High school is NO JOKE. If you are in or about to enter high school this year, this video is for YOU. (And if not, please share this with a high schooler!) This is a virtual letter to high school me (sharing EVERYTHING I wish I knew, or had been told in high school). Why? Because, quite frankly you're worth it. And I'm so proud of how far you've already come.
You can hear my full bullying story here.
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70% of people do not have a single person that they can call in the middle of a crisis. Let's face it, we are relationally broke. And my mission is to make that percentage zero. But how? By building relational wealth, the embodiment of all your relationships with yourself with others, and experiences that enrich your life. I promise you, this podcast will help you build wealth in every way that money cannot. And it all starts by being accidentally intentional. Let's begin. Hey, everyone, and welcome back to another accidentally intentional podcast episode. Now, I know that at the time of this release, school is starting backup for the majority of the country. And because of that, I actually wanted to do a special episode on a letter to high school. Me. But there's gonna be a little bit of a different twist on this, because I'm not actually writing a letter, as much as sharing my thoughts as if I'm looking you, a high schooler, in the eyes right now, let alone a high school version of me. Because I want this to be completely candid, and authentic, and just kind of go wherever my mind is telling me to lean into on this episode. But before I get any further, I'm actually when I turn off the camera, I'm sure that there's gonna be things that I forgot to say. And right afterwards, I really wish I would have said this. And so if you are watching this on YouTube, you're listening on audio, you can head to YouTube afterwards. Because as I keep having these thoughts about what I wish, I could tell High School version of me, I'm going to write more of those thoughts in the comments of this video. And if you are watching this video, and you're not in high school, but you know a high schooler, please add to the comment section, something that you wish you could say to high schooler today, or the high school version of yourself. And so, honestly, the genesis of this episode came because a couple years ago, someone asked me this very unique question. We often get asked, Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Or what would you say to yourself in 10 years, but this question was framed completely differently? And the question was, what would you in 10 years, say to you, right now. And I thought that was really powerful. It was so powerful, that actually started crying, being moved about, what do I look like in the future? Like, what am I actually moving towards and doing in life to get me to be where I want to be in 10 years, and is 10 years from now me proud of right now. Me. And so gave me this idea of I really want to speak to high school version of me. And not just high school version of me, high schooler that is living in one of the most chaotic times in history. And so, to the high schoolers watching this video, let's begin. First off, I want to say that I am so proud of you. Now, you might have heard that and said, a cue that I wrote, you don't even know me stop. I don't have to know you to know that. You have to make more decisions than any other generation in history on a daily if not hourly basis, you have to decide things like, how do I want to show up today? Who do I want to be today? What websites do I want to be on? Or not on today? Where do I want to put my time? What social media do I want to partake in? Who should I talk to who is safe? Who is not safe? What can I tell my parents, you know, there's so many questions that you actually have to wrestle with, and struggle through. And I want to say that I'm proud of you. Because you're here, and you're doing it. And it's not easy. But look at you go look at what you're doing. Look at how you're making decisions and navigating this very complex, messy, crazy world that you're in. You know, high school was actually a very beautiful and also very traumatic time in my life because I was bullied. And not just for a few days or a few weeks, I was bullied for 18 months straight. Okay. And there were times when I quite frankly wanted to die. I couldn't imagine life getting any worse than where I was in that moment and the names that I was being called in the amount of people that We're coming for me of sorts. And I honestly actually share this entire story. In an earlier podcast episode, you can click the link up here, if you're watching on YouTube, or in the description below, if you're listening on the podcast, it was traumatic, because I was a shell of myself. I can get in front of a camera now and tell you this whole story, because of what I learned in who I became through it, not out of it, but through it. And I remember in high school that I actually had zero confidence, like this whole bullying experience, took stripped all of my competence away from me, I would look and drill my eyes into the floor. As I was walking from class to class in the hallways, I couldn't make eye contact with anyone. It actually got so bad that I would eat lunch with this group of people that wasn't really friends. It was just like, I guess we're in band together. So can I just sit with you. So I feel like I'm part of something. And I actually would wait until everyone left the cafeteria before I dumped my lunch tray because I was so afraid of standing up. And someone seeing me and someone saying something about me when I was dumping my lunch tray. So