Antonela TedFan

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What can you suggest to the teenage world, based on your mistakes and experience?

I am a 17 year old with English as a second language. Recently, I have been asking questions to myself, questions that are making me think ahead in the future. I have been trying to answer these questions, that are mostly related with choosing colleges, finding jobs, the purpose of my life and goals, what motivates me and what my beliefs are. I also believe that these might be questions that every teen asks, but what I really want to know, is you sharing an experience when you were a teenager, and examples of "how did you find what you stand for", without doubts and questions about life, that are a result of the lack of experience.

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    Jun 6 2012: The fact that you ask these questions tells me that you are a bright and sensitive person. I would counsel you to take the time to figure out your own best strengths, that is, when do you feel at your best? Is it in the arts, sciences, human relations? All of the above?

    Take your time, because at your age the whole world is full of wonders and your interests may change from time to time. Success is measured in "units of happiness," not in units of wealth. Follow your passion, because that is where you will do your best, and when you do your best is when you are the happiest.

    This is also your best chance to bring happiness to others in your life. Most people would rather seek the company of someone who is passionate about something, and pursues those dreams with energy and determination, than in the company of someone who may be very rich but is also bitter and dull.

    In my formative years I learned the most important lesson of my life, which was "persistence". Life is full of surprises, ups and downs. Success has little to do with intelligence, because there will always be many things happening that at the time may seem to be outside of your control. Persistence, on the other hand, is what brings you back up, and persistence is always under your control.

    Once you decide which way to go, remember that people will always make way for someone who knows where he's going! Your own self-confidence will get you there, assuming of course that you are consistent, determined, and smart enough to engage in incremental, methodical learning.

    It would be nice to know something more about you. Perhaps you'd care to do a follow-up post and tell us more about yourself. You asked a great question!
  • Jun 6 2012: Ted I think you should be proud of the fact that as a 17 year old you are on TED, asking yourself the big questions, and are humble enough to seek the guidance of others. All of the questions you asked evolve for everybody. When I was seventeen I didn't have much on my mind other than my girlfriend, what my parents thought of me, and where I was going to play collegiate baseball. I have to say I think you are already on the right path. The answers you seek will emerge through time. One thing i would advise is never put all your eggs in one basket and never give up on yourself. Both of those tips are extremely cliche, but that doesn't cheapen their importance. Wether you know it or not the answers you seek are already there waiting to become conscious. Best of luck to you dude
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      Jun 7 2012: That was one of the best advice ever.
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      Jun 7 2012: thanks bro:P But I am a girl. It's just that I put Ted Fan as a name. Thanks for the advice.
      • Jun 8 2012: Sorry Antonella, I just glanced at the name rather quickly when I was responding.
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    Jun 8 2012: Trust yourself. Be flexible but value your base of knowledge and experience. Listen to what others say but trust yourself! It is so easy for a teenagers best ideas to be tainted by the people around them! Trust yourself for you are your own scientist!
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    Jun 8 2012: The elders have already said much valuable. I'm considering their advices for myself also because questions of life do seem to occur at any stage of life.

    I'll quote from a Korean Drama that i watched recently. It's called "Lady Castle" and the quote is
    "Live the way you want, doing what you want. That's ultimate happiness."

    To add a bit more: do not regret in doing what you want but open up your arms and learn. Most importantly, it's better not to regret about regretting.

    Also, during my teenage i learned to observe my thoughts since i learned that mind is the forerunner of our actions. Imagine for, instance, that you are going for a classroom presentation. You probably feel excited or whatever. That has something to do with how your mind is thinking of so many things. These thoughts again may vary from individual to individual depending on their diverse backgrounds. Think of your situation and observe how one thought is arising after another. Observe the possible causes for a thought., its intensity and how it is affecting your situation. This is of course hard but it helped me to understand the inter-relatedness of life. We influence life and life, with its diverse forms, influences us. When you know your thoughts well, you can forgive and accept yourself and the world. What then? You are open to experiences! :D

    Best Wishes!
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    Jun 7 2012: Dear Ted,
    You ask..."how did you find what you stand for"? By asking questions! I will never stop asking questions with the curiosity of a child and unconditional love in my heart. Even when I am taking my last breath on this earth school, I will still be open to new information:>)

    I have always enjoyed percieving life as an adventure, and myself as an observer. Although I have been very actively engaged in the life journey, I have also been an observer...asking questions...taking in information...sifting through ALL information in order to experience my truth, and discover how I want to live the life adventure.

    If we see life as an adventurous exploration, there are no mistakes...there are only opportunities to learn, grow and evolve:>) We can learn from our experiences that we may do things differently next time, and in my perception, it's not a "mistake" if we learn something from the experience.
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      Jun 7 2012: Thank you ma'am. I really like your advice! Wish you the best!
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    Jun 6 2012: You are being raised by a generation which has an abysmal record for raising responsible, capable offspring. One remedy for this inconvenient truth is to study a more successful generation. Take a look at how parents in the 1940's and 50's raised their children. Look for social and moral differences between parents born in the 1920's and parents born in the 1940's. Be open-minded as you look back in time. Don't pre-judge the previous generations. Adopt value wherever you find it.
  • Jun 6 2012: mmm if I could go back and make the choice again or if I where to advise someone in your position I would do the following:

    Make a list of all your hobbies and interests then find one or two jobs that fit within that interest.

