Are you a solutions focused person? Or, do you share more feelings of doom and gloom than expressions of joy and happiness – what is possible with a positive attitude? Or, do you feel full of self-pity, especially during this pandemic season during which there are so many global challenges and it is easy to feel overwhelmed?

I have just completed the final draft of my new book, CHOICES: Encouraging Youth to Achieve Greatness, and sent it off to my publisher yesterday. So, thoughts about how to motivate and inspire youth are very much on my mind.

Survival Kit

Some years ago I came across a ‘Survival Kit for Everybody Living’. I have no idea who came up with the idea, though it had many great tips and ideas to share with others. It got me thinking about youth mentoring, or  guiding our youth, many of whom are feeling challenged by the impact of the pandemic on their goals and dreams. So, I borrowed five of those nine contents of the Survival Kit, adapted some of them, and added another ten, A mentor could grab a paper bag – looking after the planet – and put all these items in the bag which you then present to your mentee and explain what each item represents. You can have an amazing discussion.

Your mentee will have in their possession seventeen reminders they can carry through life and share with others – maybe one day their own mentees – as they strive to reach their potential. This is a non-threatening activity which could be life-changing for a young person seeking meaning and purpose in their lives, and wanting to feel valued and respected.

17 Survival Kit items

  1. Toothpick: To remind you to pick out the good qualities in others.
  2. Rubber band: To remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out.
  3. Band Aid: To remind you to heal hurt feelings – yours or someone else’s. It’s your choice.
  4. Pencil: To remind you to list at least three blessings every day.
  5. Eraser: To remind you that everyone makes mistakes and it’s okay – try and learn one important life lesson from every mistake and you’ll develop a positive mindset. There is a solution to every problem.
  6. Small glue stick: To remind you to stick with it, persevere, and you can accomplish anything.
  7. Key ring: To remind you that your attitude will determine the choices you make as you shape your future. You alone hold the key to your future.
  8. 2 linked paper clips: To remind you to stay connected with friends and family – people you trust. Value meaningful relationships and build positive networks of support.
  9. Staples: To remind you of the importance of a staple diet to give you the necessary energy each day to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
  10. Shoelace: To remind you to undertake regular exercise for healthy living and positive brain development.
  11. Small ruler: To remind you to set realistic, achievable and measurable goals to be completed within a certain timeframe.
  12. Colored crayon: To remind you that everyone is a person of value and beauty and will appreciate a hug to brighten their day.
  13. Pencil sharpener: To remind you never to become complacent; to keep sharpening your skills.
  14. Smiley face fridge magnet: To remind you never to take yourself too seriously and to keep a great sense of humor, which includes the ability to laugh at yourself.
  15. Small tea leaf strainer (or something similar): To remind you of the importance of between eight and nine hours sleep every night to allow your body to rest and your brain to process what is and is not important – and to file these in the correct places – from the day’s experiences. Healthy mind, healthy body!
  16. Small bouncing ball: To remind you that you have many strengths and are resilient, so you can bounce back from any adversity.
  17. Small mirror: To remind you to take time out each day to reflect on your day and remind yourself that you are lovable and capable – a beautiful person on the inside and outside (your choice). Write on the back: “Have I done my best today?” Reflect on this question every day. If you answer “yes’, brilliant. Well done! If you answer “no” make a note of the area/s to keep working on to reach your potential. This is learning for life.

Mentoring Minutes nominated as a Top Mentoring Podcast by Welp Magazine

I was thrilled to receive notification that the 260 free short Mentoring Minutes podcasts were nominated as a top mentoring podcast by Welp Magazine. Over 14,000 people have accessed these podcasts aimed to encourage anyone working with youth to motivate them to reach their potential and achieve greatness. Please check them out when you have a moment.