Should I Even Be Here?
Yes you should. Whether you are a teen or not, I believe this article will either give you, or someone you know immense help if you pass it along.
With that being said, this particular article is dedicated for males in their teens that need in-depth guidance on how to live their best years in high school WITHOUT any regrets.
I was in high school once upon a time, and I excelled in many lifestyle areas, but also neglected a number of others—if only I had a guideline like this to give me that extra push… I’d probably been better off. This is basically the blueprint I wish I had during my high school years.
I don’t want to disregard my great family, mentors and helpful friends I’ve had along the way, but sometimes you just need to see it in a written fashion from someone that’s gone through it already. You get me?
When you are in high school, you are highly present since the future seems so far away—you just want to have fun with friends, party and joke around.
This is great… but also realize that high school is a time to set a strong foundation for your college/university years, and what you want to spend the rest of your life doing to fulfill your health, craft, wealth and relationships (topics I focus on for this website).
How Can I Get the Most out of This Article?
Since this is a very lengthy and thorough guide, you will get the most out of this article by reading the full page while taking NOTES on what areas you identify yourself lacking in.
After fully reading, choose 3 to 4 rules you want to focus on for the next 3 months, and really give it your BEST effort—NO half ass protocols please 🙂
In my personal opinion all these rules should be followed and worked on, but I understand that not everyone is willing to do that, so at the bottom of the article I have listed what I personally think are the most important rules to thoroughly engage in.
Out of this list, I can say that I accomplished 5 out of 10 of these rules exceptionally, but the other 5 I completely skipped out on, or didn’t pursue diligently enough.
If I were in your shoes, I’d aim to score 10 out of 10 for all these rules.
Without further ado, here is…
Rule #1: Lift Weights, Learn Self-Defense and Play Sports
This is a photo of me right after graduation, I was 18 and pumped to the gills. My secret was training 5 days a week and eating big. The only supplements I took during that time was protein powder and creatine. Hard work pays off son!
If you want to set a foundation for your health and longevity, you’ll want to experiment with at least ONE, if not all the above
Let’s start off with the iron, since it has a strong effect on curing feeble behavior.
According to an excerpt from an NCBI study called “Safe exercise prescription for children and adolescents”…
Strength training programs should be tailored to the child’s growth and development. Guidelines from Committee on Sports Medicine in Pediatrics (20) stated that children are encouraged to strength train using submaximal weights but should avoid any practice of weight lifting, power lifting and body building until they have reached a level of Tanner stage 5 in developmental maturity.
The Tanner Scale is a guideline to the developmental stages of puberty for males and females.
In the study it states that individuals shouldn’t start HEAVY weightlifting until Tanner stage 5, which happens at 14 years old.
This is the time when you are getting over puberty and your testosterone production increases—which will in turn give you more energy and help your body build bigger and stronger muscles.
I started lifting sub maximal weights at age 13 and eventually started lifting heavier and following bodybuilding routines when I turned 17—this was an optimal choice for me.
Where should I start?
My advice is to check out Dave Draper’s workout routines (I’m a big fan of the “Draper All-Time Favorite”), choose one, commit to it and give it your undivided attention for the next 3 to 4 months before you even think of quitting. Dave is the author of “Brother Iron, Sister Steel”, and his website has everything you need know about bodybuilding.
Okay I’m ready, where do I workout?
If you have a job, or have money saved up, buy a gym membership. If you don’t work, use the school’s gym, if you don’t have a school gym, convince your parents to buy a membership for you. Whatever your situation may be… you must find a way.
Ideally you want to work out in a gym environment with people, rather then an isolated setting when you’re first starting out. Socializing with other avid gym goers, and feeding off their energy is a step in the right direction to maintaining the fire.
Once you get a membership, set a THREE to FIVE day strength and muscle building routine, and NEVER miss a beat!
Make your workouts sustainable, and work your butt off at each training session. This is a time to grow and create a body composition that will maintain durability for years to come.
Important Note: There are too many guys that let their EGO get in the way of their longevity in the world of weight lifting. Unless you are a dedicated power lifter, then lifting like a maniac from the get-go will either INJURE you, or BURN you out—so let me remind you that you’re in this for the LONG HAUL—many of the pro body builders don’t even focus on lifting heavy, but rather VOLUME (sets and rep ranges).
Look… if you love working out, then you’ll probably want to be doing it in your 50s, 60s, and possibly even 70s—don’t cut yourself off early by practicing ego lifting and improper form. I encourage you to experiment, but also be smart about it.
What are the benefits of looking ripped in high school?
