During today’s check-in to Yahoo! Finance I came across a less than inspiring article for the young people in our society.
The article: Teenagers are losing confidence in the American Dream.
Let’s be clear. There are 3 primary sources of information that have caused “some” of our teenagers to think this way:
- The media (the above mentioned article, for example)
- Their teachers (grade school and/or college)
- Their parents
I say “some” of our teenagers think this way, as mine certainly do NOT 🙂
In fact, I published an article several months ago covering the topic of : What are we teaching our children?
It seems we are teaching them things like:
- The government needs to fix this or that so that our young people will have a fair shot in life.
- Since you aren’t already among the upwardly mobile you’ll never make it.
- Because we cannot afford an expensive college for you to obtain a 4 year degree you will be among the have-nots.
- Because the minimum wage is so low you’ll never be able to afford to live on your own.
ALL of the above is misinformation and negative thinking.
Let’s go back in time, for a moment: to the Great Depression. The country was in a bad place economically and (worse) mentally.
Did you know that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, put together a National Recovery Team. Among other things, this team was tasked with inspiring public confidence by aligning all sources of information that shape public opinion (i.e., media, government, churches, etc.) to share a message of hope.
One of the key members of this team was Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich. Among his contributions is said to be one of the president’s most famous lines:
We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
It seems that there is an awful lot of messaging today, in the mainstream media and elsewhere, promoting economic fear.
On the other hand, there are also sources providing messages of hope – if we choose to listen! For example, the quote I just received from My Daily Insights was:
Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs; the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.
This is empowering guidance that our young people would do well to hear. And, it would help EVERYONE if this message was reinforced by the media, teachers and parents.
Now, let’s get back to debunking the misinformation and negative thinking, shared above.
Here are some questions for teens and their parents:
- Does each teenager have a brain? Yes, of course.
- Are the teens fully applying themselves to extract as much value as possible from the public school system? Doing so ensures that we don’t have to pay for a “re-take” of certain pre-requisite subjects while in college and can also qualify for scholarships to lower the overall costs.
- Is there a Community College nearby? They provide quality education at a fraction of the cost AND the student can often attend while living at home.
- Parents: can you afford to pay the costs associated with Community College, for your student? If not, can you co-sign for your student’s loans?
- Are there Help Wanted signs that you (teenager) are ignoring? Because, when you aren’t in school or studying, you can be working to pay your own living expenses as well as continuously knocking down those student loans that you may have had to take out.
You’ll note that:
- The government has NOTHING to do with ANY of the above. It is ALL personal choice.
- We ALL “should” have to start at the very bottom, regardless of the economic mobility of our parents.
- We do NOT need an “expensive” 4 year degree to make it. A quality education can be obtained via numerous means at a reasonable cost. In fact, check this article out: 9 Highest Paying Jobs With A 2 Year Degree.
- The minimum wage is ONLY the starting point for workers in the American society. We are NOT called to stay there. That is, if you want to earn more than minimum wage then you must make yourself worth more! Don’t wait for the government to raise your pay (minimum wage); set your own pay by the quality and quantity of service you render to society!
How does one go about doing so? That is, make oneself worth more to enable the climb of our great country’s socio-economic pyramid? Simple: scour this site, as it is full of ways to do so, starting with my own bootcamp experience. If you do so, you’ll be off to a great start.
And, finally…A message of hope that I just came across: The Single Most Effective Way To Get Rich. You’ll note that it is NOT a get rich scheme. It is the time-proven process of investing (just a little every day)…
You see, if we are to get where we want to be we must focus on that desired end-state, continuously learn and take SIMPLE pragmatic steps each day to get there.
In closing, the American Dream is alive and well for those who are willing to go for it, vs. looking for the excuses not to.
All the best!
Another great article, Craig! Keep up the great work.