Empowering Your Teen to Envision and Pursue a Big Picture Perspective

The muscle called hustle

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Wayne Gretzky

There probably isn’t a nicer guy out there than the one they call DJ Skee.

Skee is a go getter and someone who I respect very much. One thing I speak to middle school and high school students about during my youth motivational speeches is taking action.

Not many people embody this principle more than Skee.

He started hustling as a kid and eventually ended up leaving high school early to come to the west coast to start his professional career. Talk about a go getter!

Today he works with many of the top brands, celebrities and athletes in the world. With that being said, he someone manages to be one of the most humble human beings I’ve ever met. (Pretty impressive considering that he has even called ‘the Oprah of music’ by Mark Cuban!)

“Enjoy the journey. You don’t have to be everywhere all the time. You can always do that meeting later. Go live life!”

DJ Skee

I was excited for him to see LeBus because he rides around in a pretty sweet Sprinter van and I was hoping I could get some tips for pushing a big rig around the city of angels.

Skee is super smart and this is a great episode you can learn a lot from.

Go. Be. Great.

To follow DJ Skee, click here.

In the full episode, you will learn:

  • the benefits of taking action early and often
  • why it’s okay to stop and smell the roses
  • the importance of exercising the muscle called hustle
  • how exercise can make or break you

Guiding Teens to Envision Their Future: Strategies for Big Picture and Long-Term Thinking


In the rapidly evolving landscape of the modern world, helping teenagers to cultivate a vision for their future that encompasses both the big picture and long-term thinking is more crucial than ever. “Guiding Teens to Envision Their Future: Strategies for Big Picture and Long-Term Thinking” is a comprehensive exploration aimed at empowering parents, educators, and mentors with effective strategies to assist teens in mapping out their futures. This blog post delves into the significance of fostering a future-oriented mindset among teens, providing them with the tools and perspectives necessary to navigate the complexities of life with foresight and clarity.

Teenagers, standing at the threshold of adulthood, often find themselves grappling with the immediate demands and challenges of their daily lives. In this context, the concept of long-term planning and big picture thinking can seem daunting and even abstract. Yet, the ability to look beyond the present moment and consider the future’s vast possibilities is a critical skill for personal and professional success. Encouraging teens to develop a vision that aligns with their aspirations and values is not just about setting goals; it’s about equipping them with a mindset that values planning, foresight, and thoughtful decision-making.

One of the primary challenges in guiding teens towards this mindset is navigating the balance between immediate desires and long-term objectives. In an age where instant gratification is often the norm, instilling the values of patience, perseverance, and delayed gratification is vital. This process involves helping teens understand the benefits of planning for the future, setting achievable goals, and making decisions that contribute positively to their long-term aspirations.

To effectively cultivate a future-oriented mindset, it is essential to introduce practical tools and techniques that teens can relate to and engage with. This includes creating vision boards, setting milestones, and employing organizational strategies that make the process of long-term planning tangible and accessible. Additionally, time management skills and the ability to prioritize are key competencies that support this endeavor.

The role of parents, mentors, and educators is pivotal in shaping how teens perceive and plan for their future. Leading by example, engaging in open discussions about aspirations, and providing support and guidance in setting realistic goals can significantly influence a teen’s approach to future planning. These adult figures serve as role models and advisors, helping teens navigate the path to their future with confidence and purpose.

However, the journey to long-term success is not without its hurdles. Teens must learn to navigate peer pressure, social influences, and the inevitable setbacks and failures they will encounter. Equipping them with strategies to deal with these challenges constructively is an integral part of this journey. Maintaining motivation and focus amidst these obstacles is crucial for achieving long-term success.

Lastly, preparing teens for the future encompasses more than just career planning; it involves instilling life skills essential for long-term success. Financial literacy, the importance of education and continuous learning, and the ability to adapt to change are all critical skills that teens need to thrive in their adult lives.

In essence, this guide aims to provide a roadmap for helping teens develop a vision for their future that is both expansive and grounded. Through a blend of strategic planning, skill development, and supportive guidance, teens can be empowered to think big and plan long-term, setting the stage for a successful and fulfilling life.

The Importance of Big Picture Thinking in Teen Development

Developing the ability to think about the big picture and plan for the long term is a critical aspect of teen development. This skill set not only prepares them for adulthood but also helps them make more informed decisions in their present life.

Benefits of Long-Term Vision for Teens

A long-term vision helps teenagers see beyond the immediate moment, understanding how their current choices can impact their future. This foresight is crucial in many areas, including academic choices, career planning, and personal development. Teens with a long-term vision are more likely to set meaningful goals, stay motivated, and persevere through challenges, knowing that their efforts contribute to a larger objective.

