Young Adult Depression and Life Coaching Young Adults

What is young adult depression? One of the things I hear more often than anything else as a mentor for young adults is parents asking for help with their child’s school failures, depression, low self-esteem and video game (and/or pot) addiction.

Often the depression seems most prevalent on both the parent’s and the potential client’s (the young adult in question) mind. What I often say to this is: “Most of us tend to see things in reverse order”.

Reverse Memory Syndrome with Young Adult Depression:
When a client has a “discussion” with his or her parent for the bazillionth time about why they stay up so late, the parents tell the young person why they are doing it and why it’s wrong. The client tries to explain what is really going on. Neither side listens. Voices raise and finally the client tells the parents to do something that is anatomically impossible. That’s when the parents say: “We just tell you how you need to be more responsible about going to sleep at a good time and all you do is shout and scream and curse at us”. That is reverse memory syndrome. The escalation and the accusing gets lost as a factor in the final result.

Reverse memory syndrome is often the reason why the depression is foremost on the minds of the people who contact me with the issues stated above. Let’s deconstruct the actual order of events for these clients and parents contacting me.

When Millennials were magic.
This generation is the first one that was told that actually everything they did was perfect. They were the best crayoners; the best howlers; the best poopers; and everybody got a medal when they “competed”… (you wonder why they think they’re magic).

For this particular group, they were able to pull off acceptable or really good marks out of their butts at the last minute at school and of course, Mumzy and Dadzy told them “they were magic”!!

Until they weren’t magic anymore.
Fast forward to the time when pulling marks out your butt (beside being non-hygienic) no longer works for our magic client. What comes next? False epiphanies.

Most of the people I meet have at some time come up to “issues” that blocked them in their lives. When natural talent wasn’t enough anymore. At that point, if they come up with “gee, I better learn some new study habits and work harder” I never get to see them. However, if they go for the false epiphanies: “My magic is gone”, “I am stupid”, “The world is not safe” or “If I choose to fail and I do… then I’ve won”, that’s when they are getting into choosing bad coping mechanisms.

What are those coping mechanisms? Self-medication (Video games or pot), anxiety, negative self-speak (low self-esteem) or depression.

Being careful with issues such as young adult depression.
There are thee kinds of depression that one comes across as a mentor for young adults.

1) Situation-based depression where the client’s constant failures and inability to find a way out lead to depression.

2) Negative self-speak depression. Where the mind has stopped being a motivational force and has become the worst in-your-head parent constantly leading to you towards self-defeat. This requires learning to retrain the mind through mindfulness-based exercises (meditation, visualization or things like yoga).

3) True clinical depression; a chemical imbalance requiring mental health professionals to do what they do best and help find the best way to get back that proper balance.

When it comes to clinical young adult depression, a Mentor’s job is make sure that a good mental health specialist is onboard, chosen by the family and that we help make sure that this label is not all that the client becomes but is a new starting point to help that client find their personal powers.

For situation-based and negative self-speak based depression, we begin with choosing goals, the challenges to those goals and the first indicators of success, creating micro-successes through daily routines chosen by the client and with the client in charge. The Mentor’s job is to let the client walk every step of that journey and simply help them out of dead ends in a way that speaks to the client.

We teach the client organization skills that makes sense to them in incremental stages. How to pick the best times to succeed in adding studying into their lives when it seemed impossible before. The learn how to advocate for themselves with teachers, school staff and parents (seeing both sides of the equation).

We work on finding the mindfulness-bases system that best works for them
Deep Breathing, Visualization, Mediation or, for some Prayer. The client starts in five or ten minute increments. Beginning by doing the work first with their mentors and slowly being able to do it on their own over time. This is the beginning of self-motivated empowerment.

The big take away.
Everyone tends to see things in reverse. Become a detective, free of judgment and go back and look for false epiphanies, coping mechanisms and most importantly, seek out people outside the family to help Mentor the child and the family to find that person’s true magic. It is there, waiting to be found.

Interested in mentoring Millennials? Check out www.MentorsProfessionalWorkshop.com

Know a Millennial in need of mentoring? Check out www.MentoringYoungAdults.com

Transforming Self-Sabotaging Teens and Young Adults Towards Success

There is a group of roughly 20% of our youth who are doing great in school, in relationships and in their lifestyles but for the majority of the young people today, self-sabotage is the daily practice.

So many parents and teachers are finding more and more kids who are non-compliant to the point of failing to thrive, educationally, emotionally and/ or nutritionally. There have always been problems with getting teens and young adults to “get things going” but it seems that this generation is having more difficulty than we remember through the rose-colored memory glasses of our youth.

What are the stumbling blocks that have so many young people today choosing to derail everything that they are given instead of testing their mettle and what are the remedies?
It comes down to three things:
1) Lack of Inspiration
2) Perfectionism
3) Instant gratification

Inspiration
Challenge

For most teenagers, school, sports, music or other traditional organized interests offers a chance for them to see adult role models and pick what they want to incorporate into their own lives, but for teenagers who did not make those mainstream connections, there is no adult role model physically present for inspiration.

Remedy:
Let them embrace whatever they are passionate about and find groups who get together to work on perfecting their craft. It is in the day to day work of things that they love that they shall find the resolve to rise above their personal challenges. There is another way: Find a mentor outside their regular circle of friends and family to help them find their positive power and release their fears.

Procrastination:
Challenge:

Most people blame this generation’s chronic habit of putting off everything to laziness. In my experience, procrastination occurs from these young adults caring too much about succeeding.
When getting a 70% is not good enough, or any interest in a new hobby is met with pointing out the flaws, the child determines that it is better not to try anything new past the infatuation stage and as for school; if they wait until the last moment to study, they can always live with: “60%?!? What would have happened if you had only studied sooner?” knowing they don’t have to ever worry about it as they have the perfect excuse – “meh, I’m just lazy!”

Remedy:
Minimize focusing on natural raw talent. Let your child know that it’s ok to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes and change and grow from your experiences. In fact, that is where most greatness comes from. It’s too late to undo the desire for Baby Mozart factory-made geniuses but it’s not too late for their genius to flower by learning from mistakes and creating their own structures for success from them. The best way is let them see your mistakes. Own them and show them how you learn from them. It’s all in the process not the potential.

Instant Gratification:
Challenge:

Young people today will not wait more than 10 seconds for a website to load before moving on. Their average conversations are texted and their group-speak is on Twitter or Facebook. Food is only food if it can be eaten several moments after being chosen. A pot or pan is only an obstruction to getting the “good food” they want.

Remedy:
Make the time for slow stuff in your life. Cook from scratch at least twice a week. It could be chicken breasts in a nice spice with some steamed veggies, or a chili prepared in the morning and slow-cooking until you get home at dinner. Grow something in the garden and take a few moments each day to tend to it. Knit or paint or something else that is slow to unfold. If you are saying that you just don’t have the time – you are back to the challenge. Teach by example and then invite them to show you how they would do it differently and embrace their ideas. Use those ideas and learn together from them, free of judgment. They will learn the magic of the process of creation.

The phrase I often hear from my young clients at some point or another is “if I choose to fail and I do … then I’ve won!” This system that they have perfected over most of their lifetime encompasses every aspect of their lives; from school to hobbies foisted upon them, from therapists that they have learned to toy with so well, to the addictions that give them a false sense of empowerment; their coping strategies are the only ones they have learned to count on to keep themselves safe.

It is the simple things in life from where we obtain our deepest lessons. Embrace them into your life and see the effect it has on your children.

