If you read last week’s letter, you’ll know that Sandra Sully recently asked me to contribute to her new book AGENDA.
She sent me a question to answer over email:
What’s your advice for the next generation?
So I sat down and wrote this long, nine-point answer.
Feeling rather proud of myself, I sent it back to Sandra, and waited patiently for her praise….
It came in the form of an email, later that afternoon. Sandra thanked me for my answer before very kindly asking if I could answer all the questions she’d sent through?
Ah, yes. I flipped back through the email chain and saw six other questions sitting there in her original email. There’s my eagle-eyed attention to detail at work! ??
Look, we can’t be good at everything, right?! ?
Anyway, while I did go and re-write my answers (yes, to all q’s this time!), I still wanted to share that original answer with you.
With pre-orders open for my new book for teens, Good Selfie, I thought it was a good time to share.
So, my advice for the next generation?
When I first saw this question, I didn’t want to answer it.
See, teenage Turia was uhhh, how do I say it? Well, she thought she knew everything.
So if someone in their 30’s was offering “advice” – yeah, she would have flat out ignored it.
But, for whatever reason, that stubborn, boy-mad, know-it-all is now in a position where people seem to genuinely want to know her opinion on things. It’s bizarre, I know.
In fact, I even wrote a whole book based on all the questions kids and teens ask me. It’s called Good Selfie, and being the narcissist I am (some things never change!), I think it’s pretty damn good!
So, if someone in their teens is reading this (hey!), and looking for some words of advice, here’s what I have for you. Oh, and if you’re not in your teens? I think it’s still pretty relevant advice.
Every winner was once a beginner.
It’s OK to be totally crap at new things. If you have a goal you want to achieve, or a new skill you want to learn, don’t let your fears of what other people will think get the better of you. I’m not saying “Don’t worry about what other people think” – because that’s crazy. Of course we care what people think! We’re designed to want to fit in with the tribe. It’s human biology.
What I’m saying is – people can think and say whatever, you’ve just gotta do it anyway. We all start somewhere, and you’ve got to be a beginner before you can be anything else.
There are going to be hard times in your life.
I don’t mean to be a downer, but it’s true. Part of living is accepting that there are gonna be things in life that we’d rather not face, and very often, those things will be completely outside our control. And you know what? That’s OK. Because, while we can’t always control what challenges us, we can control how we choose to respond. And while we can never change the past, we can be grateful for what the past teaches us, and use that to shape our future.
You can’t compare your behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlights reel!
Remember – what you see on Instagram isn’t always reality.
Have a quick think about how you’re feeling just before you jump on social media, and then check in with how you feel after. A lot of people say they feel worse. I’m not saying get off social altogether, but if looking at someone’s social media feed makes you feel bad about yourself, unfollow them ASAP. Like, right now. What are you doing? Put this down and go and unfollow them!
It’s something you DO, not something you HAVE.
So, practice gratitude more. It will radically change your life – I promise you.
Choose who you spend time with.
Reflect on how you feel about yourself after you’ve hung out with your friends. Do they help you to feel confident, brave and positive, and like you’re capable of achieving your dreams? Or do they put you down?
If a friend isn’t being supportive, remember that you get to choose who you spend your time with. You don’t need to hang out with people who bring you down.
Seek out kick-ass women, and emulate them
There’s no denying that this is a really important time for women. But while there’s a lot of overwhelming stuff happening right now, and while there is a big gap between where we are and where we want to be, I try to focus my attention on the women who are changing the game right now. If we can do our best to embody the qualities we admire in those women, and bring that into our own lives, that’s how we’ll improve our reality.
Some women I admire, respect and listen to:
Beth Hamilton, Serena Williams, Clementine Ford, Jane Goodall, Stephanie Gilmore, Zoe Foster-Blake, Brené Brown, Michelle Obama.
Read everything. Read stories about people who have overcome great odds, read great fiction – read whatever you like. Just read more.
It’s OK to have bad days.
It’s not realistic to expect that we’re always gonna be super happy. Just as we have good days, we have OK days and we have bad days too. So, I just accept the bad days and think “OK, today isn’t the greatest.That’s alright. Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll probably feel better then.”
And lastly? My final piece of advice is to live life on your terms.
Do what you want. Chase the dreams that matter to YOU. Life’s too short. Do you, and do it big.
That’s my advice. If you loved it, amazing! There’s a bunch more strategies, tools and straight-talking advice for kids and teens inside Good Selfie, if you were so inclined.
If you didn’t love it, well, no harm done! You and teenage Turia can hang out and have a good laugh at me ?
I’d love to know: what would you add to this? What advice would you give a younger generation? Let me know in the comments below.
OK, now, Good Selfie officially goes on sale on April 1, but all pre-orders will begin to be shipped out next Friday! So if you want to get your hands on it a little earlier (thank you!) you can check it out here.
It answers all the q’s teens ask me most and has a bunch of practical exercises, stories and other cool stuff inside. It’s also been beautifully illustrated by Freda Chiu and worked into a dreamy design lather by the team at Evi. O Studio.
I’m so very proud of this book. It’s been a big challenge – my first-time self-publishing which is scary and exciting. But as I always say, you can’t grow inside your comfort zone, so every now and then you’ve gotta get out!
If you or someone you know might like it on their bookshelf, on their bedside table or to use it as a fancy coaster, head here to check it out and purchase.
I hope you love it as much as I do.
With much love,
PS – An enormous, wholehearted, massive THANK YOU to everyone who has supported Good Selfie already. Can’t wait to see what you think! Upload a pic and use #GoodSelfie on Insty and FB so I can see when they start landing in your mailboxes! xx