Or if you looked in the mirror and liked the person staring back at you? What if you could improve your relationships and spend time with people who share and support your interests? Your spark includes the best parts of yourself that you can use to fulfill your dreams, love who you are, and take your life in the direction that makes you the most happy. That''s what igniting your spark is all about: You don''t have to be an adult or out of school to start boosting your self-identity.
You can do it right now. Your spark is not what your parents want you to do, or what will look good on your school transcripts, or even about what your friends are doing. Igniting your spark is about connecting you to the things that make you want to jump out of bed in the morning.
All you need is curiosity and the willingness to try something new. Whether you are interested in finding a new hobby, making new friends, or feeling better about how you look--you are in control of your life''s direction. Start looking for opportunities to make positive changes in your life--we''ll discuss the whens, whys, and hows in this book--and get ready to remove any barriers standing in your way. This is your journey! Anywhere High School Morgan and Drew are best friends and total opposites.
Morgan doesn''t mind standing out from the crowd with her hair dyed a different color every week; Drew likes to blend in and go unnoticed. While Morgan finds a way to do the activities she likes, Drew never quite gets around to pursuing a hobby. He''s afraid of missing out on a social activity if he commits to something new. I''ve got that race tomorrow morning with my dad, and then I''ve got band practice," Morgan says.
He''s a jerk to you most of the time," Morgan says. There''s some pretty cool kids who get together at Murphy''s Coffee Shop on Friday nights to draw anime," Morgan says. I''m afraid if I stop showing up to parties I''ll no longer be invited. My greatest wishes were to fit in, have some sort of talent, and feel good about how I looked.
I spent so much time trying to blend in that I forgot who I really was, and I stopped asking myself what I wanted out of life. I always loved to write. It started with poems and stories no one would ever see. In class I doodled and wrote ideas in the margins of my notebooks.
At home I pretended to do my homework while documenting my entire day in my journal. I wrote about problems with friends, my insecurities, and dreams for my future. And then life got in the way and I stopped writing.
After college I didn''t even consider looking for a job where I could write. I was living in Kansas and thought to be a writer you had to be living in New York City working for a magazine publisher. I didn''t know how many different companies utilize writers for things like: The expectations were for me to go out and find a job where I could earn enough money to be self-sufficient. No one told me I could earn a living doing something I actually enjoyed. I went out and got your basic entry-level job and spent all of my free time with friends.
It took many years, several jobs, and having a couple of kids for me to realize how much I missed putting pen to paper. So, I started writing.
And then I found a local writing group, which introduced me to new writing techniques. And I noticed how great it made me feel, which caused me to start believing in myself, and I started developing friendships with other writers, who helped me find opportunities to publish, which made me excited to sit down and write every day. And my life made a radical shift, and my spark was ignited.
It took me more than twenty years to get back to my passion. You''re never too young to create your own identity and pursue your dreams. Once you embrace who you are, all kinds of doors will start to open for you. Things will begin to fall into place. When I started doing what I loved, new opportunities began to present themselves to me.
Once I put the word out "this is who I am," people began to approach me about projects, or introduce me to others with the same passion. It will happen for you too. All you need to do is take the first step. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Have Fun Stop wasting time doing things you don''t enjoy. If you don''t like sports, don''t try out for the basketball team.
Sign up for an art class instead. This is your time to try all kinds of new things. There are no right or wrong activities if you''re doing something you enjoy. Don''t be afraid to look outside of your school''s offerings during your search.
Your new hobby may lead you toward your future career. Love Who You Are Look in the mirror and love what you see. Stop obsessing over your flaws. Very few people look like supermodels or professional athletes. Enhancing your best features and embracing your uniqueness can be a lot of fun. You may have to experiment with different clothing styles and how you want to present yourself, but you''ll feel great when your outside appearance matches the type of person you are on the inside.
Doing something without passion. I don''t really care what I do as long as I''m good at it. Find Great Friends Once you know who you are and feel good about yourself, you''ll start seeking out people who support your dreams.
Your friendships will improve. Communication at home will get better. You''ll find yourself gravitating to people who have similar interests and beliefs. Think how great it would feel to not worry about what other people think. True friends will love and respect you for who you are. Create your own inner fandom.
I like who I am. As you travel through this book, you will discover all sorts of paths you can take toward forming your own identity. Various experts will offer you their advice. You will take self-discovery quizzes and be given exploratory exercises. This will help you assess who you are and identify who you want to be. You will read interviews from people of all ages doing amazing things. You''ll hear from a magician, a gymnast, an entrepreneur, a writer, and many more.
They have very different dreams, but they all share a similar message. Knowing who they are and loving what they do has changed their lives. It can change your life too. Everyone needs a healthy dose of self-confidence to pursue their dreams. You need to be open to making changes and taking risks in order to discover who you are. If you feel good about yourself, you''ll have an easier time making friends, handling problems, and avoiding peer pressure. If you feel bad about yourself, it''s easy to become critical and to make bad decisions.
Before you can ignite your spark, you need to think about what''s holding you back. Here''s a short quiz to get you thinking. Answer true or false for each of the following questions.
I would rather be myself than change who I am to fit in. True or False 2. I set goals for myself and then set out to achieve them. True or False 3. When I look in the mirror, I like what I see. True or False 4. I have no problem standing up for what I believe in. True or False 5. I''m my biggest cheerleader. True or False 6. I''m comfortable around new people. True or False 7. I try new activities even if my friends don''t participate.