Online Chapters from
The Teenager's Guide to the Real World
The complete text of many of the chapters from The Teenager's Guide to the Real World
is available free online. Here is a list of the online chapters:
- Table of Contents
- Chapter Descriptions
A detailed discussion of what the book is about and how it can help.
- Chapter 0: You Get to Design Your Life
You are in a position of incredible power when you ask yourself
questions like, "Who am I?" and "Who do I want to become?" You
are the only person who can answer these questions. You, and only you,
get to choose exactly who you will become in the future. This chapter will show
you the incredible range of options that you have as a teenager.
- Chapter 1: Money Really Matters
Have you ever wondered why adults spend so much time thinking and talking
about money, jobs, taxes, prices and so on?
For any normal adult living in America today, money ranks right
up there next to oxygen. Without money you cannot eat. You have no
place to sleep. You cannot drive. You have no freedom.
It is this simple reality that causes adults
to be so concerned about money. Chapter 1 explains the reality of money and
shows you how much money it takes to live a normal life in America.
- Chapter 2 - Teenagers Lack Experience
Teenagers have not been out in the real world and experienced life as independent people.
That can make things hard because it can skew perceptions or cause you to make decisions
that have bad long-term consequences. This chapter will help you to see and understand
what "lack of experience" means, and how you can correct the situation.
- Chapter 3 - Adults Rule the World
Adults rule the world. I can clearly remember as a teenager being quite mystified about this fact. Why arenít teenagers ruling the world? It's because adults make up 70% of the U.S. poulation while teenagers make up only 10%. Adults also own and operate everything. So what are you going to do about it? If you are going to succeed--in fact, if you are going to accomplish anything at all, whether it be saving the environment or becoming a millionaire--you need to learn how to fit into the adult world. This chapter shows you how.
- Chapter 4 - You Can Ignore Your Peers
Compare teenagers to adults. Who is more successful? Who can accomplish more? Who can do more good for the community and the world? Who will people listen to? The more time you spend talking to your peers, the more you are like them. The more time you spend talking to adults, the more you are like an adult. Adults can accomplish a whole lot more. Adults can actually make things happen. Therefore, logic would indicate that you should be talking to adults if success is your goal. This chapter will show you what your peers are missing and what adults have to offer.
- Chapter 5 - You Must Have a Job to Live Life
Most people miss the fact that you must have a job until they are well into their 20s or 30s. By then it is much more difficult to do anything about it. If you start thinking about it as a teenager, however, you gain a tremendous amount of control over your life. Given that you have to have a job, why not have a fun one? Why not have a job you really enjoy? Why not have a job that pays you $100,000 per year or $1,000,000 per year rather than $20,000? Why not? You WILL have a job. There is no way around it. You might as well make it a good one. This chapter will show you where to start.
- Chapter 6 - Education is One Key to a Good Job
Education is one key to a good job. In todayís job market what you know determines what you earn. The more you know the more you make, especially if what you know is important to some segment of the business world. This chapter shows you things you can do as a teenager to educate yourself in the things you enjoy doing.
- Chapter 7 - Good Jobs Go to Good Employees
You learned about the importance of good jobs in Chapter 1. Good jobs go to good employees. That is a fact of life. What are employers looking for in good employees? This chapter will show you.
- Chapter 8 - Suits Send Signals
Suits are a fact of life. In fact, suits have been a fact of life for quite awhile. As a teenager, you probably have an aversion to suits--a deep dislike that runs right to your core. I know that when I was a teenager I felt that way. I felt like a total geek whenever I had to wear "nice clothes." Yet, I wear a suit as I am writing this. I wear a suit every day. I actually choose to wear a suit and like the fact that I do. What I would like to do here is explain what caused that transformation.
- Chapter 9: Love is THE Fact of Life
Love is a fact of life. For all human beings, and especially
for teenagers, it could be said that love is THE fact of life.
It is one thing that is central to all human existence. You might
have come to this realization already. Simply by looking into your
own mind and noticing how much of your time it spends thinking about
people of the opposite sex, fantasizing about people of the opposite sex,
dreaming about people of the opposite sex, wondering about people of the
opposite sex, feeling depressed about people of the opposite sex and so on,
you get a good idea of how important this topic is in the human realm. This chapter
will show you why love, marriage, sex and babies are so important to
- Chapter 10: Relationships Are Random
In Chapter 9 you learned that love, sex, marriage and babies
are all intertwined. You also learned that love and sex are both firmly
wired into your brain and your anatomy. This explains why love, sex and
marriage are such "big deals."
However, none of it explains why Christina wonít go out with you this weekend,
or why Darren doesnít know you exist. That kind of stuff all falls into the
category of "relationships," and, unfortunately, this part is messy. This chapter
will help you understand the confusing world of relationships.
- Chapter 12: Marriage is Forever
In our society marriage is the structure people use to create a stable
family unit. A man and woman marry with the intention of staying
together for life. This chapter explains
what marriage is about and what it means to be married for life.
- Chapter 13: Teenage Sex is an Option
This chapter helps you see both sides
of the "teenage sex" question and lets you make your own choices.
- Chapter 14 - You Can Be Confident
It turns out that lack of confidence is a terrible thing. It robs you of a tremendous number of opportunities in your life. It wastes time. It causes emotions that hurt and tear you down. In extreme cases it causes people to commit suicide. If you are in the huge army of unconfident teenagers now, I know exactly what you would think if I were to say to you, "You are a good person--be confident!" You would think, "Yeah, thatís fine for you to say, but it doesnít apply to ME. I AM a loser. I AM an idiot. I AM a weenie. I am miserable and I hate it." Or maybe you are less extreme than that and are merely mildly disgusted with yourself at times. What I would like to do in this chapter is try to show you a different way to look at the world.
- Chapter 18: Virtue Triumphs Over Evil
This chapter explains "right" and "wrong" and shows
you how to build a moral framework for your actions.
This is the most important chapter in the book.
- Chapter 22 - You Can Create a High Level Vision
You can create a high-level vision of any space that you occupy. This vision allows you to evaluate yourself as well as those around you. It allows you to analyze and, in many cases, truly understand the problems you face. It allows you to become much more strategic in your thinking. Once you realize that it is possible, you can practice this skill and use it to accomplish things both great and mundane. This chapter shows you how.
- Chapter 35: Laws, Lawyers and Police
The most frustrating things in the world to many teenagers are
all the rules, laws and restrictions that seem to impose limits
on everybody. A teenager is faced with a wide variety of limitations.
This chapter explains where they all come from and why they are important.
- Chapter 37 - Life is Short
Life is short. That is a fact of life. It is impossible to understand this simple fact as a teenager, however. In this chapter you will gain some perspective on the topic.
- Chapter 41 - Material Things Do Not Bring Happiness
Material things do not necessarily bring you happiness. That is a fact of life. It is a hard fact to understand sometimes, especially in a society that tries very hard to teach you otherwise. It is very common to get into a mode where you think, "If only I had object X my life would be perfect and I would be happy." Then you get object X and a week later you aren't happy at all. This chapter shows you some other ways to look at life.
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