You will gain respect from your friends, and they will look to you for workout and health advice. Who knows… your life calling could be to become a personal trainer one day.
When girls are around you, they will feel a virile aura that is naturally exciting and attractive, therefore attracting the opposite sex becomes a smoother process if you are taking care of your body.
You’ll impress the faculty and they will admire your ability to look after your health. During high school I had female teachers subtly hit on me since I was muscularly defined compared to my other classmates. Take this as a compliment, because age means nothing when you are walking around with strong posture and a dense physical structure—whether you’re a parent, student or, teacher, people will generally glance and admire.
Your daily school clothes will fit much better, and come prom night… you’ll look like a STUD in your suit and tie.
Your will power to NOT drink and do drugs will become stronger since you don’t want to diminish progress in the gym.
You’ll naturally start developing a keen interest in proper nutrition—you must eat right, to look right.
You will become highly goal oriented and disciplined. This will in turn manifest into other parts of your life such as schoolwork, finances, relationships, etc.
The list could go on forever depending on your personal experiences, but what’s IMPORTANT is that you get out there and start lifting!
When the Hyenas Come to Play, What Are You Going to Do?
This photo was taken during the start of gr. 12 at a graduation photo shoot. I got tired of all the bland profile shots, so I told the photographer to take a photo of me doing a flying side kick—turned out pretty good.
If you have never picked up knowledge and real life simulation on how to protect yourself against a potential human threat, then you are MISSING a critical skill in your arsenal my friend.
Never undermine the basics of combat, because just like a pack of 15 hyenas attacking a wildebeest, you will find bullies that will emulate the same behavior by picking on the WEAK.
If that sounds like you, then it’s time to take control over your external inflictions.
I rarely, if ever got bullied in high school; this is probably because I attained a martial arts black belt when I was 17. When people hear about something like that, no one wants to mess with you.
Regardless of my reputation, or image, my fighting was done in the training gym, with the exception of a few street fights that were more of a “warning” to my opponents… rather then a shameless brawl.
I don’t care how tall, short, fat, skinny, shy, weak or scared you are, it is in your best interest to learn some form of self-defense training to protect yourself.
High school isn’t all about getting A’s and B’s, sometimes you will get picked on physically, and your ability to to defend yourself against a hostile threat is a crucial skill to have.
Talk to your parents about taking up Muay Thai, Wrestling, MMA, Brazilian Jui Jitsu, Capoeria, Judo, Karate, Krav Maga, Tae Kwon Do, or even a simple self-defense class will do.
I’m not telling you to become a world class competitive fighter, but at least think and conduct yourself like one when shit hits the fan!
If you don’t have sufficient funds for classes, then go on YouTube and watch self-defense videos. Maybe even get an adult, or friend to practice SAFELY with.
Here is my caution to you though….
Learning how to fight is an enormous responsibility, once you start getting better at the art of combat, it is easy to want to show off, or impress your friends… realize that this is a mistake.
I strongly urge you to only use your combat skills in self-defense situations where there could be possible detriments to your health and well being.
Otherwise, keep the discipline to yourself, and leave the fighting when it comes to safely sparring in a properly supervised training gym.
If I only had to pick ONE skill out of weightlifting, self-defense and playing sports… I would pick self-defense EVERY TIME.
Become an Athlete and Learn How to Conduct Yourself in a Team Environment
Participating in high school sports will create an opportunity to bind camaraderie between your teammates while you challenge your body’s capability to THRIVE in a competitive environment.
I played rugby extensively and did track and field at school. Rugby is not for everyone since it’s a career-ender type of sport. This means that it has the potential to give you long term damages when you least expect it.
Regardless of whether it’s in school or not, you should experience playing some form of competitive sports.
Take up gymnastics, martial arts, basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, tennis, ultimate frisbee, or even rugby if you so dare, and see what you are the best at. Try out for the school team if there is one, or join an outside organization.
As long as it’s challenging you to move dynamically in a team atmosphere, then it’s the right step forward.
Rule #2: Pursue All of Your Female Crushes
This is definitely NOT a subject to tread lightly on because you will feel immense regret if you don’t put full effort into it.
I will be honest in this section and say that in high school, I definitely didn’t live up to my potential with the females. There were a number of girls I wanted to hookup with and that wanted to hookup with me… but I kept putting it off.
Sooner, or later these girls will find boyfriends that had the cojones to ask them out and you will miss your chance.
Inevitably, once you all graduate from high school, you will split into different directions and will not see each other on a day-to-day basis anymore.