The work I do with young adults is about helping them find their personal, positive power. I let them know that they will be in charge, making all the decisions, with me being their guide. I may turn them around from a dead end but they walk each step so that they own every victory and defeat, growing from each.

Once they choose to look for a different way and start a daily routine of simple effective steps to find their own positive power, these young adults embrace these new possibilities, showing amazing amounts of courage and fortitude. The best work in guiding young adults is done in team work. They really do possess all the answers.

Passion, process, patience are the keys. When in doubt, find an outside mentor.

******************************************************************************************************
Want more Ken Rabow articles? Click Real Life Coaching Blogs
To contact Ken for a Free 15 Minute Consultation Click Contact Ken
**********************************************************************************************

Millennials: Volunteer this Summer and Change Your Life!

If you ask a Millennial what they want to do this summer, most teens and young adults really want to see summer as a time to play the most video games, go to sleep just before the sun is up and possible smoke their brains out.
Can you blame them?

How do we inspire young adults to make wise choices for the summer?

I have always found that when given proper motivation and a true understanding of the benefits, most young people will choose the best things to help themselves grow. “Because I said so” rarely works and never helps in a long-lasting way.

What if it is too late to find a job?

The two places to look are jobs and volunteering in an area that interests them.
If you focus is that summer can become a time that could change your child’s future job prospects in an ever-changing world versus keeping them busy to not get into trouble, you have started on a good path.

Our new summer goal: Widen your child’s horizon.
The more a young adult in today’s world widens their horizons, the richer their lives become and the greater their potential for a good living becoms. Summer is the perfect opportunity for this through the experience of volunteering. Lots of young adults bristled when I use the word “volunteer” seeing it as merely “working for nothing” (i.e. where’s the money?!?!).

Here is a different way to view volunteer work: Try and get a job without experience or training at the zoo and you will probably end up scraping bird-poop off the glass enclosures. Volunteer at the zoo and you may have a chance to be up close and personal with the animals. Learning things few people get a chance to learn.

This is where one of my most favorite books comes into play: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I still read this book once a year and have found it
training Millenials to use the Carnegie principals immensely useful in getting my clients through many a closed doors and getting them the volunteer positions they wanted. Read this book!

Picking the proper area to volunteer in is a fairly easy exercise once you know how.
As Joseph Campbell said: “Follow your bliss”.

First choice should be something you know tons about just because you love it; animals, reptiles, stamp collecting, rock climbing, motorcycle repair, gardening … whatever you love; if you know all about it, take advantage of that knowledge to volunteer with people who do it for a living and see your passion through a professional’s eyes.

Second choice could be something you were always curious about. If you have great people skills or sales skills or are good with your hands, there are all sorts of organizations that can use those skills over the summer in a volunteer position.

Saving the best for last: Work with a local community political cause. We got Brexit and Trump because Millennials were not engaged and felt un-empowered. You are not. You are the future. Consider volunteering also at a pet shelter, a homeless shelter, a food shelter, a summer camp for at-risk youth or one of the many organizations that help third world countries. Your life will never be the same.

Volunteering: Widening your circle of knowledge and people; learning how different people who are passionate about their lives work and making a difference in the world: These “summer experiences” are the beginning of becoming a renaissance person in the 21st century and there is no price that can be put on that.

Mentoring Millennials – The Difference Between Heaven and Hell

How do we Mentor Millennials and get them where they need to go? Start with where you are… So here we are. A new year has begun. Your Millennial is back in university and you are hoping that last year’s effort (best described as crap-tabulous) will not be repeated. Horrible marks. Terrible self-talk/self-image. Massive anxiety.
Here’s the worst part… who can you talk to about your child? Especially if you believe (as so many of the parents who talk to me about this feel) that every other person’s child is doing fine and it is just your child who cannot cope.

I will give you the answer to the parent/Mentor issue at the end of this article but let’s start first with helping your Millennial:

The Three Challenges

1. Just-in-Timers. for lots of students, it was easy in High School to wait to the last minute, binge study and pull off some nifty grades. The harsh reality is that this doesn’t work in University/College and the student does not have the resources or experience to try another way.

2. The Deliciousness of Indulgence. Being away from home and having no external controls, mixed with a massive amount of booze, weed and fellow video-gamers with unlimited internet access is a recipe for badness. The uninformed will say “just say no”… good luck with that.

3. The Scourge of Social Anxiety.
This is at epidemic proportions in North America. This anxiety can make it practically impossible to reach out for help in school. Making it difficult to get back on track when they fall behind, it can push them to make self-destructive choices when the inevitability of their situation is shoved in their face by mid-terms.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/millennials-stress_b_2718986.html

The Three Solutions


1. Just-in-timers meet the Daily Routine.
By starting with the simplest tasks inserted in one’s day-to-day life, the Millennial learns to use a scheduler (why does this generation prefer to keep notes on loose slips of paper?!?) to take control of their daily lives. It may seem like a small step but simply being able to do one five minute task a day instills in them what they didn’t get by obligation or just-in-timing High School

2. Indulgence meet Observation: Remember what I said about “just say no”? Well double that on this one. We are not talking about people doing serious stuff in a way that is self-endangering. Those people need immediate action but for those indulging just enough to keep them from doing anything in life; here is the solution; observe it. Yes. Notice when you are doing your indulgence. Think about why you are doing it. Is it to self-medicate (i.e. deal with your anxiety)? Is it to alleviate boredom? Is it for social sharing? Is it ‘just ‘cuz? This may seems nuts but all of those are valid. The trick is to figure out which one, when, offer better things to do that you would enjoy more for some and leave the others (at the beginning). This is the start of conscious use and helps make different choices in the future.

3. Calming Social Anxiety. This can seem so formidable. It requires a Mentor who conveys non-judgmental trust. It requires the Mentee/Millennial looking at their challenge with kindness instead of harsh self-judgment and then to implement the following over six months; deep breathing (versus shallow breathing); visualization/meditation; learning positive self-talk; patience and relaxation.

Why Mentoring Millennials May Not Work (at first)

OK. It will work. (Deep breaths please). The three solutions I mention above work for 90% of the Millenials I encounter, just please don’t try this at home folks at least until you finish this article: Let’s start with a story:

The Long Spoons.

So… true story. I wanted to understand Heaven and Hell. So first, I travelled to Hell (Insert Donald Trump joke here…)
There were rows of tables piled high with platters of the most delicious food. Each platter was more aromatic and more beautiful to behold than the last. Every person held a full spoon but both arms were splinted with wooden slats making it impossible to bend their elbows to bring the food to their mouths. The people were emaciated, suffering and bereft of hope.

So I went to Heaven (Insert Wayne Dyer tribute here…)
Everything was the same. Same tables, same platters of food, same splints on the arms making it impossible to bend elbows but the people were satiated, happy and fulfilled. The big difference: In Heaven as a person picked up their spoon and dug into the nourishment availed to them, they stretched across the table and fed the person across from them. That person thanked them and then leaned across the table to feed their neighbor.

What’s This Got to Do with Me?!?

Chances are there is nothing wrong with your mentoring skills (if you have been working on them) but imagine the mentor is the person with the spoon, the wisdom is the food and the person starving is your child. You cannot mentor your own child, the whole concept of tribe was designed to have you mentor your neighbor’s child and them mentor yours’.

This is why people come to Professional Mentors/Life Coaches like myself and the Mentors I train. This is why you should become a mentor but get a distant relative or friend from another city to study mentoring with you. Then, you mentor their child and they should mentor yours’.

Let’s start a movement and use the long spoons the way the were meant to be used. I believe the Millennials have the potential to be the greatest generation since the 1940’s but they need new mentoring paradigms.

