Helping Your Family Find Success in an
Uncertain Future

by Greg Langston

Whether your child is just starting college or is in high school, you want to give him or her every possible advantage. Today's youth have a lot of decisions before them. It is up to them to determine which paths in life they will take -- but how can you help them avoid walking down the wrong path over and over again until they find the best one?

What are your child's unique strengths? If teens don't determine the where, how, when, and why of what makes them truly unique, making that ding in the universe won't happen. What if they knew the Distinct Natural Abilities™ that would give them the edge? What if they knew their core values? What if they had a detailed plan for the rest of their life? What dramatic dreams could they achieve?

The Heavy Cost of Detours

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average college graduate changes jobs once every three years and changes career fields two or three times in their lifetime. Each year American students have hundreds of majors and over 4000 colleges from which to choose. A majority of students change their major at least once in their college careers, and many change their major several times. The financial cost ($5,000 to $50,000+) and time lost (months to years) of these changes are significant and show no sign of decreasing in the future. It is not an illusion; today's youth really are living in a world far different from the one in which we grew up. We have heard high school and college students say:

  • I have to follow the path my parents want for me.

  • I don't know what my unique abilities are.

  • Which major is best for me?

  • I don't know how to measure my success.

  • How can I communicate my dreams with my parents?

  • How can I change the world?

  • Things change so fast, I can't keep up.

  • How can I prepare for an uncertain future?

  • With all of the changes coming, how can I gain the advantage?

At least 80 percent of white-collar jobs, as we know them today, will either disappear entirely or be reconfigured entirely beyond recognition ... in just the next fifteen years.
Tom Peters

Finding the right path has benefits that extend far beyond college. While many may find Tom Peter's quote a little scary, it offers valuable insight on how to deal with the challenges of the future.

Put Your Child on the Road to Success

Gaining the advantage requires uniqueness, a clearly defined path, balance, and values that support their goals.


It is not enough to be unique. All of us are unique. The first building block of success requires knowing what their Distinct Natural Abilities™ are. Whether you use our system or another, you need a process to help your child determine what his or her distinct abilities are. An innovator and brainstormer? An organizer? A researcher? Gifted at coming up with new ideas, or gifted at bringing ideas across the finish line? By knowing their unique strengths, they can avoid needless trial and error.

Clearly Defined Path

All of us, regardless of age, wish to build a legacy that outlasts us. But how can you help your child develop that legacy? Every study on goal-setting has shown the same thing: people who make tangible goals achieve more than those who do not. The resources to help your child determine short, medium, and long-term goals are out there. The key is to make the goals tangible, challenging, measurable, and-most of all-based on their Distinct Natural Abilities™.


There are elements of success that are the building blocks of professional and personal life. The Success Elements™ principle is founded on the four elements of Health, Wealth, Wisdom, and Relationships. By achieving balance in all of the Success Elements™, you can be assured that their success will transcend both academic/work life and personal life.


A core set of values provides the fuel for success. Helping your child determine his or her core values will not only help them achieve success but will make the success deeper and richer. The ability to communicate exactly what their values are will help them strengthen occupational and personal relationships, as well as give them direction in their daily challenges.

Bringing It All Together

The tools necessary for future success will revolve around Distinct Natural Abilities™, clearly defined goals, balance in all areas of life, and core values. Not only will they (and you) get the financial benefit of reducing costly trial and error, they will be on the path that is best suited to what makes them truly unique. Think about how we spend many Saturdays: shopping at the mall, seeing a movie, chatting on the phone, playing a round of golf. These activities all have their value, as well as their time and place. However, compare the time spent and the value received from those activities to a day where your children can discover their path to success.

Greg Langston is the President of The Langston Group. The Langston Group offers tools for executives, professionals and coaches at The Langston Group also offers a comprehensive 100 Day Leadership and Success system called the Integrated Helix System™. The Integrated Helix System™ helps individuals discover their unique strengths (Distinct Natural Abilities™), core values, and lifetime goals, all with a focus on maximizing potential and work-life balance.

Many more articles in Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2006, The Langston Group. All rights reserved.

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