Why does this matter?
Because high school is a time of abundance; you are seeing a high number of girls everyday and building some form of familiarity with them whether you are friends, or not.
That means that girls are aware of your presents—but you will remain a ghost if you do NOT take action.
Let me repeat that… you will remain a GHOST if you do NOT take ACTION.
That means no matter how muscular, intelligent, popular or “nice” you are… girls won’t give you the time of day if you don’t flirt with them, ask them on dates, and eventually build some form of physical chemistry with them.
I understand high school can be a daunting environment for any teenage guy, and the judgmental vibe is off the charts… but you have to make things happen!
It doesn’t matter if you mess it up with a girl and it gets awkward, you’re going to go through all that at one point, or another in your life anyways, so you might as well go through it now and experience the different emotions early.
On Setting up Dates
Without getting too deep into the process, here is the basic premise you want to follow…
If you can JUDGE, or HEAR from friends that a girl is into you, and you are into her as well, then ask her out on a date to grab a beverage like a tea, juice or smoothie. You can even keep it simple and just walk her home after school, or hang out at the park together.
If you don’t know whether the girl likes you or not… ask her out anyways, because that is the beauty of being a man that goes after want he wants.
The point is… you want to be spending 1-on-1 time with her and building attraction.
You might be thinking, what if she says “NO” to me when I ask her out?
Here’s what could hypothetically happen—she tells her friends, they gossip about you, word gets around that you asked so and so out, and then within a few days it’s OVER.
Because ultimately no one really cares, and they all eventually go about living their lives.
If anything, you gained some publicity, and now there are other girls out there that are dying for you to ask them out.
See how that worked? It’s all in your favor kid.
What to Do Before Prom
One last point, while we are on this subject.
Ask out your potential prom date EARLY, and don’t just have one girl in mind (unless you already have a girlfriend) but rather keep your options open.
Ideally you’ll want to have built some form of emotional and physical chemistry with this girl before you ask her to prom. If you haven’t already, hang out with this girl first to build comfort, then ask her to prom a few months before the special night.
Trust me, you’ll be much happier having a solid date, rather then scrambling a week before prom on which girls are available.
Avoid last minute prom dates, they will be nowhere near as good as the girls you’ve had your eyes on from the beginning.
Rule #3: Cook and Prepare Food Daily; Don’t Rely on Any External Sources
This is what my lunch usually looks like—lots of eggs, bacon, veggies, cheese and macadamia nuts. After a meal like this I don’t usually eat again until dinner because my body is satiated. Eat more fats in your diet, and you will become less hungry.
Your ability to create a proper meal for your lunch and be self-reliant is an invaluable skill to have during high school and for the rest of your life.
FORGET about your parents making your daily lunch, forget about buying the pizza special with pop everyday, and forget about the crappy cafeteria food.
Relying on external sources to control what you put inside your body isn’t unique to what your body requires on a daily basis.
If you are following a workout regiment, and burning a lot of energy that day, then you’ll be eating differently then if you were just sitting in the library doing your Math homework.
There are too many teenagers these days that are constantly buying sugary processed crap from the vending machines, pop, candy, breaded everything, unhealthy meats, and all sorts of estrogenic foods that decreases their testosterone levels.
Not-So-Fun Fact: Did you know cereal was invented to decrease your sex drive? Unfortunately John Kellogg was very well aware of his intentions when creating your beloved Frosted Flakes. Milk and twigs swimming in sugar aren’t so “GREEEEAAATT!” for you after all.
Here’s how to make this rule work for you:
Either allocate 30 minutes the night before, or 30 minutes the morning of school to make your daily lunch.
You can check out my article on “How to Make a Hulk Salad” to learn how I prepare the majority of my meals.
Here are some of the benefits of preparing your own meals:
- It will relieve your parents of this responsibility, and let them focus on other aspects of making both of your lives better.
- It will save you money. Daily $5 to $10 lunches ADD up big time! Bank that cash, and save up for bigger investments.
- You will learn to master cooking, and understand which foods your body functions better with.
- Girls love a guy that can cook a quality dinner—set up a fun date to impress your girl, or even cook together.
- If you are working out and putting your body through rigorous training, you will need to feed it the proper nutrients. This will push you to learn about macro/micronutrients, meal timing, calories and so on.
- You will start building taste buds for natural wholefoods; instead of relying on the quick and addictive processed crap you’ve been use to eating so regularly.
- Most restaurant foods (unless you are eating at an upscale restaurant) will start tasting inadequate to what you are capable of creating at home. This will push you to eat out less often, save money, and practice being self-reliant.
