Sometimes I’m scared. I’m scared of what lies ahead of me and what the future brings when I grow up. But knowing how well-prepared I am makes me want to push and see how far I can go. As teens, let us be better prepared to face life and enjoy a happy and successful future.
1 – Do Grocery Shopping
Doing the grocery is more complicated than it sounds, yet one of the things I enjoy doing. It can actually make you realize what important goods you should buy. Also trains us how to correctly compare product prices. (example: Paying $2.00 for 500ml of milk is cheaper than paying $1.95 for 450ml) Most of the time, products are packed so well you won’t notice that the other product contains less contents.
Aside from learning basics of product pricing, you’ll be able to see a lot of good marketing tricks several companies use to push their products. And lastly, it really feels good knowing you’re contributing to the family to do list.
2 – Paying the House Bills
Its very important to sharpen your organizational skills and what better way to train them than organizing all the bills.
This can also change a teens perspective on expenses since he will see how expensive electric or water bills are, and eventually learn to stop using the air conditioning every night. This doesn’t work to its full effect if you pay your bills online though.
3 – Cooking, Cleaning and Doing the Laundry
My mom used to give us a specific chore for a specific day every week. That way, the household chores would cycle over me and my siblings. Today, I would wash the silverware while tomorrow I might do the laundry.
It may sound too much of a work, but it was worth it. Not only is this a good exercise, but it teaches the principle of responsibility for a teen. The planning of chores also trains a teen to follow an organized schedule.
And of course, the most important of all, learning how to cook different dishes, systematically clean the house and do the laundry correctly is enough addition to his experience to guarantee a happy and successful life in the future.
4 – Shopping in Public Markets
Buying in public markets is indeed cheaper and sacrificing a few hours without aircon is definitely worth it. Also makes you realize how other people make a living and to mingle with all kinds of people.
There was this one time, I went to a public market with a friend. She saw a man carrying heavy loads back and forth only to be paid by the owner of the store several pennies. I didn’t know that it impacted my friend so much until her eyes got puffy and tears fell down her cheek. She felt so blessed and regretted how she always complained how her allowance was too little.
5 – Ride Public Transportation or Jeepneys
For one, this would be cheaper with the rising prices of gasoline nowadays, but aside from that, riding public transportation is a very good exercise. You also need to wake up earlier and plan your schedule or else risk the possibility of being late.
6 – Opening a Bank Account
When we opened my first savings account, my mom made a deal with me and my siblings. Whatever amount we deposit in the bank, she would deposit the same amount in account eventually doubling our savings.
So what have I learned? It’s the importance of saving and of course, making money work for you. It is a great advantage for a teen to understand how banks, interest and money work at an early age.
7 – Negotiating over Prices
This works with buying in public markets since it’s where you get to put your bargaining skills to work. I am not saying you should haggle the price of all the goods you purchase, but at least try to learn how to do it effectively.
Mastering the art of negotiations will be one of the best assets you can have in the future.
8 – Selling Something on Your Own
Papers, pens, stickers or home made candies, you name it. It doesn’t need to be something expensive but just being able to learn how to sell at an early age is already a good preparation for the future.
I remember, me and my siblings made our first sale several years ago by selling banana-ques in business establishments. We would buy saba bananas and deep fry them with caramelized brown sugar, prepare everything in a picnic basket and go into banks, stalls during afternoon breaks. There, we used our cute baby faces to sell yummy bananas.
The important factor here is for teens to understand the importance of selling. In a world where success is based on “Best Selling Book” and not “Most Read Book”, having an early start on mastering the art of selling is indeed a wise investment.
Selling is not limited to tangible goods, if you will apply for a job, you need to sell yourself. If you are pitching a suggestion, you are selling an idea. Start exposing yourself to selling, practice it, master it and live it.
9 – Earning Your Own Money
Although it might sound related to practicing the art of selling, it is totally different. Selling something focuses on the principles of selling, while earning money focuses on how money should be earned.
A while back, my mom would make me a deal and pay me several dollars in exchange for something I do or finish. So I’ve learned to make money work for me through banks, this time, I learned to work for money.
This is where all your creative juices will flow, just because you’re thinking of other opportunities to earn money.
10 – Starting and Finishing a Personal Project
I cannot stress enough how important this is for anyone who wants to be successful in life. Doing this is hitting many birds with one stone.
Starting a project means you take action instead of all the hundreds who are stuck with dreaming and hoping for something to happen. Finishing the project shows how committed you are on what you do. Top that off with the joy of achieving something on your own, then your confidence level will surely take off which will come very handy in the future.
One project I worked on my own was a flash cartoon animation I made years ago. It helped me enhance my Flash skills and craft my eye for design. So aside from all the principles and work ethics you learn, you will enhance your skills and knowledge depending on what project you choose to work on.
11 – Overnight at a Friends House
It may sound weird but spending the night or even a few days over at a friends house can be a good thing. For one, it’s a change of atmosphere that can relax a child. But most importantly, it’s gaining the trust of parents for them to be able to spend the night away from home.
I believe it can greatly boost a teens’ confidence level knowing his parents trust him enough to be able to let him live out of the house even for just a few days. Aside from that, it teaches us to be more independent. Something very important in the future.
12 – One on One Dates with Mom or Dad
My mom used to do this to me and my siblings. Not just a coincidental we-went-out-and-my-brother-was-not-around thing but we really had specific dates where she would go out with only one of us. It was simple yet so very effective.
How can this be a preparation for a successful life? It strengthens the bond of teens with their parents. And because you know your parents are always there to support you, you can take bigger risks in life.
A big boost in a child’s confidence can be a make or break opportunity for a child’s future. And because most of us have sibilings (I have 2 brothers and 1 sister), having a one on one dates with your mom or dad makes you feel special.
Everything we’ve done, everything we’ve experienced defines who we are today. I hope you continue to influence yourself with positive energies and experiences to guarantee you a happy and successful life!