Find someone you trust and believe in to train you and your mentoring partner and begin a tiny revolution! It shall grow.

The Mentor’s Workbook: Introduction Part I – Becoming the Perfect Mentor

Hello. My name is Ken Rabow. The Mentor’s Mentor for troubled teens, young adults and their families. Helping them to find success in school, work, relationships and life in general.

There have been countless young people who have made great changes for the better in their lives through mentoring. Changes where these young people were responsible for the successful outcome. These successes are now part of who they are and how they see themselves and shall help guide them in whatever endeavors they take on in life.

The goal of this Workbook is to help you become such a mentor to young people. If you embark on this process you will find yourself helping young people to find their personal greatness. I cannot think of a nobler task or one that I consider to be more honorable to be part of.

Most systems of “repair” seem to be focused on the symptoms. They use the deficiencies to define the whole of the person. Statements such as: “I’m ADHD”. Hello, my name is Skeeter and I’m an alcoholic.” “I’m such a (fill in the blank)” ring throughout the land.

To those who spend so much time on their symptoms, I would suggest you think of the following: we amplify what we focus on, in word, thought and action. The more frequently we are defining ourselves by what we lack, the more we allow our inner thoughts to validate our beliefs in our million micro-decisions of the day.

Having said that, let me add: we cannot underestimate the amount of people who are in denial about their personal foibles. I am not suggesting self-delusion as a the road to success. I encourage you to (and by extension those you mentor) to “own” their challenges as well as their strengths, but please do not let yourself be defined by them.

Let me share with you what one can learn through mentoring:

Every young person has the ability to be successful in every way of their lives. That may seem like a bold statement but the truth is, evolutionarily speaking, if you are alive, then you are doing something right. You must also come from a line of people who were able to thrive. The DNA of success is built into you. It just may present itself in a way that doesn’t fit into a standard mold. What may seem like the opposite of success may simply be indicators that you need to look for another way. To find your own personal way to succeed.

The Slacker’s Guide to Success is once such way. It works by building up a person’s belief in themselves in quiet daily tasks that help build character. It is in the small daily tasks one does away from public view that we build up our own faith in ourselves and it is these same small tasks that have been taken away from this generation.

Shining shoes? – Velcro!
Tying your shoe laces – More Velcro!
Cutting the lawn? – no more lawns – robot lawn mowers – or paid help.
Washing the dishes? Dishwashers!
Vacuuming – Roomba!
Getting the mail (what’s mail? Oh! That stuff before texting!)
Spelling (duh … spellcheck!)
Multiplication tables (do calculators have those?)
Walking the dog (did kids ever really walk the dog?)
Homework (isn’t that what tutors are for?)

I won’t go on. It’s too depressing 🙁

What daily tasks will inspire young people to learn self-discipline, build character and belief in oneself?

Since the “old ones” are gone. They need to be replaced with new ones. (Not that new).

1. Self-reflection. 2. Exercise. 3. Creativity 4. Generativity.
Step One will delve into these in great detail.

Although each person has the potential for success and this system has proven to be highly effective, it does not mean that each person who dabbles with it will invest in it or that they will all stay the course and succeed using this system.

It means that each one has in them the seeds for success and the challenge is to find the proper system for that particular person. Often, when someone has used this system and has risen above their addictions and gone back to school and succeeded well (very often for the first time) they will whole-heartedly recommend this system for their close friends in need of guidance (in between video games levels). The chance of this particular system being right for that friend at that particular time is 50/50. The determining factor is; are they ready?

Now, let’s talk about you. What you need to bring to this system and how you can determine when your “client” is ready for your mentoring.

Who knows your child better than you do? They do! They may not know it or share all of it with you but your understanding of your child is based on history. More than likely, theirs is about right now and tomorrow. The past is often the same place where broken toys reside. Rich and meaningful at one time, but now it is mainly of use for stubbing toes and tripping us up.

It is in the future and the now that you must re-learn about your child.

Stay tuned for more!

Troubled Teens and Extra-Curricular Activities

Meet Three Clients who were Troubled Teens: Tim, Julie and Doug (not their real names).

Tim, 13 years old, is practically never at home. Hockey practice, scouts, hockey games, religious class and pre-planned get-togethers with friends, shuttled by his parents take up every non-school moment. A great kid but he seems to have trouble focusing on one thing for any length of time. Basically he is a troubled teen with anxiety.

Doug is a talented, clever man in his early 20’s who can charm any person he meets. He has also failed in his first terms at two universities and could usually be found in his room 24/7, smoking pot, playing video games or in the basement playing drums to his iPod. The epitome of depression in young adults.

Julie is now in university and has a part time job in sales. She was constantly bullied from grades 1 to grades 8 by the cliques for not dressing the way they did. “I did my own thing, I didn’t like to conform and I would get harassed daily”. The poster child for pot addiction in young adults.

Since turning thirteen, Tim, has been oppositional, scattered and disinterested in his school, studies and after-school activities. He has also started talking back to his parents.

Doug has been to every type of therapist and a few “camps” but nothing seemed to stick. “Eventually, I would get them to say to me; I really want to be your friend .. and that’s when I knew I had them”. Doug would always end up back in his room, playing video games and smoking pot.

Julie would often go to the principal after being bullied. The principal would then bring the girls in to her office and the girls would say they were sorry, that they didn’t mean it and wouldn’t do it again. The girls would leave, the principal would say “everything’s OK now!” and the bullying would continue during class, at recess and after school.

And now for something completely different:
The pre-frontal cortex, the area in the brain responsible for things such as judgment, executive control and emotional regulation continues to develop well into the mid 20’s. During this time, the brain is highly adaptable and influenced by external forces. There have been many studies that support the idea that multi-tasking and over stimulation during these formative years can lead to attention deficit disorders.

Where are they now?
Julie found that her competitive Irish dance classes and sax classes helped her build her self-confidence and to realize that if one group of people don’t like you, there are others who will.

Doug has begun a daily routine of meditation, music lessons, playing in a band and reading seminal books on psychology. He is preparing to go back to school – smoke free.

Tim has continued his over-programmed life and has attention issues.

I’ll leave the final words to them:

Julie: Head high, eyes open, heart strong. Keep fighting for yourself and don’t give in.
Doug: Find the things that you love doing and go do it.
Don’t worry what other people think, just do your best and if you mess up, get up and do it again.

Tim:……… Tim? ……… Tim’s not listening.

4 Steps to a Successful School Year

The new school year is upon us and like Ebenezer Scrooge, we are not sure if it is the ghosts of past, present or future school years that shall be visited upon us. Here are four steps to guarantee a successful school year (guarantee void where prohibited by over-achieving siblings who make us look bad no-matter-what).

We are rarely taught how to succeed in life. Some people “have it” while for others, success seems elusive. Many of us have some things we do well but don’t always know how to transfer those successes to the things in our life that challenge us.