The reality in the end is that…
Sooner or later, you will be moving out and living on your own.
Would you rather be prepared and know exactly what you are doing in the kitchen to feed yourself properly? Or do you need to call your parents, or resort to buying meals at the frozen food section because of your lack of knowledge in this department?
I choose the former.
Rule #4: Create a Business, Work a Part-Time Job, and Build a Financial Nest Early
I heard the word entrepreneur for the first time in high-school from only ONE teacher. That teacher was the truth.
— Poyan (@Dynathrive) July 8, 2015
In order to gain experience and make pocket money during high school, work jobs such as retail and sales, restaurant positions, cashiering, labor work, etc. but don’t let this type of work be something you are still pursuing in your 20s.
Ideally, if you want to gain financial freedom, you’ll want to start your own venture—this is the route I would go if I had to be a teenager all over again.
Build a business that provides people with value, attract a large audience and then start charging money for your services and products.
When you do start building cash flow, start saving and/or investing, rather then spending all the time and becoming an ultimate consumer.
Daniel Dubois is a great example of a high school student that started pursuing business ventures early. He started with clothing lines, then after high school created ShareShed and is now on his way to becoming a successful entrepreneur while still in his early 20’s.
Find people like Daniel and Khaled, and you will create an ecosystem of aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders that will inspire you.
Rule #5: Build Strong Relationships With the Faculty
Photo credit: George Eastman House
Be kind to all your teachers and staff and treat them with respect. Teachers have a hard enough time managing 20, or so students in a class—give them a break… because you’re not that easy to tolerate.
Give the faculty a reason to like you, and work hard in their classes to be deserving of high marks.
If a teacher disrespects you, go talk to your counselor, or principle about it. Never show hostility towards teachers, this throws class and patience out the door.
It’s the school’s job to create a safe and comfortable environment for students to learn.
In the end, you want to be a calm and collected guy that teachers respect and admire. Show that you are likable and not just some hot shot that’s slacking off and careless about how he conducts himself at school.
Rule #6: Dress for Success Every Single Day
Photo credit: Jaclyn Auletta
High school is such a funny time because most kids don’t have a clue about style, fashion and how to maintain a clean wardrobe.
If you already know how to dress well and do so everyday, good for you… keep doing it; you’re ahead of the game.
If not, you’ll be want to start practicing dressing for success every single day at school from now on.
This doesn’t mean you have to start wearing suits, just make sure you are choosing clothing that fits your body type and has been freshly cleaned.
Style and fashion is a whole article in it self, so I will reference you to a few links here for a more thorough guide.
Victor Pride has a priceless blog post on casual wear at Bold & Determined called “The Victor Pride Casual Style Guide” which I recommend checking out if you want to upgrade your casual dress wear.
I would also highly recommend following Antonio Centeno’s YouTube channel for a variety of men’s fashion tips. I re-did my whole wardrobe after watching several of Antonio’s videos—so a big thanks to him for that.
Rule #7: Never Fail a Class and Always Be Punctual
Photo credit: O.Taillon
The last thing you want to do is fail a class and have to go to summer school, or re-do it all over again.
There is nothing worse then being a year behind in a class while all your other classmates are staying on schedule with their appropriate classes.
Put FULL effort in all your classes, and at least get a passing grade if you can’t manage to score an A, B, or C+ (those grades aren’t hard to get if you attend classes, do the homework and put time into studying for tests).
You want to also AVOID BEING LATE—teachers really hate this and when it becomes a consistent pattern, it will be hard to stop it and soon your teachers will regard you as a nuisance—meaning you are an annoying student that doesn’t respect the teacher’s time.
If there is a class you don’t require in order to graduate, and can’t stand being in anymore… go talk to your principle about dropping it and getting a free block.
You can use the free block for homework, or if it falls at the end of the day to leave early, or go to the gym 🙂
This is how the school system works in Canada where I live, and if you play your cards right and strategize your timetable, you will get a lot out of the high school lifestyle.
Rule #8: Keep Your Locker Clean, Minimal and Odor Free
You can tell a lot about someones personality by the their living environment. Keep it clean, organized and minimal. No hoarding allowed.
— Poyan (@Dynathrive) July 14, 2015
Your locker is like your home closet, except its VISIBLE to everyone around it. The last thing you want to do is clutter it with junk.
Imagine if a girl that likes you walks by your locker and she suddenly notices how nasty and smelly your locker is.
What does that say about your outlook on how you take care of your environment and more importantly personal hygiene? It doesn’t look very good does it.
