-- Truth Be Told Quotes
Here’s a wonderfully liberating secret… you don’t “have to” do anything. Even though you may not enjoy some of the stuff you choose to do, you still get to make the choice.
Take homework—you do it because you want grades that will lead to future opportunities. Job starts at 6am? You choose to get up early so you can keep your job. You may want to blow off your responsibilities to create an obstacle course for your pet llama. But instead, you choose to prioritize the tasks that help you get other things you want.
Feeling like a victim of all the things you think you “have to” do will really drag you down. Instead, consider what benefit you are giving yourself—opportunity, approval, money. The choices and the rewards are yours.
This quote helps kids see that to be successful, they may have to do things that aren't fun. But if they view doing their responsibilities as a choice, with a benefit to them personally, they'll feel better about meeting their responsibilities.
Young people can feel like they “have to do homework” or they “have to help around the house” or they “have to” do lots of boring, everyday kinds of things. It can be easy to turn this into a sense of being the victim of others’ demands. However, to have a sense of control over your own life (to feel personally empowered), it’s important to recognize that these boring everyday things that we may not enjoy doing, are things we actually choose to do because they help us get something else that we want. When we choose to be personally responsible, we also get to feel personally empowered.
If kids can stay focused on the goals they have set for themselves, it can be easier to recognize that doing things that aren’t fun are a still a personal choice. When they are finding it hard to persevere through challenges, or they are being negatively influenced by friends or their own lack of desire, they can look to the internal driver that says “I want Goal B enough that I’m willing to do Task A, even if I don’t enjoy it right now.”
Taking responsibility for and gaining control over your own life starts with recognizing the little everyday choices that are helping you reach your goals. Sometimes a change in attitude changes your perception of empowerment.
See the activities section for more scenarios.
Note:This quote also comes into play when teens face peer pressure or other risky situations. Teens get to own their choices and they also get to own their consequences. Good choices = good consequences. Bad choices = bad consequences. With more freedom and responsibility, teens will be faced with situations in which they can choose to make a bad decision... but they also get to deal with the bad consequences that follow. For more on actions and consequences, see this quote and accompanying teaching resources: "The great thing about growing up is you get to manage your own life. The bad thing about growing up is you need to manage your own life."
Questions to prompt discussion, journaling, essays for high school health class and social emotional development lessons:
Activities and worksheets for teen SEL / high school health and wellness lessons: