The ULTIMATE resource for being a teenager.
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.
Just get oriented & then explore
Where Do I Start?
1. “I just want to survive being a teenager. How do I make my way?”
Check the Intro Video for a quick overview and then just explore the site to see what can make a difference in your life – now
2. “I don’t want to just survive being a teenager – I want to thrive and make a difference”
3. “I’m an adult who cares about teenagers. How can I make a difference?”
Check the Intro Video and then explore the site to see what can make a difference for you in your role (parent, teacher, counselor…)
4. “Help – I’m thinking of taking my own life”
Act on the suggestions in the section on I’m Feeling Suicidal
The site is big & complex - so is the journey
There are 4 Main Parts
Forming a young adult Identity
Developing new more mature Relationships
Building the Competencies of a young adult
The Roadmap – what’s normal and natural on the journey
Six Strategies to adapt to become the author of your experience
Thriving, Bullying, Suicide, Making a Difference, Gaming, Quotes, Other Resources & More
Being curious is the key to using the site
It is Your Journey & Everyone Has to Find Their Own Way – in Their Own Time
Just go wherever your interests lead you.
Talk with others about what’s here. The site is designed for sharing & conversation.
Use the Worksheets (“thought catchers”) to capture your thoughts as you go.
How Do You Play Your Role on the Journey?
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.
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.
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.
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 site is a "pediatrician extender"
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.
Here is an Overview - 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.” Anais Nin
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: Developing 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
- Many of these competencies can be developed in your normal settings, like school, home or work – others you have to search out
- 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”
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 let go of your childhood ways
- Discover & Master. You discover and master 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 – 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 is 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?
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.
There are lots of other resources out there – check them out
Depression & Anxiety