You can easily avoid this by just keeping what is necessary stored in your locker—such as your books, binders, backpack, journal, writing tools, lunch and that’s about it. Everything else is just excess, and you most likely don’t need it.
I would also suggest investing in a shelving system to compartmentalize your locker space better. You can buy these locker specific shelves at any office retail store, or even on Amazon.
If you want to personalize your locker, you can put up photographs, and art on the inside of your door.
Here’s a simple way you can reduce smell and odor:
Get a small spray bottle from the dollar store, mix it with 90% water and %10 lemon juice and spray the inside, or vicinity of your locker once in a while to keep it from smelling like a dump.
Rule #9: Get Your Driver’s License as Soon as You Are Eligible
You would think most high school kids would take advantage of this opportunity straight away, but you’d be surprised at how many have absolutely no motivation to get it done.
I was ecstatic when I turned 16 and was eligible for my Learners. I went to take the computer test, but failed it because I didn’t study enough.
After failing, I didn’t go back to re-take the test until a year later—BIG MISTAKE! But I eventually passed at my 2nd attempt.
When receiving your Learners, the rules are that you are allowed to drive a car, but still require an adult with a full-license to supervise you—so much for freedom right?
Here is where time becomes a factor…
In Canada, after you get your Learners, you have to wait at least ONE year before you can take your Novice road test (not sure what the rules are now). The Novice license allows you to drive the car by yourself with only one passenger.
After a year of patiently waiting while practicing my driving skills, I went for my Novice test only to have failed my first try yet again.
Here is my second big mistake… I waited another year to re-do my road test, and when I did it, I failed again because I hadn’t practiced for so long.
After the 2nd road test attempt, I reschedule another test a month later and finally passed on my 3rd attempt.
It took me overall 5 years to finally get my Novice license.
Why am I telling you this?
Because you don’t want to make the same mistake. Studying the rules of the road and practicing with a mentor, or knowledgeable supervisor thoroughly before taking the tests is what you want to keep doing until you feel highly confident.
Nervousness is a by-product of ILL PREPARATION—but when you have put in the necessary hours, you will NOT be nervous anymore, and when it’s time to take the test, you will pass.
And even if you don’t pass, DON’T reduce momentum by waiting longer then necessary to re-try. Go home, study what you messed up on, practice driving again and go back as soon as you can to re-take the test.
Driving isn’t a necessity, it’s just another strategy on your tool belt—the sooner the better.
Rule #10: Read Books on Self-Development
Photo credit: pedrosimoes7
I view reading as a ubiquitous way of downloading information to the brain—the only downfall is that people tend to only download, without actually implementing.
Without implementation of the ideas you gain from reading books—you are merely a book junkie and just read to read, without seeking change.
When I was in high school, I hated reading… the only time I read was when I was forced to do homework. It wasn’t until I turned 18 when I started reading my first self-development book called “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene—this book gave me my first taste on historical leaders, and how they took took control of their destiny.
Since then I have been reading almost everything I can get my hands on—my only gripe is that I wish I did it sooner.
I get it though, when you are between the ages of 13 to 17 you want to have fun and hang out with your friends—but reading in some way, shape, or form should find itself in your daily routine no matter what.
By doing this, you will cultivate your own path and gain a depth of knowledge that you can eventually capitalize on.
All those so called “nerds” have a lot to say because they are constantly reading, and internalizing all the useful content. It’s really not hard to do—just pick up something that peaks your interest and read it cover to cover. Boom! Knowledge.
If you are not sure what you should read, take a look at the Dynathrive Digital Book Library for some recommendations.
Whether You Are the Most Popular or Unpopular Kid… Follow These Rules
Like I said in the introduction of this article, if you really want to make the MOST out of high school then make your BEST EFFORT in working on 10 out of 10 of these rules.
If that seems like an overload for you, which it can be (even if you aren’t in high school), then focus on Rules #1, #2, #3, #4 and #7 as they are transferable life skills that will be with you for years to come, and the earlier they are worked on… the better.
Be proud of yourself for making it to the end of this page since it’s the longest article I’ve ever written (clocking in at over 5150 words).
But it’s not over yet, because this is only INFORMATION, the only way it will become a reality is if you take ACTION on it!
Thanks for taking the time to read, and please share this article with your friends and classmates to help others in your surroundings succeed—the only way to cure loneliness at the top is to bring others that are willing to make changes and work just as hard, with you.
PS: I wanted to wish you the best of luck after reading this… but you don’t need luck—luck is for chumps… you have this article instead.