Here are some steps that will help you have a successful school year.
It can however be used for anything you choose to excel in.
P.L.A.Y Prepare, Listen, Assess, Your Rewards

1. Prepare.
Space. The final frontier…. either it helps you take care of business or makes a mushy brain.
a) Workspace:
Where do you do your reading and writing for school?
Is it at your computer work-desk or do you have a separate area for schoolwork.
(on or near the floor of your bed does not count) Wherever it is:
Decide to make this area clutter-free.
You don’t need to do it all at once unless you have a desire to.
Simply do five minutes of organizing every time you go to this area.
Within a week most of it will be done.
A proper workspace free of clutter frees the mind of a subtle constant stress.
b) Reference Finding your stuff when you need it is half the battle.
Set up proper shelving for any books or binders that will be required for your classes.
Make sure that the materials will be easily seen and accessible when you need it.
Organize some drawers for “stuff” that usually clutters your workspace.
c) Feng Sh-who?
Look at the images you have on your walls.
Make sure that they are ones that inspire you to success.
d) Time.
Once you know your schedule for the next term, write down your class, travel, homework, clean-up and kicking-around times into a weekly schedule.
Add to the last day of the week time to reorganize your work area throughout the school year. Consider it a weekly reset to being organized.
If you use a smartphone – start using either Google Calendar or iCal for writing in your weekly schedule. Use it on your computer as well. Your scheduler should always be up to date. If there is a change to one scheduled event do the change right away. Make it so that whatever is written in your schedule is always dependable. Being organized and showing up where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there is empowering.

2. Listen. Concentrate. Read. Engage!
Notes.
Note taking in class is an art. You have to figure out what is important and where to focus your work. Also, figure out the standard duration of the classes you are taking and do a concentration exercise at home (meditation is a great one) that is 5 minutes more than your standard class. If you can train yourself to focus for a whole class, you can make sure you are ready for whatever important notes need to be taken.
Do the reading! Then try to ask the occasional informed question. This helps you make sure that you are on track and it creates a good connection with the teacher. They really are there to help you.
Know yourself! If you are going to waste time if you have a computer in class, do hand written notes and then transcribe them at home. Don’t put stumbling blocks in your way.

3. Assess and Re-assess Projects, Tests. Re-tests?
Remember the kid who always did their book reports the day after they were given? They were on to something. Without being overzealous, try to get reports finished by the half-way mark from the day they are given to the day they are due. This is only good if you have all the information, of course.
Tests. Most first tests are there to help the teacher assess you and help you assess your strengths and challenges in a class. If one part or many parts are off the mark that you were shooting for, make an appointment to see the teacher and ask the teacher how you can prepare to get the marks you want. If you failed, see if there is something you can do as a make-up to improve that mark and still ask how you can study more efficiently for the class. Once more; teachers really do like to see people do well and are usually pleasant when you see them off-hours to improve. (Major note – take responsibility for your “mess-up” instead of making excuses. They will respect you for that)

4. Your Rewards. Enjoy life! Give yourself treats!
If you know where you are going with your future career, find out what marks are needed (and what courses are needed) and shoot for that grade point average. If you are not sure, you can never go wrong with low 80’s.
Working successfully means having a complete life. Do your work and then reward yourself with some video game play or anything that won’t affect you waking up clear for the next day (watching the ring trilogy at two in the morning is not recomended).
When you are making changes, let your parents know your plans.
Everyone benefits from good lines of communication.

There you have it. The four steps to a successful school year.
The whole world is a P.L.A.Y. Get out there and remember:
it is only through failures that we learn to succeed…

My Child is Failing! What Did I Do Wrong?

Hello. I’m Ken Rabow. I am a life coach for troubled teens, unmotivated young adults and their families. A great deal of my work is with students in jeopardy of completely failing their school year or Millenials now living at home, playing video games all day, who have dropped out. So maybe it’s best to say that I am a turn-your-life-around coach.

Each time I meet with their parents, the title of this article is the unspoken question in each of their minds, followed by what I imagine is even harsher versions of inner self-flagellation.

So, I am here to tell you parents that these particular types of students are simply highly gifted people whose talents do not catch on fire from the standard models. No therapy; micro-managing; freedom or meditative chanting: “go do your work!… go do your work!! …. go do your work!!!” will help.

In fact, what these young adults really need is someone outside their circle of friends and family to create a safe space for them to stop their whole world twice a week, help them take a deep breath, exhale their fears and self-doubts and look at where they are in their lives. Asking themselves if they are truly ready to make meaningful changes in their lives. It really isn’t supposed to work with someone too close to him or her. Think of all the people we have always had around us in tribes and families throughout all of time.

It is proved over and over without a shadow of a doubt that the parents have done great parenting when these young people show that they are now ready to consider empowering themselves in some positive, but alternative way. Just by considering it, their lives are put on a better path.

You have done your work. Loved them, nurtured them and allowed them the space to find their own path and guess what? Many of our most inspirational leaders were exactly these kinds of people; Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and many more. I wonder how their parents felt in the rocky school years.

The psychologist Rollo May explained that there were certain stages of development:
Innocence: the pre-self-conscious stage of the infant.
Rebellion: wanting freedom without understanding the ramifications that go along with it.
Decision: Deciding what to do with their lives and fulfilling the rebellion stage’s needs.
Ordinary: Conformity and traditional values (What? Your kid missed this one?)
Creative: Self-actualized, authentic and caring.

Not everything is supposed to be done inside the family unit. Its OK.
I shall leave you with a Rollo May quote:
Tell the child,
Look, I love you, I believe in you.
I know you are going through a lot of upset the only thing that counts
is that in the long run, you find out who you are and you live it
.”

The Slacker’s Guide to Success – Introduction

The Slacker’s Guide to Success is Ken Rabow’s method based on his work Life Coaching Troubled Teens, Young Adults and their Families over the past 13 years. Here is an excerpt. Enjoy!

An Introduction to The Slackers Guide to Success By Ken Rabow
So, you know you’re brilliant. Your parents know you’re brilliant. Your dog thinks you’re amazing, then why are so many things not working out in your life?

Hi, My name is Ken Rabow and I work with young adults struggling to find their place in the world. The ones I take on as clients are those who really want to make changes in their lives. Many of the clients I work with come to me when they have…
a) Been stuck in part-time jobs without a future
b) Become addicted to video games; or pot; or magic cards or something else.
c) Failed a course, a term or a whole school year
d) Major sleep or anger “issues”
e) All of the above.
Don’t you just love multiple choice?!?

As one of my clients once said to me:
“I really like staying at home, playing video games all day in my bathrobe…..
but I’m beginning to think that it’s not a great long-term plan”.
Let us call that client Skeeter. At the writing of this blog Skeeter is back in school working on a science degree. In his first semester, he caught the attention of an amazing professor doing ground-breaking research who has hired Skeeter in the lab.
So how did Skeeter go from being a stay-in-his room slacker to an up-and-coming science guy? And why should you care if you are into something else or don’t even want to go to school but have dreams of starting your own business or killer app?
Because! 🙂

Okay, that’s a parent-y answer. The real answer is that what worked for Skeeter can work for you in any field, in any format, in any situation. Your success will come from:
• finding your power
• learning to believe in yourself
• determining how to build habits that guarantee success and
• discovering the secret to success through messing up.

