyone’s journey is different, but there is a lot of information here to help you find your way.
The key is to be curious. It’s not a book online, so just go wherever your interest leads you.
Your Role? Hints for using the Site
The key is to adapt the site to your role.
You are on a ten-year heroic journey.
You are challenged to let go of your known world of childhood, encounter a great deal of unknown and face a wide range of challenges and tests, and you must discover and master the ways and competencies of young adulthood.
Teens & parents – It’s an awkward dance
Teenagers are literally on a ten-year heroic journey. They are challenged to let go of their known world of childhood, encounter a great deal of unknown and face a wide range of challenges and tests, and they must discover and master the ways and competencies of young adulthood.
Work settings are critical for teenagers
The work setting can be a tremendous setting for teenagers to develop a wide range of capabilities and insights. Bosses in various forms can provide a great deal of support and guidance.
The Heroic Journey is inherently ennobling.
There are lots of different theories and styles of counseling as well as settings. The heroic journey is the fundamental story of change, so it can support almost any counseling approach. It’s just a matter of adaptation.
You are perfectly placed.
You are perfectly placed as a trusted adult in a role as coach in a sport that can naturally build strong resilient young adults.
Never underestimate your potential significance.
You can be very direct about how the heroic journey relates to your classes or less direct depending on what works best.
Big potential vs. little time
There are two sections here. The first section covers the basics of the teen heroic journey and you will see your patients represented here. The second section looks at what you can do. Unfortunately, limited time with patients can be frustrating, but you may be able to find creative ways to support your teen patients on their journeys.