this was a crazy part of my life. And stats tell me that a very large percentage of people are bullied. So you could be relating to this right now. Because you're saying you have no idea what I'm going through, I know that what is in front of you right now is not the end of your story. It's not, it's not hope, is on the way, you just have to go one more day, and save yourself one more day. Let's go one more day. Because guess what the sun will pick through because you've gotten through every single thing so far in life, you actually have 100% track record of getting through things that have already happened. And so what seems like it could be the end of the world or the end of your world right now. I promise you, it's going to be okay. It's going to be okay. There's a lot of pressure that is put on you in high school because it's preparing you for your future, right. And college being a big part of that though, I know that right now, people don't see college the same way. But what I want to tell you is this, the major that you pursue in college may actually have nothing to do with the career that you end up taking in the future. And that's also okay. It's okay. And the majority of people, and I need to look up the statistics, but almost everyone I know, is not in the career. That was the same path they were going on once in college. So don't put the crazy pressure of yourself of like, this is what I'm going to do for the next 50 years of my life. Nobody said that. In fact, people stay in a career now for an average of I think three years, and then bounce and then jump to another one something that maybe aligns more with their passions, etc. And so I just want you to take that burden off yourself and find the freedom of knowing that. What are you passionate about right now? pursue that. And everything's gonna work out. There's this new study that came out that said that youth with few friends can form as in, do whatever they can to fit in to stay in a friend's good graces. I find this not surprising. Maybe your high school that listening to this right now? And you're like, yeah, yeah, because if I go outside of a social norm, yeah, I'll get accosted. You'll have no idea. I will be chopped liver socially. 10 years from now. You may not talk to 95% of these people. If not even higher than that. I wish someone had told me that in high school. That all the pressure I put on my Self to try and fit in and just be like other people to fly under the radar was not worth it being different, being unique, having your own passions and, and a collect eclectic taste in whether it's music or fashion or something like that. That's awesome. And your peers may not think it's awesome now. But they'll remember 10 years from now, how awesome it was that you actually refuse to bow down to social norms, and peer pressure. I wish someone had told me that how much more freedom I would have felt back in high school. As of the time of recording this, Tik Tok and Snapchat are two of the biggest social media platforms used by high schoolers. And I also know that there's a trend that's going on right now where high schoolers are getting so overwhelmed and inundated with content, that they're actually opting for a flip phone that has no internet instead, if you're one of those people, or are on the fence about doing that, man, I commend you, that's incredible. Because your mental health is worth that. And I say your mental health is worth that because I know that the suicide rates have increased exponentially for high schoolers. And I can't say this without crying because whatever you're feeling that makes you think you're not worthy, or you're a burden to other people. It's not true. It's not true at all. You are worthy of incredible relationships, friendships, an exhilarating life, full of joy, and laughter, you're worth it. And you might want to shout back at me right now and say, Oh, I'm not worthy. If you knew what I'm dealing with, or where I come from, this isn't something you just get, and that you're worthy of whatever is trying to hold you back and hold you down or lie to you, that you are worth less. Please let me tell you the truth. You're worth it. You're worth all of the incredible parts, that life brings. joy, laughter, peace, rich relationships. You and it's worth holding on. for that. You're going to get through this the pain that you feel. You're not the only one on Earth with that pain. And I know that you think you are, because we don't talk about it. But you can get through this. You don't have to be stronger than anybody else. Because quite honestly, everyone is insecure. And high school, we can act like we're not. But we all are insecure about something. You're worth having awesome friendships. And it's really hard to find friends in high school. Because you're all finding yourselves, right. And so many of us don't even know who we are, or the type of friend we are or who we want to be or become. But what I've learned is that we have two innate desires in life and it's to be fully known and fully loved. And if you want an incredible friendship, you're gonna have to go first. I know that's kind of rough. But here's what I mean by that. You have to be the friend that you want. The friend that shows up for other people, the friend that can celebrate other people, the friend that can sit with other people, when they're down the friend that can encourage other people. The friend that's not threatened by another friendship coming into the mix. And a friend that sticks next to a person a friend that's a rider die. Now not in a dangerous way, but in an honest in a beautiful way. A friend And that's willing to stick with someone through the rough times