    Just having that should give you a better idea but if you really want to know how it is to do that job you'll have to ask.

    You could try approaching a few companies that are know for jobs in the fields you're interested in and ask them if you could tag along with someone for a day.

    This will show initiative and true interest in a job and I think most companies will be happy to help. You will probably end up with a few business cards and a friendly request to contact them once you finish your education.

    But above all, don't give up on your dreams. Regardless of what everyone says follow your heart and do something you truly enjoy.
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    Jun 6 2012: Never underestimate yourself. I had this mistake.
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    Jul 5 2012: No matter how big you think the teenage world is, the real world is bigger; life is not such an endless stretch of time that you think it is (before you know it you are having grandchildren) ;and the most trivial things might seem like the life-and-death issues.

    And not forgetting this: there are some insights that can only come with experience. So, remember that you are not smarter than elders or your teachers, no matter what you think.

    But the word of the elderly folks usually seem ridiclous to a teenager. I agree with Chris Kelly. Make your own mistakes so that you can advice young folks sometimes in future.

    As long as it is not one of those foolish mistakes that could rob you of health and well-being.
    • Jul 5 2012: I was going to say something like "the real world is bigger... things important now become trivial later."
      Like a very young child: explore with abandon, mistakes do not damage the ego, help others, dance.
      Be kind to your knees, and your lungs, and your epiglottis - you'll miss them when they're gone!
      Stand-up for yourself directly, immediately & appropriately. Personally we can grow or we can shrivel.
      "Eat real food, not products." ~Marion Nestle (And be aware that this line is being blurred.)
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    Jun 22 2012: Don't take life too seriously, because sooner or later, it's all going to pass.
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    Jun 14 2012: Antonela,

    I would like to answer the question "How did you find what you stand for?"

    First, i was fortunate to have parents that provided me with good base values. They also taught me the value of respecting myself and others. I found this particularly valuable because having respect for yourself allows you to share opinions and respect the opinions of others. The fact you asked such a question here demonstrates you are open to others opinions, just remember to respect your own.

    I found that reading philosophies from various cultures, debating them with others who enjoy philosophical debate, and then adapting others' ideas with my cores values was of immense importance. Surround yourself with people who enjoy intellectual exchange and are open to new ideas.

    The best advice, embrace every one and every thing that challenges you and brings you joy.
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    Jun 8 2012: Hello TedFan,

    Learning about yourself only comes with time and experience - "you can't put an old head on young shoulders" as the saying goes. However, there are some good tips about life that can be easity taken on by those who wish to learn from others experience. Many of the posts give good advice. Mine aren't so deep, but I hope you like them...

    1) Learn to cook real food - great for your health, pocket and moral - also good for impressing that special person you've got your eye on!
    2) Don't bother with a gym pass - take daily walks in the park to reconnect with nature, breath fresh air and relax.
    3) Never believe a partner who hits you and then says' "I'm sorry, I love you! I'll never hit you again - I'll change" ALL LIES. Leave them.
    4) Always have a hobby.
    5) In you career, always have more than one string to your bow.
    6) Don't get into debt - only buy what you can afford. Debt makes you a slave - enduces worry - obligates you to the will of your creditor.
    7) If you get an opportunity to travel - take it.
    8) Volunteer in your community doing something totally different from your paid work.
    9) Always vote - hold your elected representative to account.
    10) Use good manners - please, thank-you, excuse me.... good manners and a smile cost nothing but are priceless.
  • Jun 8 2012: That your views and values are going to change even if they don't seem like they will right now. Many things that seem important at this moment will be trivial later. So be careful when you make decisions that could affect you for a lifetime.
  • MR T

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    Jun 6 2012: Turn up to college, go to a good university if your academic in preference.

    Put yourself out of your comfort zone.

    Find a job doing what you like to do in your spare time.
  • Jun 6 2012: I found what I stand for when I was just a bit older than you. I thought a great deal about life and morality. Why am I on this planet? What should I be doing? The process was extremely difficult and painful. In the end, I based my morality on a simple observation that I consider to be extremely obvious: There is just too much pain in this world. So I try to minimize pain. Recently, I like William McDonough's idea: "How do we love all the children of all species for all time?".

    Be patient with yourself. We now know that people of your age are still growing your brains. You are very much a work in progress, and you seem to be doing the work very well.
  • Jul 5 2012: Don't cave to peer pressure, be who are you. Not who you think you should be or how you want others to be.
  • Jul 5 2012: What appears cool now will look dumb 5 years from now so dont bend to peer pressure
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    Jul 3 2012: Make sure you work hard enough not to regret it later... As in, make sure your working as hard as you'll need in the future.
  • Jun 7 2012: Learn freom others. As someone else wrote experience is a hard teacher.