Yes, I’m here to tell you that you can’t really be great at anything until you can get past…. perfectionism.
That’s what this system is all about and it works! Each time. Every time.
I’ve seen so many young people change their lives around. There are a lot of people out there who deserve to learn how to be their very best and do great things in their lives.
I’ve written these articles so you can benefit from this “out of the box” approach that I have refined in my private practice over the years. This process that will enable you to succeed on your own terms. If you follow this method, you will find yourself growing in character and soon enough you will discover yourself achieving successes you didn’t dare dream of. You will find that it’s great to get out of bed every morning, feeling good about
An Introduction to The Slackers Guide to Success By Ken Rabow
doing things that earns people’s respect. More importantly, you will feel good about yourself for your personal achievements
.
You will need to do these exercises with a coach/mentor, preferably someone who is not a close relative or who sees you on a day-to-day basis. You need someone you can talk to, someone who will keep your secrets, someone who will respect you and let you grow at your own pace.
There are three sections in these articles and each section is one full stage of development. The first stage is personal development, the second stage, professional develpment is bringing your personal development out into the world with your new strengths and the third stage, inner development is giving back to the world and growing as a person.
Here is a brief outline of the 13 steps in three stages. Enjoy!
Stage One – Personal Development
1) Investigation: Looking at our strengths; challenges, past patterns; coping strategies and choosing role models and events or ideas as inspirations.
2) Opportunity: Searching for a mentor. Choosing three goals, defining the challenges to those goals and indicators of success
3) Mindsets: Abundance, Poverty Mentality and False Epiphanies.
4) Generativity: Creating your daily routine of a personal meaningful practice.
Finding the blocks that stop you from succeeding and creating remedies.
5) Out Into The World (and back again) Bringing your new skills in to practice in the outside world in a safe and limited way.
6) Setting limits: Learning to set limits gracefully on the time-stealers in your life.
7) Direction. (Following your bliss) Creating the groundwork for a successful, enjoyable life.
Stage Two – Professional Development
8) Out into the world: Putting into practice stage one in a more extended fashion and transforming all you have learned into new situations.
9) Forming new boxes of safety: Using mindfulness and success consciousness out there and seeing how they work in new situations while learning to feel safe.
10) Creating new generative structures. Schedules, coping and new friends.
11) Making your addictions work for you. Using your urges to indulge your addictions as a reward for doing the work you need to get done.
Stage Three – Inner Development
12) A complete life. Learning a sustainable daily practice of being mindful in
learning, work, relationships and even play.
13) Pay it forward: Once you’ve reached this point, your life is richer, you are happier and you will truly want to help others grow in their own way. This step will teach you how to do that.

Get the book; paperback or Kindle! Click here

Ten Tips For Fostering Creativity In Your Children

If you are a parent today in the western world, you have joined a very special club. A club of parents cast adrift, drowning in self-doubt while dodging waves of pyscho-babble lurching at them from every direction. It’s easy to throw blame around but what is the main question we all want the answer? “How do I help my child unfold to be their very best in today’s world?”

10 Tips to Foster Creativity in Your Children

Encourage your kids to sign up and embrace something that they love. Whether it’s drumming, hip-hop or clown school — give them opportunities to go out, sign up, and then make sure to give them the time and space to choose to do the work required at home.This is a recipe for self-discovery and building self-esteem.

1) Comedy: Join a comedy troupe. Then when someone asks: “What are you? A comedian?”, they can answer: “Yes!”

2) Start a Business: Dog walking. Cat sitting. Lawn mowing. Make something cool that people need like funky knitted hats. Find ways to get customers and learn how to keep them as well.

3) Write a Family History: It could be a book, a video, or it could be a blog. When you combine personal history with storytelling, you end up with a powerful creative skill.

4) Make Some Protest Songs: If you play an instrument you could write songs using your guitar or piano. If not, there are great music-creating software programs out there. Go out and sing those songs wherever and whenever you can.

5) Create Your Own Muppets: Find a character. Do parties. Go to hospital wards and have your new creation meet and greet. (That’s how Elmo started)

6) Knitting or Crocheting: This is huge these days with kids in their teens and twenties. There are knitting raves and flashmob knitting — it’s just a great thing that’s being re-invented. Yarn-bombing around telephone poles. Knitting cellphone covers, wine bottle covers, dog coats and more. This ain’t your Granny’s knitting!

7) Claymation: It’s slow — painstakingly so — but amazing. If you are willing to put in the time, you can create new universes and have them do what you want to do and say what you want them to say.

8) Filmmaking: This is how the great directors started: just doing it on their own on zero or minimal budgets. Sometimes, we can tell the very best story when we are limited in the way we can tell that story. Filmmaking on a budget can do that.

9) Cooking: Some film directors have likened making a film to cooking a meal: choosing your meal and getting the recipes is like the script. Shopping for the perfect ingredients is like shooting the film. Cooking the meal is like editing and the place setting and the food placement is like the theatrical opening of the show. See food that way and open up to a whole new experience in dining.

10) Write and Perform: Make your own musical on a theme that means something to you. This gets you to do some acting, singing, script-writing, set and costume design, marketing and build your organizational skills (when you get others involved).

It’s not important what creative outlet your child chooses, how they do it, or what they can do with it. It really is the process that enriches their lives. It teaches so many skills like patience, perseverance, faith in themselves and most important of all, it teaches them to marvel at the creative process from chaos to completion. A skill that many have lost appreciation for.

One last thing: If you are reading this, you are a parent who cares. Sometimes that may be all you need but never underestimate your child as a resource to guide you in what to do as a parent. Ask them. You may be surprised by their answers. Share in their creative endeavors as an impassioned spectator. Join in their communities and honour their mentors who earn your trust.

Empowering this new generation will give them something that stays with them their whole life. One of the most powerful forces for change is creativity. Nurture this in your children and you will open a place for self-worth to grow. A fantastic opportunity to believe in themselves. You have that power. That may be one of the greatest creative acts in a lifetime. Make it so!

Boomers! Millenials! Do These 7 Things to Survive Each Other

Baby-boomers. You thought you had it all together, man! Like, you were totally prepared! The right retirement savings plan, paid off the house early, avoided Bernie Madoff and even had time to live a healthy enough lifestyle to enjoy your retirement but…

The one thing you could never have planed for,
the one thing that makes Madoff look like a shmear at Carnegie deli reared it’s uncoiffed head… Millenials! If we were prone to metaphors, we might liken them to hurricanes on cyprolex… wiping out people’s savings, destroying homes (at least making them very messy), going into a rages or depressions without warning and sleeping really late while texting… so much for the metaphors.

Now here you are having to continue to work to pay for a 2nd or 3rd university education to prepare your 20-something to work as a Barista (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Millenials: You thought you had it all together, bro.
You had it totally planned. If by planned you mean buying into the ‘rents song and dance about education, hockey and
showing up for Christmas (and actually talking), avoiding the great recession by … oh wait… you didn’t ☹

The one thing you never planned for
, the one thing that makes the great recession look like a bad socio-economic hair day is the dreaded… Boomers! If we were prone to metaphors… OK, so I like metaphors, get over it! It would be like a big needy Kangaroo on Prozac, sucking up all the fun in life and sitting it’s big ass down on that place in line called “the gravy train”. Sucking up all that gravy, while letting some of it drop onto it’s gravy-stained golf shirt. Slowly, it turns back to the millennial stuck behind them in the next Kangaroo pouch and says “suck it up princess, its your fault I have to keep working”.

But wait! There is a way out of being stuck in the gravy-train line to nowhere-ville.
Here are the seven things Millenials and Boomers can do to survive each other.


1. Avoid really talking to each other!
Talking is vastly over-rated. All it does it force you to actually hear the other’s side of things and that can only lead to understanding. which makes resentment much more difficult.
2. Eschew finding things you have in common. It’s soo hard to mock someone when you have common ground. Stuff you both like can really challenge the best reasons why everything is the other person’s fault.
3. Circumvent occasions for pleasantries. Nothing good comes from giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. They have a better opportunity for “winning” and you have missed the best opportunity for a cheap shot.
4. Sidestep teaching moments. Your job is not to teach by example, your job is complain why they aren’t doing what they should be doing.
5. Circumnavigate the cesspool of “sentiments”. Hey if showing your vulnerabilities would help, Oprah would be a multi-millionaire by now.
And exactly how could showing your vulnerabilities ever help the other side to do anything but take advantage of you. Better to be a dork with a cork then take the chance of sharing your deepest feelings.
6. Duck danger with disbelief. Believing in them? What is this, the land of the lost boys? Nine out of ten scientists have proven that showing lack of faith for each other is a great way to enjoy the day… of course they also said that about cigarettes in the 50’s.
7. Unconditional Love? We don’t need no stinkin’ unconditional love! It’s so messy. It makes you feel things and let’s face it, most of the times in the past when you opened up your heart to them, they didn’t just step on it, they ground their heel in it, through in some chipotle mix, a can of refired beans and then made a meal out of it. Why would anyone take the chance of unconditionally loving someone when things have gone wrong in the past?