in the same way that you want that friend in your life. And it's worth finding. And it's worth having the courage to try and be that friend, other people, even before you see it for yourselves. Even if you're in high school thinking, dude, nobody knows how to be friends in high school. Be that friend that you want to see, be the friend that you desperately want. Let it start with you. I actually remember in high school. This girl who was a cheerleader, which meant you know, she's popular, and in the middle of my bullying, she was actually a really grounding, safe person for me. She didn't really know what I was going through. Or maybe she did, actually, maybe she did. But regardless, she literally, always had a smile on her face would always say hello to me in the hall by name. That's another huge thing, say people's names. Hi, Alex. Hey, Madison. Hi, Sarah. Hey, Jack. People want to feel seen. And this girl made me feel so seen in high school that she actually gave me hope. Because when it felt like everybody else was out to get me which by the way, it was not true. It just felt like that. In that moment. There were a select few people that just wanted to ruin my life, the majority of people did not, this girl would always smile, say hello to me, chat with me in between classes. Like because I would sit next to her in math class, and she genuinely care about me. And I actually ran into her a couple months ago, and told her, I just want you to know that you were one of the most sincere, genuinely sweet people in high school. And I can't tell you the gift that that was for me as I was questioning everything in my life. So you never know the impact that you can make on other people just by choosing to be kind. There are also experiences in high school that will shape and define your life. Now that's not supposed to sound scary. As much as putting the focus on what you do matters. And it's not just what you do now matters what you do every day matters. As you're making all these decisions. Maybe it's a decision to cut back on social media, maybe it's a decision to instead of messaging people online, having face to face conversations and interactions, even if that feels super awkward. Because guess what all of us adults feel awkward to when we first meet people, the feeling doesn't go away. So maybe we're not awkward. After all, we're just normal. Another thing that I wish I knew in high school was that your parents aren't out to get you. And I'm speaking generally here. The main objective for your parents is to protect you. Because protecting you is loving you in their eyes. And they're doing so in the best way they know how, even if it looks like a really bad job to you. And even if it's really messy, and really icky at times and feels helicopters. I challenge you to give your parents grace, because they're trying their absolute best. There are people out there that believe in you. It could be a teacher that doesn't know how to articulate that to you. It could be a friend that watches you from afar, or maybe just like a classmate that watches you from afar, but never really has any conversations with you. You matter and you're worth amazing friendships and not a friendship that's just out of boredom. Because you're like I don't know who else to talk to, you know, but genuinely awesome friendships where you want to spend time with this person. And you feel better about yourself. When you're with that person, and it's like a life giving friendships, gives you life when you're part of it. And because you're worth it, you're also worth being that friend to somebody else that desperately needs it because who knows The in high school has it figured out, no matter what you're seeing, no matter what someone's wearing, no matter how they're talking to other people, no matter what clubs, honors anything that they have, nobody has it figured out. In fact, quite honestly, what we adults do today is we just share memes about how we thought people in their 30s and 40s had it figured out. But now here we are in our 30s and 40s. Just laughing being like, Oh, my God, we are just figuring this out the same way. Which is another important thing is everything is figured out double everything. And just where you are right now, if you feel like you are in a really rough spot in life, where you are right now does not define where you will remain or where you will stay. If you have the courage to pursue something different. You hear these heroic stories all the time of people that were born into one situation. And through unbelievable tenacity, which it's just a desire to make a decision every day to work towards something, they got their discipline is a huge deal. And not like oh, I'm gonna discipline you, you're gonna be school it but discipline of what do I want to be 10 years from now? Or this very same question I started the episode with at the beginning, what does 10 years from now me want to tell me right now. The small decisions we make day to day actually aren't so small. After all, the most precious resource we have is time. And where you invest your time shows exactly where your return will go. And some of those returns might come up very empty. For instance, if you're scrolling social media seven hours a day, you have nothing to show for what your life has amounted to or accumulated to, because that time doesn't go with you, where you invest it into people, or projects or passions, that has a long term impact on you. So people are worth investing in, your worth investing in. So I challenge you to have the courage to take one small step in that direction. Today, right now, right after this video ends. You get to you get to decide what comes of this