Career Exploration: Applying Yourself

Learn about applying yourself to your future, work, and career. Here you will learn about:

  • Becoming motivated to diligently prepare for your future.
  • Realizing that what you get out of life is a direct result of what you put into it.
  • Taking responsibility for your own actions so you can reap the rewards that come from applying yourself to every activity you engage in.

Throughout your childhood and your education you’ve probably realized that the harder you work, the more you apply yourself to your studies and activities, and the more focused you are on achievement, the better your results are in regard to your grades, athletic or extracurricular performance, work performance, friends and family relationships. This is the one thing that will remain constant throughout your lifetime. Plain and simple, what you get out of life is a direct reflection of what you put into it.

You may be an honor roll student or you may be academically challenged. You may be part of the “in” crowd, you may be a loner or you may have a small circle of close friends. You may be a sports hero, a computer guru or an incredibly talented musician. You may have extraordinary self-confidence or you may have very low self-esteem. In high school there are these cliches and labels and they very well may affect your self-concept and the way you approach life, but after high school, none of this really matters.

In reality, everyone starts their adult life on a rather equal playing field. Those who seem to have it all in high school, are voted most popular, most talented, or the most likely to succeed will not necessarily be the most successful. When you get together with your classmates at a ten-year class reunion, you will be amazed at the direction everyone’s lives have taken. What you will discover is, those who are the most successful will be those who took control of their destiny, had a plan and pursued it with diligence and perseverance.

Also, you will find that different people view success in different ways. One person may think that success means wealth while another may deem success to be happiness. Whatever the case, you are the one, the only one that can guaranty yourself a successful life however you personally define it. If you review biographies of or interviews with some of the world’s most successful people, you will find a number of character traits that they all have in common.


  • They have a vision – they know what they want to accomplish or what they want out of life.
  • They set goals and they work hard to achieve them.
  • They think positive.
  • They learn from mistakes or failures rather than using them as excuses to give up.
  • They remain focused on their objective and look for ways to overcome barriers or solve problems that would otherwise keep them from achieving what they set out to do.
  • They aren’t terribly concerned about what others think of them or their ideas.
  • They don’t quit.

As you approach the end of your high school days, you will be faced with making some decisions that have a definite impact on your future. You may decide to go to college or to a trade school, to enter the workforce right away, or to be a homemaker. Whatever your choice, be prepared to apply yourself in all you do for the best, most fulfilling results.

For a teaching lesson plan for this lesson see:
Applying Yourself Lesson Plan

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