There you have it. The secrets to surviving each other in a challenging time.
Let me know how it worked for you. Did I mention I have some swampland for sale?

****************************************************************************************************
Go to the Home Page of Ken’s website for helping Troubled Teens and UnMotivated Millenials, RealLifeCoaching.ca
Want more Ken Rabow articles? Click Real Life Coaching Blogs
To contact Ken for a Free 15 Minute Consultation Click Contact Ken
****************************************************************************************************

Troubled Teens and Young Adults who Lack Motivation

For teens with anxiety, millennials dealing with self doubt, the slackers and the stoners who seem to lack motivation; there is one mantra they all share: “If I choose to fail and do… then I win”!

Let me repeat this for the high achieving, hard-working parents out there: Your child’s mantra just may be
” if I choose to fail and I do, I win”. Sends a shiver down your spine, doesn’t it? It should! It’s hard to know what is scarier. The fact that they think this or the fact that they would never tell you this. Yet, this is something I hear from new clients on a regular basis. y

Here’s the good News: They really do want to win. They just don’t have a single clue on how to do it. Let me share with you an example:

Take “Skeeter”.
A pot smoking stoner
who has made the skill of ignoring the outcome of his lack of effort in school, hygiene and relationships into and art.

What is odd is that when you get past all the negative situations that Skeeter has been through and really talk and listen to him, he really wants to succeed but he just doesn’t have a clue how to do that, so he channels all of his desires into self-sabotage. This goes on for so long that it is almost impossible for Skeeter to remember that this was a coping mechanism and not his true nature.

Given the opportunity, most people really will choose to succeed.

So what is the secret recipe. How do I get the self-sabotageurs to get “back on track”.
There are as many answers as there are clients. No two people have exactly the same road to travel but there are some common threads.

The first step is to believe that they really do want to succeed and that it is up to the Mentor to help them find “micro-successes”. Before I explain micro-successes, let me point out that what they have been learning up until now is that no matter what they are told, whatever they try will end up in failure, hurt feelings and self-loathing.

This is what I have to work with when they come to me. So why do they take a chance on my out of the box system? Because I listen. I take whatever they say seriously and I help them unpack their regular chants of “it won’t work”, “i’m just lazy” or (fill in the blank) and find their coping mechanism.

Now for the micro-successes: They are so powerfully conditioned to expect to fail that I must find the smallest little daily successes that they can see, feel, experience and start to consider that their might be the tiniest possibility that things don’t have to end badly.

That is all I ask for at the beginning.

And when things fall to poop (which they will), if we have built up enough trust and some micro-succeses, the will learn how to deal, how to assess, how to learn and finally how to grow.

It works. I feel honored every time I watch the transition and they are always in charge of what we do.

******************************************************************************************************
To check out Ken’s website for helping troubled teens and unmotivated millenials, click RealLifeCoaching.ca
Want more Ken Rabow articles? Click Real Life Coaching Blogs
To contact Ken for a Free 15 Minute Consultation Click Contact Ken
******************************************************************************************************

Using Our Child’s Strengths and Challenges To Succeed

We can change our lives for the better right now!
It starts with looking at the strengths and challenges in our daily life. Through our challenges, we can understand the patterns that keep repeating and the self-limiting tapes running in our sub-conscious. Our strengths can inspire us to rise over these repeating patterns and tapes, leading us to a richer life. I invite you to try these exercises:

Exercise One: C.O.S.
A) Challenges – Write down three things that are challenges in your daily life.
B) Obstacles – Think about what stops you from getting beyond each of these challenges.
C) Success – Choose something that would show you that had been successful in rising above that challenge.

Exercise Two – Strengths:
A) Talent – Write down something that you are good at.
It may be what you know you do well or it may be something that comes easily to you but dismiss because “anyone can do that”. They are both strengths.
B) Inspiration – Think of a person, past or present, who you find inspiring.
When you find yourself in a frustrating situation, ask yourself:
“What would they do?”
C) Power Place – Imagine a situation that makes you feel powerful.
It could be something you’ve seen or heard about.

It could be something you hope will one day happen.

Try to make it feel real through your strongest senses.
Imagine what it would feel like to be experiencing that right now.
Something very powerful happens when you write down your challenges and strengths.

By choosing an indicator for success, you are allowing your mind to consider success.

As you move forward in the 13 steps to success for young adults,
you may find that you end up modifying what you have written down in these first exercises. That is to be expected.

A great film director was once asked what the most important quality for a leader was.

He responded that it was the ability to make an immediate decision.
It didn’t matter if it was right or wrong, that could be corrected, but once the crew sensed that decisiveness, they could relax into their jobs, knowing there was direction.

The same is true of our sub-conscious.
It is that crew waiting to be led and our will becomes the director.

What will these exercises do for you? They will create a direction.

Will your answers change? Probably.
Are they the perfect choices? Time will tell but they are a great start.

Here are some things you can do starting today with these exercises:

Daily Practice:
1) Choose the challenge that you wish to work on first.
Reflect on the obstacle that is in your way.
Choose three things you can do to “soften” the obstacle.
Decide to work on one aspect of this a day until you begin to see your indicator for success emerging.

Then move on to the next challenge.
It sometimes help to have an outside person work on this with you.
A mentor can often be very helpful.

2) Each night just before falling asleep, imagine your power place.
Live it as if it was happening to you right now.
Take in every feeling of it.
Decide to let yourself be open to things that happen during your day which bring you closer to making your power place a reality.

3) When you wake up, take a moment to reflect on one quality that your inspirational person has.

It could be one you have used before or a new one. Decide to implement that quality today.

4) Keep a journal.

The longest journey begins with a single step ……Lao-tzu

Why Do Some Teens Never Seem To Achieve Their Goals?

Have you ever heard someone say this? “Stop crying, it’s nothing!” or “Don’t worry, it isn’t a big deal that you (fill in the blank).” Or “What are you upset about? It isn’t as if you (fill in the blank).”

What do these sayings, said over and over by well-meaning guardians, have to do with never achieving one’s goals? In trying to protect the youngest of people, we often diminish what they perceive as powerful moments. By telling them their emotions are meaningless, we create false epiphanies in them: “Well, if it’s nothing then I’ll show them! I’ll never succeed and they’ll be sorry.” These things are rarely said aloud except in moments of extreme angst, but they are often repeated over and over in our subconscious mind.

So, flash forward 12 years… Now that teen has these false epiphanies firmly ensconced in their noggin. What can they do?

To read more, go the Huffington Post article by clicking here

Tips for Teens with Bad Study Habits

For the students:
So, you’ve been hoping and buying into “the dream” that somehow, by keeping your science book under your pillow, it will all seep in. Or maybe, they will have some information on the Peloponnesian wars on the Family Guy marathon. How about, “I study best under pressure”? Or that tried and true classic “French is easy! All you have to do is sound like Inspector Clouseau when you say “duz yor dogue bat“? (“He’s not mah dogue“).