Challenges Teens Face in Future Planning

Despite its importance, many teens struggle with long-term planning. This struggle can be attributed to various factors, including developmental changes, the influence of peers, and the pressure of immediate gratification in today’s fast-paced world. Additionally, some teens may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of planning for the future when they are still discovering their interests and identities.

Balancing Immediate Desires with Future Goals

Teaching teens to balance their immediate desires with their future goals is a vital skill. This involves helping them understand the value of making sacrifices now for greater rewards later. It also includes encouraging them to find a healthy balance between enjoying their present life and preparing for the future. Strategies such as setting short-term goals that align with long-term aspirations can make this balance more achievable and satisfying.

In conclusion, big picture thinking is an essential component of teen development. By understanding the benefits, addressing the challenges, and learning to balance immediate desires with future goals, teens can develop the foresight and planning skills necessary for a successful transition into adulthood.

Cultivating a Future-Oriented Mindset in Teens

For teens to effectively envision and work towards their future, cultivating a mindset oriented towards long-term thinking and planning is essential. This involves not only setting goals but also developing the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve them.

Encouraging Goal Setting and Prioritization

Goal setting is a fundamental aspect of developing a future-oriented mindset. Teens should be encouraged to set both short-term and long-term goals. These goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Prioritization is also key, as it helps teens focus on what’s most important and allocate their time and resources effectively. Parents and mentors can assist by guiding teens through the goal-setting process and helping them understand how to prioritize effectively.

Developing Critical Thinking and Decision-Making Skills

Critical thinking and decision-making are crucial skills for future planning. Teens need to be able to analyze situations, weigh options, and foresee potential outcomes of their choices. Developing these skills involves providing teens with opportunities to practice decision-making in various scenarios, discussing the outcomes, and reflecting on the thought processes involved. Encouraging them to ask questions, think critically about information, and consider different perspectives can enhance their decision-making abilities.

Introducing Concepts of Delayed Gratification and Perseverance

Understanding the value of delayed gratification and perseverance is vital for long-term success. Teens should learn that some goals require time and sustained effort to achieve and that immediate gratification may not always lead to the best outcomes. Teaching the concept of delayed gratification can involve practical exercises or discussions about the benefits of waiting and working towards something more rewarding in the future. Similarly, instilling a sense of perseverance helps teens to persist in the face of challenges or setbacks.

In conclusion, cultivating a future-oriented mindset in teens is a multifaceted process. It involves teaching them to set and prioritize goals, develop critical thinking and decision-making skills, and understand the importance of delayed gratification and perseverance. These skills and attitudes are essential for teens to effectively plan for and achieve their long-term aspirations.

Practical Tools and Techniques for Long-Term Planning

Equipping teens with practical tools and techniques for long-term planning is crucial in helping them turn their aspirations into actionable plans. This section outlines some effective methods that teens can use to organize and track their progress towards their goals.

Vision Boards and Goal Maps

Vision boards and goal maps are creative and visual tools that can help teens conceptualize their goals and aspirations. By creating a vision board, teens can visually represent their dreams and objectives, making them more tangible and inspiring. Similarly, goal maps can help in breaking down long-term goals into smaller, manageable steps, providing a clear pathway to success. These tools not only aid in planning but also serve as a constant reminder and motivation for their objectives.

Time Management and Organizational Strategies

Effective time management and organizational skills are key to successful long-term planning. Teens should be encouraged to develop and maintain a structured approach to their time and tasks. This could include using planners or digital apps to schedule their activities, setting deadlines for specific tasks, and learning to prioritize effectively. Techniques like the Eisenhower Box (urgent-important matrix) can help teens categorize tasks and focus on what truly matters.

Using Milestones and Checkpoints

Setting milestones and checkpoints is a way to measure progress and maintain motivation. Teens can establish specific markers along their path to their goals to evaluate their progress and make adjustments as needed. Celebrating these milestones can also provide a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to continue pursuing their long-term objectives.

In conclusion, providing teens with practical tools and techniques for long-term planning is essential in helping them effectively map out and achieve their goals. Vision boards, goal maps, time management strategies, and milestones are all valuable tools that can assist teens in this process.

The Role of Parents and Mentors in Shaping Teen Perspectives

Parents and mentors play a pivotal role in guiding teens as they develop their perspectives on the future. Their influence and support are instrumental in helping teens shape and refine their long-term goals and aspirations.

