Hello. My name is Rohan Iyer and I am from Chicago. I came across the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens when I was 15 and am still amazed to see the change it has made in my life years later. The habits that have especially helped me are being proactive, thinking win-win, and sharpening the saw. I first came across the book, I was making the transition from junior high to high school, which was a very difficult time for me. While I was in junior high, my school felt I was not ready to take higher level courses because many of my grades were fairly inconsistent. This was not because of poor studying but mainly because I was comparing myself to my peers; this in turn made me lack confidence and feel insecure because many were able to get good grades and were able to do the things that they enjoyed. What made me even more frustrated was that my peers were able to be talented in multiple things. I remember multiple nights I would study for hours and still not get a score that reflected the amount of time and effort I had invested. I was seeing many of the same things occur in the sports I was playing and in music. Many of my friends were moving ahead in levels, but I was not, in spite of the time and effort. It was during this time that I picked up the 7 habits, and reading the stories of other teens facing similar, or even bigger, problems and easy to understand examples helped me see things in a different light. By seeing the amazing changes being proactive made in stories I read, I decided to give it a try. I started out by speaking to my coaches and teachers and asking them what I was doing wrong in training and studying. My tennis coaches told me to sign up for tournaments; they told me that all the kids that were moving ahead were all playing in tournaments. Once I did this, I was amazed at how quickly I moved through the ranks in our club. I was especially happy when my high school coach selected me for one of the top spots for singles. When I looked at why I was not doing as well in school, my friends and teachers all noticed that I was always tired and generally unhappy. This made me realize that I was not tapping into my hobbies nor was I getting enough because of what people would think. I was afraid that people would not take me seriously because of my interest in things like mechanical work and building things. Again reading stories of teens doing things they liked, regardless of how “strange” they seemed, made me work hard to stop caring about what people thought immediately. I started by building model cars and working on electronic and mechanical devices in my house to see how they worked and if I could fix them. Regardless of how each project turned out, I had fun doing them. Balancing this with my school work gave me confidence, a feeling of accomplishment and enjoyment, and helped me change my attitude towards school and life. My new attitude was to work hard but to also have fun as well as be focused by also be calm. In turn, I was performing at me peek, in the classroom, in my activities, and I was having more fun with old friends and new friends than ever had. Reading the chapters about being proactive, thinking win-win, and sharpening the saw really blew me away. While the reading the lessons in the book were helpful, I was greatly influenced by how people were finding ways to make things work and how both Sean and others turned set backs into triumphs. Most importantly, I learned about healthy ways of competing and the dangers of comparing and not being balanced. I recommend the book to all people of all ages. Though I am 23, I still thumb through the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens book whenever I need help in a certain area of life.b5e
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