Well, we know how this ends up. You’ve received your mid-term marks, some of them squeaked by and some of them looked like you had a chimp take the exam (and not that clever one from Rise of the Planet of the Apes).

You have two choices:
Plan A: Continue to see your school future flushing down the proverbial toilet and say (to whomever you choose to blame) “well, if you believed in me more I’d do better,” or make a new plan. Let’s try Plan B, shall we?

Plan B is about knowing your strengths, knowing your limitations and building on micro-successes. Successes so small most people won’t notice, and you will get the time you need to believe in yourself without being overwhelmed.

Let’s face it, if you’re in this pickle, your study habits are probably non-existent and your parents’ expectations are something like: since you have so little time left you should be spending every waking and sleeping moment studying till you can’t stand it, then sit and study some more.

But you know and I know that faced with that option you’re sure that your head will actually explode (like that guy in Scanners) and if you could have done that (minus the exploding head part) you would have already done that. So, that ain’t happening.

Here is how to build a last-ditch effort to save your exams and create better possibilities for the following terms.

Five simple steps to change your exam destiny:

1) Do something you can hold yourself to.
You may catch yourself saying things out loud that you know you will never do (“OK, I won’t work today but tomorrow I’ll do twice as much!”) Try figuring out what you can actually do; Maybe two one-hour sessions with a 10 or 15 minute break in between. When you are working on something and you start to be really annoyed by it, go do something else for a while and come back to the offending subject later. It will seem less annoying.

2) Push it.
It is important to come back to it. You are teaching your inner-self that you can go further without the head exploding type of incident. Try adding 10 per cent more time each day until you get to a study time that is just too much. Then go back to the previous day’s study time. (Basically 10 per cent less.)

3) Poke into your “comfy time.”
At this point, you have figured out when you will do your study time each day and I’m guessing the rest of your home time is made up of all the stuff that drives your parents nuts. (Because you aren’t spending every moment studying.) Let’s call this time your “comfy time.”

Somewhere in the middle of that time, go back and work on one task, taking up either five minutes of time or one problem. Then you can go back to comfy time. This may not seem like much to an outsider, but it has so many benefits for you. First of all, if you can do this (tell yourself that it really will take just a little time and don’t let your inner id-self take over) you are beginning to take control of your future higher-character traits. Second, some part of your brain will believe that it has to stay on guard brain-wise, and will keep all the new info in your noggin’ with a bit more clarity. Third, there are benefits that no one can explain to you until you have done it — but it really helps.

4) Push some more.
On a given day, ask yourself the following: will an extra half-hour of gaming change my life? Because an extra half-hour of studying can.

5) Do it for yourself.
You are the main one who will benefit from this process. Do it to feel better about you.

Now, for the parents, here’s the hard part for you: it is so easy, as you see the exams coming around again and seeing your child about to make the same mistakes as last time, to freak out and try to strong-arm them into study submission. This never works. Never!

It might work one time but there can be no follow-through, and what will happen when you aren’t there anymore to strong-arm them? Show them these five steps and then (here’s the hard part) let them make their choices. Right here, they have the keys to make differences that won’t be stellar, but will be incremental, self-empowering and permanent.

One last thing to the students:
Your job in life is to rise above the people that came before you. It’s OK to do that. The best way is by challenging yourself and the easiest way to do that is in micro-movements of success. Pretty soon, it will be your standard equipment.

You can do it!

Phobias – Fear of Fear Itself

So many young people come to me these days with different levels of fears. The effect of these fears range from stopping them from succeeding all the way up to almost complete debilitation.

These are some of the fears I come across in trouble teens and young adults on a regular basis:

Fear of failure;
Fear of humiliation;
Fear of large crowds;
Fear of sleeping alone;
Fear of learning to drive;
Fear of life itself and basically fear of seeking new adventures.

The clients who come to me have tried all sorts of things to overcome these fears: talk therapy, medication, CBT, hypnosis and all traditional and some non-traditional modalities.

My success rate in overcoming these fears is between 90 and 95%. It has very little to do with me or my process but it has everything to do with tapping into the inmate positive powers that rests within each and every person.

I cannot deny that teaching some breathing techniques, some grounding techniques and some visualizations to create a “safe place” no matter where they are or what is happening is of great benefit, but the real transformation comes from taking whatever talents/strengths they have and starting a daily routine that involves doing the things that they have a connection to: (Writing, playing an instrument, dance, photography, Etc.).

Using something that they feel a connection to, we create a daily routine that helps them focus on the strength and power of doing something on a daily basis, rather than focusing on their fears. Each challenge is seen through the lens of how can we get back to their daily routine, free of judgment.

After a while, the client learns how to take any situation, analyze it and figure out a way through the challenges.

We then incorporate the strengths of current success to approach medium to minor fears, slowly building up the skills of: solid foundation, belief in oneself, good communication skills (Within and without), and “true grit”.

By focusing on what works, we teach these young people that you amplify what you focus on. The fears are approached from every angle possible in their newfound confidence helps dissolve those fears.

If you have any questions on the subject please feel free to send me an e-mail and I will get back to you on your questions within 24 hours. Click here

Why Some Kids Derail Themselves and What We Can Do To Prevent It

Why are so many young people willing to self-sabotage every aspect of their potential future? Not participating in class, not doing the required studying, staying up late, sleeping most of the day away and missing more and more school. For quite a few, video gaming and/or substance abuse is another big factor.

The most frustrating part of this is that these same people are very often gifted in some way and yet here they are ….. off the tracks.

Many teachers are doing great work in classrooms, helping all sorts of `different learning styles but how can teachers know how to work with people who don’t show up to class, don’t submit their work completed and don’t seem to care?

Could it be, that the keys to these young people’s success are the same ones that have allowed mankind to thrive for millions of years? Through evolution, we have been hard-wired to work as social tribes, offering our children the opportunity to learn from a wide range of elders.

Most young people today are able to thrive or at least get by in a nuclear or single parent family, learning from their care-givers and finding other elders to learn from at school, sports, dance or music, etc. These young people grow through the ritual of daily tasks of homework, tests and projects. Graduation becomes their right of passage. But what if your child does not connect to such a system?

You’ve tried it all; traditional therapy, behavioral therapy, conditioned response, pharmaceuticals, begging, pleading, tough love and some of it worked for a while and some didn’t work at all.

It may seem hopeless sometimes, feeling that your child will never grow up and take responsibility but it has been my experience that some alternative approaches can make a world of difference. Once your child goes beyond their regular world filled with all the trappings that keep him/her where they are and finds a support system with a mentor who is non-judgmental, on their side and open to thinking “outside the box”, that child will become motivated to start the process of getting back on track.

Tips for creating success for your child

1) Find a mentor to work with your child, someone not from the immediate family, preferably at their office, on Skype or the phone and have the mentor ask the student these pertinent questions:
a) Are you happy with how things are going in your life?
b) Do you see your present way of being as a viable long term strategy?
c) If you could be doing anything with your life, what interests would you wish to take on?

2) The mentor and the student put together a daily routine based on the student’s interests i.e. Meditation; Yoga; Tai Chi; Weight Lifting; Biking; Jogging; Playing an Instrument (or singing); Reading; basically all the things we were told that have no real financial benefit. Start with two -twenty minute routines to be attempted 5 to 6 days a week. Slowly building up to as many routines that the student feels they can comfortably handle. (Five is a good final number) Make a weekly worksheet that divides the tasks into columns with room for the student to write the duration of each daily exercise (0-20). The goal of these exercises it to empower the student, these exercises are self-motivated without help from the family.

