Teens Designing Life
Welcome to HighPrep, a community dedicated to providing teenagers with knowledge and skills to become the architects of their own lives. We enable teens who want to design who they will become; to take responsibility for themselves; to immediately make progress toward their goals; and achieve happiness and a sense of direction much earlier in life than most.
My name is Ed Clarke, and I am passionate about helping teenagers overcome the frustration of feeling like they are not in control of their lives. I have seen my teens and their friends needlessly struggle with hangups, apathy and conflict when they could be happy, focused and passionate.
This is about you!
If you are a teenager, our online community makes it possible for you to learn skills taught by extraordinary parents and elite prep schools to become the architect of your life. I first realized that some teens learn important life skills earlier than their peers during a chance meeting with a high school senior at Utah ski resort restaurant.
My family and I had just sat down at a crowded ski resort dining table when Zac introduced himself and engaged each of us in interesting conversation. Initially, I thought he must work for the resort (doing a remarkable job). As he shared a bit of his history with us, I realized his charisma, drive and sense of purpose were genuine clues to the remarkable person he had become. Zac’s story didn’t sound much different than many high school kids’, but he had somehow put together the academic accomplishments to gain admission to Cornell, found self-confidence through participating in extracurricular activities, and had developed a clear plan for what he wanted to accomplish. This scenario may sound rather ordinary, but experiencing this 17-yr-old warmly engaging a family whose ages spanned 8 to 49 to convey his sense of purpose, convinced me he would achieve everything he hoped for, and made me wonder how he put it all together.
Such competent enthusiasm doesn’t happen automatically for most kids, and it didn’t happen automatically for Zac.
What’s the difference?
When Zac’s father joined us, I asked him how his son had become so purposeful and focussed. He told me his son’s success was due largely to a neighbor who is a scientist, and a friend two years older than Zac. Both became mentors who convinced Zac he could determine exactly who he would become—then showed him how to go about it. As a result, Zac not only achieved very lofty goals, but he was much happier during the process. In a different scenario, Zac could have missed out on their mentorship, and become a completely different person.
There is no reason teens who don’t stumble upon spectacular mentors should miss out on developing a growth mentality, and acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to become exactly who they want to become.
Crushing The Status Quo
Our society has built an industrial schooling model to process teens who have no plans toward industrial jobs or admission to a college “you can get into”. If you go to school each day waiting to see what’s in store for you, you are trading your creativity, enthusiasm, restlessness, energy, risk-tollerance, defiance, individualism and inquisitive spirit for compliance and information acquisition. Simply following along in school is not the recipe for discovering or accomplishing what makes you happy. It’s also risky! Imagine studying what others prescribe during middle and high school, going to college, then graduating to discover you don’t really like the profession for which you’ve prepared.
Study hard for a long time. Then, one day you can begin enjoying life. That’s just too much delayed gratification!
Does this sound familiar? And very distant?
I know what it’s like to struggle with parents for independence; I know how it feels to be stuck in school for seven hours a day being told what, when and how to do everything. I understand feeling like I have so much to offer, but being stuck in the mundane. I also know how the elation of taking charge and living life the way I want to.
I believe there is a better way… For you to take charge of your life; to acquire the knowledge and skills you need to design the person you want to become.
Avoid Going with the Flow
It wasn’t long ago that I felt stuck in a business that prescribed exactly how I should work, when I should work and what I should earn—there was very little I could do to change how the system worked. This business was the culmination of 19 years of education, and 22 years in the US Air Force doing what other people thought was important. This is the same industrial model traditional schools are built upon: get good grades, do as you’re told, keep out of trouble, follow the rules and you’ll get a decent job where you can keep doing exactly as you’re told.
There are three big problems with this model. 1) It takes far too long to find out if you’re going to like what’s at the end of the plan. 2) You spend all of your effort trying to please others so they will choose you for something better (clubs, colleges, jobs, etc.). 3) Every day you spend learning to follow some other person’s rules, you miss out on enjoying yourself while creating something extraordinary and meaningful to you.
Tomorrow’s exciting careers will not be filled with people who simply follow the rules, and avoid rocking the boat. They will be created by people comfortable taking risks, boldly presenting themselves and their ideas, and creating exciting new products and services. Right now, we are creating programs to lead you step-by-step through the process of you designing yourself.
You Deserve More
Our community is all about helping you take control of your life so you can achieve goals important to you in a way that’s immediately enjoyable and rewarding.
Begin now! — You should not postpone enjoying life for when you are an adult.
Use your power — You have great power to control your life when you have a plan and engage people who support you.
Learn for you — Learning should be fun, rewarding, and get you what you want ASAP.
Take Charge — Taking charge fires your internal motivation & makes life interesting and rewarding.
Get a habit — The compounding benefits of focussed effort add up to great achievements.
Persuade — Being persuasive allows you to enlist the support of others to accelerate your progress.
Relate — Confidently improve your relationships with friends, parents, teachers and opposite sex to achieve authentic closeness and enlist their support in your success.
Network — Generously help friends connect with friends to build a network of people all working to help one another succeed.
Matter — Make your dent in the universe by developing a leadership style, finding a passion to fuel your growth, understanding the world around you, and beginning to accomplishing great things.
How To Get Started
The process isn’t always easy—but the feeling of independence as you work for your own benefit makes life infinitely more satisfying. You’ll have to take risks, move out of your comfort zone, attempt things you never would have imagined you could accomplish, fail (frequently) toward success. You will gain extraordinary confidence, poise and a sense of direction as you take charge of your real education.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of designing yourself instead of occupying a niche you may have fallen into by default, join us by entering your name and email address in the Subscribe box at the top of the page so we can send you relevant stories and tips every week or so. If you’re ready to get started, click the Register Now! button to gain access to our free content library with tips and techniques on critical, relevant issues and subscription programs, and our exciting member programs.