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A High Schooler’s Guide to Conquering the World: Mindfulness Matters Now

Life is a journey through unexpected territory. No matter what, this world will throw challenges, opportunities, and experiences at you that you do not expect. The only certainty is that there will be uncertainty. It’s inevitable.

Let’s think of your journey through life as a road trip. Potholes, ditches, and dead-ends lie ahead. These roads are unfamiliar. Some of the journey may be beautiful, other parts boring, some roads will seem impossible to pass. Your parents might have given some directions, or maybe you’ve read a book or two about traveling, but your map of the voyage ahead is still pretty dang blurry.

Now I ask you this: would you rather be in the backseat of the car with absolutely no control of the vehicle, or sitting in the driver’s seat, hands on the wheel, with the ability to steer the car through these potentially hazardous roads?

If you’re anything like me, you probably want some sense of control over this car that is life. You probably at least want to be sitting up front so you can enjoy the ride.

You can be the driver of your car. You can navigate this road trip of life with control. I will tell you how, it is very straightforward; in order to properly steer this vehicle, you must understand the power of mindfulness.

“Mindfulness” may drum up imagery of cross-legged meditation, or hippies doing yoga. These are activities rooted in mindfulness, yes, but they are just practices. Ways of honing the skill. The real task at hand is implementing mindfulness in daily life.

More often than not, we find ourselves lost on this chaotic journey of life, caught up in daily stressors that can often suck all the fun out of this journey. The seemingly endless homework assignments, house chores, college applications, etc., might feel suffocating to the point where it feels impossible to address everything properly.

With practice, though, we can pull ourselves out of the chaos. We can navigate this road from the driver's seat and have complete control about the way that we interact with the world.

To practice mindfulness in daily life is simply being aware of yourself. It is an awareness of your body, your mind, and/or your feelings at any given moment in time. The concept seems simple, maybe you believe that you are already aware of everything that’s going on, yet the world still seems stressful and challenging. Mindfulness techniques involve more than just an understanding of the situation, they give you the power to go deeper, to steer your ways of viewing situations and understanding the universe.

The concept might appear existential, but there are many practical elements to mindfulness that will aid your everyday life. Mindfulness practice will improve your concentration. Tasks that once seemed impossible will be easily conquered. To-do items that once seemed like chores may even become enjoyable!

Throughout the course of this blog section, I will provide some amazingly useful and practical techniques to prepare you for the road trip of life, all rooted in the concept of mindfulness.

We are at an incredibly pivotal moment in our lives. School will only last for so long. Soon enough, we will embark into the world, into the unknown universe of choices, jobs, adulting!

I believe that it is critical to know and love ourselves now, while we are young; critical to learn how to drive the car before we embark on the amazing road trip that is life. These tools of mindfulness will put us in the driver’s seat. Let’s go for a ride.

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