Every boy, in growing up, needs to hear words of encouragement
as well as love from caring people in his life. I know this well
because I lost my own father when I was still a boy, and I missed
hearing from him the words of guidance and love that would have
made my own journey into manhood easier. That is why I wrote the
book, 100 Things Guys Need to Know, which is published by
Free Spirit Publishing.
A book of encouraging words to help boys as they make their way
through life, $13.95
Below are a few excerpts from the book which you can
learn more about at www.freespirit.com.
For more words of encouragement, see Lunch Box Letters: Writing Notes of Love and Encouragement to Your Children and Laptop Letters: Sending Wise & Loving Messages to Young People in Your Life.
This book can also be ordered directly from the publisher, Free
Spirit Publishing, at www.freespirit.com,
or by calling Free Spirit's toll-free number: 1-800-735-7323; also
available at www.barnesandnoble.com
Order now from Amazon.com
There'll Be Some Ups and Downs
When I was young, I had a lot of the same worries that guys
like you do. Sometimes it even felt like I didn't have any say in
what was important to me. Instead, it seemed that adults made all
the decisions and set too many rules about what I could or couldn't
do. My dream was to someday work in an office on the top floor of
a skyscraper and be in charge of something. I imagined I'd be a
big success and make important decisions - all of them right - and
that would make me powerful.
I later realized that power isn't about having a big office. It's really about the actions, even small ones, that each of us
can take to make a positive difference in our lives and in those
of others. What's one thing you can do today to make yourself feel
good? Maybe it's hanging out with a buddy or talking something through
with your dad.
Now think of something you can do to help someone else. This can
be as simple as making dinner for your mom after she's had a long
day. Or comforting a friend who is dealing with a big problem. Helping
others out, showing that you care for them, will make you feel good,
too. The point is that you actually have a lot of control over what
happens around you. Your power is in what you do - for others and
* * *
Believe In Yourself
Even the strongest, most confident guys have these days.
You wake up in the morning and remember all the things that haven't
been going right. Maybe you're having trouble with math. And your
best friend's mad at you. And you have a huge project to finish
before school break. It's not a good day and you're not feeling
on top of your game. Time to pull the covers up and go back to bed
right? WRONG! The best way to get your confidence back is to stay
in the game. Try remembering the good things about your life. Not
everything is going to pieces. And things you're upset about are
almost never as bad as they seem. You're smart enough to take on
any problem and strong enough to bounce back from any setback. Having
a positive attitude is the first step for taking on tough days.
TAKE ACTION: Keep a list of the good things about your life and
your accomplishments in your wallet that you can refer to when things
don't look bright. They'll help you overcome the darkness you feel.
* * *
Just think for a moment about this. There's never has been
- and never will be - anyone on earth exactly like you. Just as
nobody else has your thumbprint, no one on the planet has your one-of-a-kind
mind, personality, or imagination. You bring something to the world
that nobody else can. Remembering this will help when the confusing
parts of life sneak up on you, or when you feel pressure to be something
TAKE ACTION: Make a list of all the things that make you you. Are
you kind? A good drummer? A cartoonist? Smart, friendly, confident?
An athlete? A good friend? Someone who knows how to tell a story
or joke that makes everyone crack up? Are you passionate about the
things you believe in? Try to come up with at least 10 things that
help define who you are. Doing so is a way of taking stock of your
* * *