life that you live. And, truly, we want to live our life to the fullest. But we don't want to live with our schedule so full that we forget what's most important. And one of the regrets of people who are on their deathbed, consistently across the board is that they wish they had spent more time with their friends. As a high schooler, you're probably thinking death is so far away and like ooh, why is it so morbid? Because I wish I knew just how precious life was in high school. And then it didn't take someone very close to me dying for me to realize that. You're incredible. You're absolutely incredible. And you have huge potential. And if you just decide to go one more day, and wake up and go one more day, and wake up and go one more day. Everything's gonna be okay. There's hope for you. And life is going to be beautiful. I hope and I dare you to have the courage to chase your dreams down. One way I want to close this episode is by talking about self talk. Now I know we hear that often now but I'm talking seriously and weirdly talking to yourself out loud because there's something crazy that happens in our brains when we actually hear ourselves verbally. Talk something out out loud. And a lot of us have these broken soundtracks as the author Jon Acuff likes to call them is basically least he's overthinking thoughts that aren't true. And the way that you can replace these thoughts is by either saying out loud, what is true, helpful, and kind? Those are the three things true, helpful, kind, that's how you should test those thoughts. So for instance, if you wake up and you say, Oh, I'm so stupid, nobody likes me. Is that that true? Helpful, or kind? No, is none of those three things? So you actually have to throw that thought out? What if we did this? Well, what if all these thoughts you had you tested against? Is it true, helpful kind? And you just threw them out and replaced them by out loud saying, XO, insert your name? You're actually smart. And people want to be your friend? What if we told ourselves that even if we couldn't see that right now, presently, how powerful that would be because your brains hearing that. So instead of just thinking these thoughts in your, in your mind, your brains actually hearing it out loud being said, it's a very powerful thing. That happens. I know I rambled a lot this video because I wanted it to obviously be unfiltered, and raw and super transparent. And the last thing I want to say is this. And I'm going to start with a story. I had a friend in college, who, I don't even know how we got into this conversation one time, but she was saying that her parents were frustrated with her. And I said to her, well, at least your parents told you that they loved you. Right? And they tell you that right now, right? And she dead? Serious. She dead serious looked at me and said, No. Nobody's ever told me that they love me. And I started crying right there. Because I was like, How was this happened. And I said, Well, I just want you to know that I love you. And I truly mean that. And so to you watching, I want you to know this. I love you. And you are loved. And if you don't hear that enough, I'm so sorry. Tell people you love them. Tell people you love them earlier in life, because we never know when will be our last opportunity. Don't be afraid to say things that might feel awkward and uncomfortable and gross. Communication, and sharing what's on your heart is incredibly powerful and incredibly bonding. You are so loved, you are so worthy. And I believe in you more than you'll ever, ever know. And I'm believing that you're going to have the courage to believe in yourself. The same way, consider this the PS part of the letter as these are two things that I forgot that are pretty important that I wish I knew when I was in high school. And the first one of these final two thoughts is, this is going to be frustrating. And this is going to make some people pretty upset. But you're not entitled to anything, though, you very well might be worthy of something. And if we go around and throughout life, having this mindset of we're entitled to something we're going to easily live offended and frustrated. And it's going to make us very angry, because being entitled, is this belief that you're owed something where as being worthy of something is more of a gift that you're given. So if we can just switch that mindset from a posture of kind of humility, of believing that instead of being owed something or being entitled that we're worthy of something, it's going to make us so much more grateful, and appreciative of anything that comes our way in life. And finally, you are not alone. And I know that when you're scrolling on social media at night by yourself, not talking to anybody, you feel incredibly isolated and alone. But I need to tell you the truth. You're not alone. What you're feeling and all the thoughts that you're having are not abnormal thoughts and feelings. We We've all had going through high school. But I think if we can ground ourselves in the truth that we're not alone, it's going to make us believe in this hope that I keep talking about throughout this episode. You're not alone. You are incredibly loved, you're worthy. And you have an incredible future ahead of you. And again, if you're watching this episode, and you have something that you wish you knew, when you were in high school, please put it in the comments on this YouTube video. And hey, know that this entire channel is devoted to teaching people how to become rich in relationships and go beneath the surface level conversation to build ultimately, what I call relational wealth to become a different type of rich. Thanks for watching. I'll see you next time.