Strategy #1: Understand & Face the Challenges Directly

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Anais Nin Diary,

Presidents of companies must understand the challenges their businesses face or they can’t focus actions. Basically, your business as a teenager is to successfully meet the big challenges of:

  • Forming an identity as a young adult
  • Developing more mature relationships and connections
  • Building the competencies of a young adult
  • Managing yourself on the journey and dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of endings, beginnings and “inbetweenity” along with the inevitable setbacks and surprises

It’s always tough to look the dragons directly in the eye, particularly these big dragons faced as a teenager, because they are so big and it takes so long to really deal with them successfully. That’s why it takes the courage to see the truth and the discipline to engage them directly.

The Tables of Contents for the Other Chapters – Helpful Guides

The tables of contents for the sections on Identity, Relationships and Competencies follow as a review of what those challenges are like. The table of contents for what to expect on the journey also follows. These tables of contents are also useful for finding the worksheets that you have done that you can use in the sections on Vision & Heroic Code and your Plan.

Forming an Identity as a Young Adult

Excerpts from the Identity chapter (one of the three core challenges). You can go there for any details that would be helpful.

There are Two Perspectives

– self and social – inner voices and outer voices can be loud

Elements That Combine to Form Your Identity Puzzle

  • Your Significance – “Yes, you are significant now as a teenager”
  • Your Purpose – Life Purpose or Purpose as a Teenager
  • Your Personal Qualities
  • Your Values
  • Ten Other Key Identity Factors

    • Gender & Sexual Orientation
    • Race and Ethnicity
    • Activities & Affiliations (sports, the arts, community service…)
    • Physical Appearance
    • Capabilities
    • Culture
    • Religion
    • Socio-economic Status
    • Nation/Region
    • Politics

Exploring and Committing

– the Two Identity Tasks on the Journey

Put the Picture Together

  • Your Identity Puzzle and Your Personal Brand
  • Social Media & Your Identity/Brand

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you
have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently
allows you to grow.

William Shakespeare


Excerpts from the Identity chapter (one of the three core challenges). You can go there for any details that would be helpful.

The Foundation for Adulthood

  • There are Twelve Types of Competencies to be Built and are Developed in Many Places & in Different Ways
  • You Don’t Have to Master All the Competencies

It’s a Journey – It Takes Time

  • Be the Author – Take Charge of Your Competency Development
  • Create Your Plan – It’s About You & What You Want
  • Find the Support You Need – Heroes Never Go Alone

The Keys to Mastering Your Competencies

  • “Learning to Love the Plateau” – Where Mastery Happens
  • Habits & Practice Are Key – “Oh No”

How the Three Core Challenges Look to Me Now

How would you describe your development in each of the three core challenge areas? What is emerging and falling into place? What are the toughest or most important issues you are encountering? Remember – struggling with something doesn’t mean that you are failing – it just means that you have engaged that issue and are working through it to become the young man or woman that you want to be.

How the Three Core Challenges Look to Me Now
Open Worksheet

Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark;
professionals built the Titanic.


What to Expect on the Journey

Dealing with the three core challenges is a ten-year journey (at least) that requires (a) letting go of the old ways of childhood, (b) discovering and mastering the new ways of young adulthood, and (c) managing that long period between childhood and young adulthood (“inbetweenity”).

You can expect to be on a rollercoaster ride at some points – sometimes up and sometimes down, sometimes excited and sometimes anxious or depressed, sometimes celebrating wins and sometimes dealing with losses.
It will be critical to develop and maintain a support network (small is OK), which may shift over time. It will also be critical to learn how to take care of yourself on the journey and build resilience.

Again – the good news is this journey is the same journey you will encounter as an adult, although rarely as long or involving so much change in so many areas. If you get good at managing you heroic journey as a teen, you will be well prepared for adulthood’s changes.

How I’m Doing with the Different Parts of the Journey

One way you can manage your journey is to map how you are doing with each part of the journey. Then you get a whole picture and you can see where things are going well, where you are having trouble, etc. Then you can celebrate what has gone well and focus your attention on the areas where you are having trouble.

Remember – “trouble” doesn’t mean failure or no hope. It just means there is some development that needs to happen in that area. That’s where the opportunity is for growth – and that’s what the heroic journey is about. So, focus – and get help, because heroes never go alone – they always find helpers and companions.

How I’m Doing with the Different Parts of the Journey
Open Worksheet