Leading by Example: Demonstrating Long-Term Planning

One of the most effective ways parents and mentors can influence teens is by leading by example. When teens see adults in their lives setting and pursuing long-term goals, it reinforces the importance and feasibility of planning for the future. Whether it’s career objectives, personal development goals, or financial planning, demonstrating these practices helps teens understand the value and impact of long-term planning.

Open Discussions About Future Aspirations and Dreams

Encouraging open and honest discussions about future aspirations and dreams is crucial in helping teens develop their own visions for the future. These discussions should be supportive and non-judgmental, allowing teens to explore various possibilities and interests. Parents and mentors can facilitate these conversations by asking thoughtful questions, listening actively, and sharing insights and experiences relevant to the teen’s interests.

Providing Guidance and Support in Setting Realistic Goals

While it’s important to encourage teens to dream big, it’s equally important to help them set realistic and achievable goals. Parents and mentors can guide teens in breaking down their aspirations into smaller, more manageable objectives. This process includes helping them assess their current skills and resources, set timelines, and develop a step-by-step plan to reach their goals.

In conclusion, the role of parents and mentors is critical in shaping the way teens view and plan for their future. By leading by example, engaging in open discussions, and providing practical guidance, adults can significantly influence teens’ perspectives on long-term planning and goal-setting.

Overcoming Short-Term Hurdles for Long-Term Success

Achieving long-term goals often involves overcoming various short-term obstacles. Teens need to develop strategies to navigate these hurdles without losing sight of their bigger aspirations.

Navigating Peer Pressure and Social Influences

Peer pressure and social influences can significantly impact a teenager’s decision-making and goal-setting processes. Teens must learn how to balance the desire for social acceptance with their long-term goals. Parents and mentors can help by discussing strategies to resist negative peer pressure, encouraging teens to surround themselves with supportive friends, and reinforcing the importance of staying true to their values and objectives.

Dealing with Setbacks and Failures Constructively

Setbacks and failures are inevitable parts of the journey towards achieving long-term goals. It’s important for teens to understand that these are not indicators of their worth or potential. Parents and mentors can teach teens to view failures as learning opportunities and encourage them to reflect on what can be learned from each experience. Developing resilience and the ability to bounce back from disappointments is crucial for long-term success.

Maintaining Motivation and Focus

Staying motivated and focused can be challenging, especially when goals seem distant or difficult to achieve. Parents and mentors can support teens by helping them set smaller, interim goals that lead to their larger objectives. Celebrating these smaller achievements can maintain motivation and momentum. Additionally, teaching teens self-motivation techniques, such as positive self-talk and visualization, can help them stay focused on their long-term aspirations.

In conclusion, overcoming short-term hurdles is an essential skill for teens aiming for long-term success. By learning to navigate social pressures, handle setbacks constructively, and maintain motivation, teens can steadily progress towards their long-term goals despite the challenges they may encounter.

Preparing for the Future: Life Skills for Long-Term Success

As teenagers approach adulthood, equipping them with essential life skills is crucial for their long-term success. This final section outlines key skills that are instrumental in preparing them for a successful and independent future.

Financial Literacy and Planning for Financial Independence

Financial literacy is a fundamental skill for long-term success. Teaching teens about budgeting, saving, investing, and understanding credit can lay the foundation for financial independence and security. Parents and mentors can introduce these concepts through practical exercises, discussions about household finances, or even setting up a savings plan. Instilling good financial habits early prepares teens to make informed decisions about their finances in adulthood.

Understanding the Importance of Education and Continuous Learning

Continuous learning and education are vital in an ever-changing world. Encouraging teens to value education, not just as a path to a career but as a lifelong pursuit, fosters a mindset of continuous improvement and adaptability. This includes encouraging curiosity, promoting a love for learning, and supporting their educational endeavors. Additionally, discussing the importance of staying updated with new skills and knowledge in their chosen fields can motivate teens to engage in ongoing learning.

Embracing Change and Adaptability as Key Skills

In a rapidly evolving world, the ability to adapt to change is crucial. Teens should be encouraged to view change as an opportunity rather than a hurdle. This adaptability involves being open to new experiences, being flexible in the face of change, and learning to pivot when necessary. Parents and mentors can help by sharing their own experiences with change, discussing strategies to adapt effectively, and role-modeling a positive attitude towards change.

In conclusion, preparing teens for the future involves more than academic or career planning; it requires instilling life skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Financial literacy, continuous learning, and adaptability are key competencies that will equip teens for long-term success and independence.