3) Bi-weekly meetings discussing progress, looking at existing obstacles and exploring solutions to these obstacles in a non-judgmental way. 

4) During these sessions the mentor asks: 
“If you could do anything at all with your life, without concern of how you would make it happen, what would you choose?”
With this answered (this can take some time) the mentor and the student go about finding ways to put their toes into the pond of these life purpose quests. It could be a 12 week workshop, a college class, a volunteer position or starting a small business. This time is used to help the student to bring his “daily work” training into these new situations and enhance his successful patterns accordingly.

I have heard many young people come to me stating that up until this time in their lives, their home has been their box of safety and joy, which they find wonderful and yet limiting… not a good long term strategy.
With this mentoring system, an important goal is to help these powerful people create the tools they need to feel safe going out into the world succesfully. Creating mini-boxes of safety for them to thrive in. Places where they can learn to be self-empowered. Without exception, students who go through the entire process choose self-empowerment over self-sabotage. They not only succeed but most often become examples of leadership in their chosen vocation.

Help your child find their inspiration and get on track for a successful life.

Young Adults Failing at Life

How many incredibly talented young adults have we known who never seemed to get out of the starting gate  

Or  young adults who start new things brilliantly but never “go the distance”? Basically smart young adults failing at life.

The majority of the clients I work with on a weekly basis are young adults failing at life. They are clever, well spoken, considerate and fun to be around. They also really know how to play any system put in front of them and yet, here they are in my office through Skype, wanting to find a new way. This is a great starting point in their self-growth. At this point, I tell them they have a condition. Their ears practically perk up in alarm. I tell them they have “Norman Jean Syndrome”.

When people reflect on one of the 20th century’s most electric movie stars,

Marilyn Monroe, most focus on all of the things she had. She had fame, money, public adoration, success in the movie business, as well as people who cared for her. Yet each time she would have to leave her trailer to film another scene she would be paralyzed with fear.

She worked hard to be where she was but what she was most admired for was her looks and the way she “sparkled”. To her, these were things that had come easily. Things that come easy are often discounted by us as being without value. When people praise these easily obtained things, we end up feeling like imposters because no real work was done to achieve that praise.

But that praise is addictive, especially to young adults failing at life.

These young adults failing at life are constantly lapping up the easily won praise, shunning the hard work that would have to follow. Going from one project to the next, from one mentor to the next, drinking from the cup of quick praise and then running from the bitter taste of  “going the distance”. This becomes a way of being.
And so it was for Norman Jean, Marilyn Monroe’s real name and probably the person hiding in Marilyn’s trailer.

Norma Jean Syndrome is essentially the feeling many naturally talented people have when they are praised for their facility at doing new things. It feels so good that they end up staying in that “start-up state”. The fear of having to prove themselves and of being an impostor begins to rule their decisions. They end up living their lives in their own version of a trailer; their room, their home or their addictions.
At some point, these people must seek out someone who understands this phenomenon and can give them what they need to rise above the formidable walls of their trailers of safety.

It is the simplest of tasks to begin. 

Start with a daily set of exercises that are generative, something that adds to the quality of your life. It could be meditation, reading inspiring stories, walking, painting, music, sculpting or anything that would enrich your life. I suggest starting with three different daily tasks and working your way to five.

By working on these exercises daily and seeing what obstacles stop you from working on them, you will find ways to carry on. Then you will begin to have control of a part of your life that is there just for you, free from outside feedback. You will have gone through a side wall in that trailer and out to a less threatening world, free of fear.

It is these exercises that will liberate young adults failing at life.

Warning! Be on guard. A million “reasons” why you shouldn’t do them will come to you: “What’s the point?” “I want to be doing my life’s work now!” “This isn’t the real world!”  “What! Futurama’s on?” Your job is to put aside these reasons and do your daily work and slowly over a matter of weeks you will find your power. Within a matter of months, you will find your path and within a year you will begin your success.
Should you end up running away, remember, you can always start again.

No one ever said it would be easy but you will slowly get what you wanted and it will work out.

Interested in mentoring young adults who are failing at life? click here
For people with serious mental health issues, please check click here

Young Adults Wondering why bother?

Have you ever wondered why there are so many young adults wondering why bother? So many young adults have given up. Too many parental promises: “Try this! It is guaranteed to work!” (It doesn’t…again) . No one would be surprised that you have given up hope.

Although there’s a chance that you are here at this site because one of your friends told you about it, the safer bet is that your parents suggested you check it out.
Either way is OK with me.
I have something to share with you.
I have seen for myself with countless clients, that no matter how messed up your life has been, no matter how many “issues” issues you may have had, you can change your life for the better starting right now.
(sounds like one of those detergent commercials on TV, eh?)

Experience has show me that: it’s the people who don’t quite “fit in” who have the best chance of starting new and really making it work, once they find a system that is made just for them. That is when they begin to stop saying why bother.

The problem with a lot of systems is that they are forced upon people, they work for people who are “straight ahead”, but if you are at all a bit ”out there”, those systems may not really speak to you.

So, how does the system work?
The system is fairly simple, in itself, and I will explain in a minute, but what makes it special is what we bring along with it, or really, what we don’t bring along with it.

We don’t bring along your “history”. We don’t bring along your mess ups. I had one parent spend an hour telling me all the things that her kid did wrong. When I finally found a space to speak, I asked the parent “what are the things your child does well?”

The parent was very happy to go onto this entirely new tangent of all the really cool things that her child did. They were awesome things and I knew that I could work with that.
If you have even one thing that speaks to you; you love music; you love animals or little kids; you’re funny; you love the arts; (fill in your thing here); then mentoring young adults can work with you and we can do something great!

So now, back to how the system works 🙂

You pick three goals that you would like to work on.
Feel free to make up your own that make more sense to you but for the moment:
Let’s use one from one of my most recent clients;

Client: Skeeter Peterson
What are three goals you would like to work on:
Stop sucking at school.
Do something about the amount of weed I smoke.
Have my parents yell at me less.

You might find Skeeter’s goal choices a little weird, or they make make complete sense to you. Your choices would be based on you.

Once we’ve made those goal choices, we look at what are the challenges to making those goals work.

Finally, we ask you what would be a first indicator of success. Nothing huge. Nothing magic. Simple first signs of victory. Once you can choose or imagine first sign-posts of success, you no longer will be that young adult wondering “why bother”. You will become a young adult ready to investigate ways to learn, grow and develop as part of a team. Your mentor and you with you in control.

What you find out is, a great mentor doesn’t really care if you mess up working on your goals or not. We care about figuring out why you you met one are all of your goals one day and not the next. If we can figure out what inspires you (it could be the weirdest things that might not make sense to anyone else but you), then you learn how you best work and how to inspire yourself with things that will make sense to you.

So now, back to the first question; why bother?
Why not? 🙂

But seriously, if you tried everything else and you’re not happy with how your life is, you really have nothing to lose. So why not bother. Or just say “bleep it”. Try it and see what happens. No expectations. No pressure. But a chance that this may be the thing for you.

There you have it. It’s a little different. But it really works.
Please feel free to email me any questions you may have.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Rabow 2017 update. I think I should mention that after you have chosen your goals, identified your challenges and picked sign-posts of success, the next part of mentoring young adults is creating a daily routine. “You can only do in your life what you can do in a day”. There are so many reasons why it is hard to get the “good things” into your daily routine. An experienced mentor will know how to let you live your life and still succeed in going towards your goals with a few things each day.