Self-management actions and questions for young adults to address in 2014

Eldridge HendersonBy Dr. Eldridge Henderson
Jackson Advocate Guest Writer

Timeless wisdom dictates that teachers and parents need to help students and young adults understand that they too may become overwhelmed and frustrated by unanswered questions and challenges they face on a daily basis. It is also teachers’ and parents’ responsibility to recognize the need to empower students and young adults with problem-solving strategies that will enable them to overcome the challenges they face in and out of the classroom.

To do so, teachers and parents must guide young adults through a problem-solving sequence by not giving advice, but allow the young person to ask themselves questions about life issues. Inner reflection and self-analysis will help young adults identify his or her problems, look at his or her previous responses to challenges, and help young adults arrive at alternative responses that will enable him or her to be more successful.

Overcoming challenges:

Seven corrective action steps and self-management questions for students and young adults to ask themselves in 2014:

Action Steps/Questions

1. Do First Things First


(A) What do I need to do today that will change my life in 30, 60, or 90 days?

(B) What are my short term/long term goals?

(C) Do I have an action plan for success?

2. Prepare Relentlessly


(A) Do I ask, seek, and knock on doors for opportunities to advance myself?

(B) What am I doing today?

(C) What will I do tomorrow to prepare myself to become a more competitive person?

3. Study, Read and Learn Independently


(A) Do I read newspapers, magazines, listen to educational tapes, and buy self-help books on a regular basis?

(B) What have I read lately?

(C) Should I read several books, learn new words, and make notations in a monthly journal for future reference?

4. Develop the Ability to Communicate Clearly


(A) Do I listen before I speak, learn new concepts, write letters, and have the ability to use the computer as a learning tool?

5. Develop Sound Moral and Spiritual Principles


(A) Do I have a personal value system whereby I respect myself enough to abstain from using drugs, alcohol, smoking, and engaging in unprotected sex?

(B) Is my spiritual life adequate?

(C) Am I pronged to peer pressure?

6. Develop Lifelong Economic Initiatives


(A) Do I or my parents budget, invest, and provide adequate insurance options for myself and family members?

(B) Do I budget my limited funds and purchase priority items or spend my money on consumer goods and services?

7. Practice Good Social Skills


(A) Do I know how to talk to people, say “please,” “excuse me,” and “thank you” when I interact with my peers and associates?

(B) Do I feel comfortable interacting with individuals and groups or use social media as my means of communication?

The above action steps and questions are designed for students and young adults to reflect on and make changes in their lives.

In many cases just by persevering, one will come up with new answers that will get the results one wants. Thus, the students and young adults will learn to ask themselves questions to overcome the challenges they face.

Finally, teachers and parents can help students and young adults stay on a positive track by not giving too much advice. While working with young adults on a challenge, instead of telling them what to do, give them plenty of positive support and recognition as they make an effort to question their individual and collective actions. It is time for young adults to implement and act on alternative responses to life’s issues. It’s not easy to change or try to find new ways of doing things. One has to take risks, and try different ways to address youth issues. By doing so, one can change his life, status, family, and community in 30, 60, or 90 days guaranteed.

Dr. Eldridge Henderson is a certified peer support specialist and president of the Action Leadership Institute. He can be contacted at or 601-201-1957. He is available to speak at your school, church  or community organization.