Focus on your goals.

The key to success isn’t exam results but knowing your strengths and focusing on your goals. Start thinking about what you want to achieve in life and start working towards it. The best way to find out what you want to do is to get out in the world and try new things, meet new people and enjoy different experiences. When you find out what you love doing, never give up. I can tell you from experience that it will get difficult at times. But when you keep going, you start achieving. It’s incredible what can happen when you’re not afraid of failure, but you embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Take time out.

Exams don’t recognize many of the important skills that you need in the real world such as communicating, influencing, negotiating and reasoning. Many teens are often natural problem solvers who can see the big picture and think strategically. As they say, we need to set young people up to thrive in life, not just exams.

  • Value your time – There’s a reason why most successful people agree that time is their most valuable asset: Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

  • Take time off – Start by breaking your time out by task. Find a unit of measurement that connects the tasks you work on with the income you earn.

  • Never stop learning – One of the biggest mistakes we make in life is having a poor use of our time. It is true that many of us have jobs and commitments, but how we choose to spend that time as well as our own free time plays a large role in our sense of fulfillment. Some people create goals in the hopes of gaining more pleasure, others choose to find something they enjoy and spend as much time as they can on it, and some choose to linger around trying to fill the void of time with whatever entertains them at the moment.

  • Experience is overvalued – As entrepreneurs and business owners we hear the phrase Value Your Time, a TON. But what does that really mean? Does it mean charge more money? Work less? Work smarter (another ambiguous phrase)?

    What does it mean?

    I think it’s somewhat different for everyone.

    But there is one universal, undeniable fact: although it may bend and stretch, time is our only non-renewable resource.

    We can always make more money, find fuel sources, create new relationships, start new careers, but we can never go back in time.

    So what does that mean for today and tomorrow and all the days we’re gifted after that?

    To me it means make a life, not just a living.

    Valuing my time means I’m grateful and appreciative of all the experiences in my life. It means doing what I want by design, not by default.

    That’s what valuing my time means to me.

    But even those definitions are open to interpretation. For one person, designing a life may look like dedicating themselves to their work, to another it might look like spending very little time working and more time with family and friends.

    My point is that you need to first decide what your ideal life looks like to you before you can place any value on your time.

  • Be courageous – When you let others take your time, you are in essence saying that your time isn’t valuable. More so, when people take your time without asking,  aren’t they in essence stealing it?

    Wasting your time… and life… bit-by-bit, minute-by-minute.

    Think about the signals you are sending to others about taking your time:

    • Do you say yes to every request and favor?
    • Do you let others schedule meetings on your calendar as they please?
    • Do you let others’ priorities trump your own?

    Yet, many people not only give away their time freely… they even tell others that they don’t value it. If you don’t set expectations about your time, then others will continue to believe that they can take it any time they want.

Your time is valuable. Treat it as such.

It is the only currency for which you can not get more.

Make sure you aren’t telling others that your time isn’t valuable.

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