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Every teenager and every parent of a teenager should read this book by Josh Shipp.

Last year Josh was named one of INC. Magazine’s 30 under 30.

And too, CNN included Josh on their “Young Person Who Rocks” list.

He also hosts his own TV show called “Jump Shipp.”

And now his first major book is out in stores…

The Teen’s Guide to World Domination: Advice on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness (published by St. Martin Press) is a must read…

Seriously, if you’re not familiar with Josh’s work, check it out. His ability to connect with 13-19 year-old humans astounds me.

Recently I asked Josh a few questions about the topic of teens…

Josh, you travel the U.S. speaking at hundreds of high schools each year, why do you think you’re able to connect with such a wide variety of teenagers?

1. I don’t take myself too seriously. The topics I discuss are serious, but the delivery is not.
2. I talk more about my screw ups than my victories. Do that and anyone will listen to you.

From the people you’ve met and the experiences you’ve encountered, what is the average  17-year-old looking for?

Acceptance.
Community.
And fun.

This is why anything with a team, be it debate, drama, sports, or basket weaving…can dramatically alter a teen’s life. Because it has all three.

Any advice for the parent who is struggling to connect with their teenage son or daughter?

If your approach isn’t working. Vary your approach. It’s easier to get them to open up by talking about things that are hard for you–and do it with NO agenda. Be more open with them about things that are fun, thrilling, scary, down right depressing to you and soon they will follow suit.

Also, try mediums that teens are more comfortable with. Text them to say, I’m proud of you. Check them out of school for lunch and just be with them. Ask them what their favorite movie is, watch it, and then discuss it with them. Don’t judge; just discuss. Look for the reasons behind what they’re attracted to.

I just finished watching HBO’s “The Wire”–which is a fictional series about the drug war on the streets of Baltimore–and even if that show’s depiction of intercity life is only 50% accurate, the huge struggles facing Intercity, America seem to differ greatly from the issues that kids encounter in the suburbs/country. And if the struggles are the same, the consequences certainly differ.

My question is this: Do you believe that the average intercity kid can attain, what your book suggests, world domination?

I don’t believe any kid can obtain world domination. And the book states that the truth is… YOU CAN’T DOMINATE THE WORLD.

Well, I figured that much… since we’re not in North Korea… 🙂

But Matthew, I do believe that you can dominate YOUR world. It’s a fresh spin on “it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you deal with it.”

I grew up in foster care and some really bad circumstances. I believe kids that come from hard beginnings, when they find something that drives them, something that wakes them up in the morning, something they excel at and someone to encourage them to continue. Game over. They will be forever different.

The truth is you can’t change the world. But you can change your world. And that could change everything. Not only for you, but for those you influence.

What are the biggest misconceptions that we have about teenagers?

They’re lazy.

They are not lazy. They’re picky.

I think you should constantly challenge your teen to try new things. It builds confidence and shows them how to deal with the learning curve they’ll experience in college or in the workplace.

The worst thing you can do is never let them fail. He’s 17. He will be fine.

Consider this: One day you won’t be there…have you prepared them to fail successfully?

The subtitle of your excellent books is “Advice on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness”–what is “awesomeness” in your opinion?

You define that. It’s different for everyone.

It’s not about being THE best, it’s about being YOUR BEST.

All of us, regardless of our age or previous circumstance…have a shot at that. And guess what? It’s a daily CHOICE.

Buy Josh’s book here.

Check out Josh’s recently released promo video…

More about Josh HERE…

Got any advice for teens?! Share it.

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