DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #5

Dear Granddaddy, how do I become successful? Chris B. – an eager to succeed teen.

Dan Blanchard, Teen Leadership, The Storm
Dan Blanchard- bestselling and award-winning speaker, author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Smile more! Yup. Look adults in the eye and smile more at them. Say, “Hi” more often to them. Stop trying to fly under the radar in the adult world. Pausing a moment to take an interest in the adults in your life will help a lot.

Taking an interest in the adults in your life instead of avoiding them will help them take an interest in you, too. Think about this: adults were once teens and teens and thus can understand their problems or situation better than teens are giving them credit for. You know that adults are older and more experienced than teens. Therefore, they know at least a few things that could help teens be more successful and have fewer missteps in life. The really sad thing, though, is that most teens don’t realize this, don’t believe this, or simply don’t care.

Don’t be the average teen who is constantly struggling because he or she sticks his or her head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. Let me put it another way. Don’t be the one that just blindly follows “the crowd”. A crowd that doesn’t really get it.

Be the wise-for-his-or-her-years teen, who feels comfortable in his or her skin, is confident in his or her abilities, and who can communicate effectively. You want to hear something surprising? These success skills just mentioned above automatically become heightened in teens when they interact with positive adults, instead of trying to ignore them, or even worse avoid them.

So in conclusion, Chris, take the time to use the adults in your life as the resource that they truly are. Your journey in becoming more successful will be much easier and much quicker with adults than without them. Now, here’s a first step for you. This adult is telling you to trust him and do what he is offering you here in this advice column. Will you do it? Or will you act like too many of your young peers and ignore it?

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: