2 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Posted on February 2, 2016

Have you or your students read the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens? It’s excellent!

However, have you ever thought: “Seven habits. That’s a lot to remember. I wonder if there is a way to narrow the list?”

Admittedly, there are dozens and dozens of positive habits that can help teenagers succeed in life and leadership. Yet if you want to boil them down to just two habits that are simple to understand, yet extremely powerful when practiced, I suggest (1) show up and (2) shine.

Show Up

There are two ways to show up. You can show up or you can SHOW UP!

Many teens just show up. Whether it’s in the classroom, their personal lives, at their job, with friends, or doing homework, they think arriving is enough. They get there, put in their time, and move on. There is no true investment or commitment on their part. Instead, their goal is to simply chill and get through whatever is before them.

That’s not what highly effective teens do. They SHOW UP! They strive for excellence and invest their whole self into their personal development, the classroom, their job, when they’re with their friends, and when they’re doing homework.

  • Questions for Students You Lead: Are you all in? How do you SHOW UP in the most important areas of your life?


Showing up is 20 percent of the effectiveness equation. The other 80 percent requires you to SHINE!

Again, many teenagers don’t shine too brightly. Often their light is focused on problems instead of solutions. They also have the tendency to selfishly shine light only on themselves instead of illuminating the lives of others.

Highly effective teens, on the other hand, SHINE! They are solutions-oriented instead of problem-focused. They also realize the best way to SHINE is to stop exclusively focusing on themselves and learn to invest in others. They serve others with no strings attached, which ends up making their light shine even brighter.

  • Questions for Students You Lead: Is your light focused on problems or solutions? On yourself or others? What habits do you practice that really help you SHINE?


Yes, there are dozens of positive habits that can help teenagers succeed in life and leadership. Yet when you boil them down to their core, you’ll get two simple, yet powerful habits of highly effective teenagers: SHOW UP and SHINE!


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