The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens

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It’s tough being a teenager. Peer pressure, dating, trying to fit in, and making the grade are just a few of the hurdles they must overcome. Sean Covey has taken the principles and habits introduced in his bestselling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and applied them to a practical guide book that helps teens understand and conquer six key issues: gaining self-esteem, dealing with parents, making friends, being smart about sex, steering away from substances, and succeeding...
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Overview

It’s tough being a teenager. Peer pressure, dating, trying to fit in, and making the grade are just a few of the hurdles they must overcome. Sean Covey has taken the principles and habits introduced in his bestselling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and applied them to a practical guide book that helps teens understand and conquer six key issues: gaining self-esteem, dealing with parents, making friends, being smart about sex, steering away from substances, and succeeding at school and planning a career.

With his trademark wit and practicality, and based on years of research, Covey teaches teens how to effectively cope with the pain and frustration that goes along with making day-today choices that can affect the rest of their lives. And with its hilarious cartoons and eye-catching graphic designs, the book is not only beneficial -- it’s also fun. Although written directly to teens, The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make also gives parents some helpful insight on how to boost their kids’ confidence and become happier and more productive individuals. Just as the original 7 Habits for teens is the established guide for adolescents all over the world, The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make is destined to follow in its successful -- and helpful -- footsteps.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up
In this practical and lively self-help title, the author argues that teens have six key decisions to make, and that their choices will make or break their futures. The decisions involve getting a good education, choosing true friends, getting along with parents, dating and sex, avoiding addictions, and establishing a healthy sense of self-worth. Covey provides tips for making and following through on each of these areas and delivers concise sound bites of advice peppered with colorful graphics, cartoons, and movie quotes. He supports his arguments with facts, statistics, and analysis. For example, in urging teens to stay in school and keep up their grades, he provides a chart of lifelong earnings based on the highest degree earned, as well as the money needed for a family. The author briefly addresses problems associated with the choices. For example, regarding school, he gives tips on dealing with stress, time management, learning disabilities, and preparing for college. He is frank in discussing sex and dating myths and the dangers of STDs and teenage pregnancy. This book covers typical self-help territory, but does so in a manner that teens will appreciate. Its downfall is its wide scope and the author's failure to cite most of his sources. However, the volume is not designed to be read straight through, and its quick and easy tips will appeal to most readers.
—Jane CronkhiteCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"This book is way better than Sean's first one, and that one was GREAT! Every teen in the world should read this book. And, oh yeah, it was really funny." — Matt Klymocho, teenager

"This book will prepare teens to handle the pressure and make the right universal big decisions right now." — Peyton Manning, quarterback, Indianapolis Colts, two-time NFL MVP, six-time Pro Bowler

"As hard as it is not to be biased, I can say without reservation that this is one remarkable book! The writing is entertaining and inspirational. A definite must-read for teens, and all those who raise, teach, and lead them." — Stephen R. Covey, author of the #1 bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"From one mother to another, I highly recommend that if you want a better future for your teens, you must have them read this book!" — Candace Lightner, founder, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

"This book is perfectly written. I want all 74,000 students in our district to read it as well as their parents and all 6,000 teachers. I am trying to figure out how to make it required reading for all teens in Nashville." — Pedro Garcia, Ed.D. educational administration; superintendent, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

"It's a rare thing to find such an innovative and inspirational book all rolled into one." — Larry King

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455892891
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Covey is Executive Vice President of Global Solutions and Partnerships for FranklinCovey and has led the development of most of FranklinCovey’s organizational offerings, including: Focus, Leadership, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, The Leader in Me, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Sean oversees all of Franklin Covey’s International partnerships which cover over 140 countries.

Sean is also FranklinCovey’s Education Practice Leader and is devoted to transforming education around the globe through bringing leadership principles and skills to as many kids, educators, and schools as possible.

He is a New York Times bestselling author and has written several books, including The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, which has been translated into 20 languages and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. He is a seasoned speaker to kids, teens, and adults and has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows.

Sean graduated with honors from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in English and later earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. As the starting quarterback for BYU, he led his team to two bowl games and was twice selected as the ESPN Most Valuable Player of the Game.

Born in Belfast Ireland, Sean’s favorite activities include going to movies, working out, hanging out with his kids, riding his dirt bike, and writing poor poetry. Sean and his wife Rebecca live with their children in the Rocky Mountains. For more information on Sean, visit SeanCovey.com. Follow Sean on Twitter @Sean_Covey.

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Read an Excerpt



The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make



A Guide for Teens



By Sean Covey


Fireside



Copyright © 2006

Sean Covey

All right reserved.


ISBN: 0743265041


Chapter One: The 6 Big Ones

The Choice Is Yours

Call me Sean.

I'm the author and I'm glad you're here. Don't worry. This won't be another boring book. This one's different. It's written just for teens and deals with your life, your problems, your stuff. It also has a lot of great cartoons (I had to hire several artists and pay them a fortune because I can't draw worth squat.)

This book is about one idea. I'll get straight to the point.

There are six key decisions you make during your teen years that can make or break your future. So, choose wisely, and don't blow it.

If you do happen to blow it, however, it's not the end of the world. Just get back on track quickly and start making smarter choices.

Being a teen today is tougher than ever. While your grandparents may have had to walk uphill to school in the snow, you have a different set of challenges to navigate: like media overload, party drugs, Internet porn, date rape, terrorism, global competition, depression, and heavy peer pressure. It's a totally different world!

Although I still shoot spit wads, I'm no longer a teen, but I vividly remember the ups and downs I went through. Most of my problems began at birth. My dad said, "Sean, when you were born your cheeks were so fat thedoctor didn't know which end to spank." He wasn't kidding. You should see my baby pictures. My cheeks hung off my face like water balloons. You can imagine how often I was teased.

Once I was with all the neighborhood kids jumping on our trampoline. We were playing a game of add-on and it was my turn. Susan, my neighbor, couldn't resist saying what everyone was thinking, "Man, look at Sean's bouncing cheeks. They're so fat."

David, my younger brother, in an effort to defend me said, "They're not fat. They're muscle."

His valiant effort backfired, and everyone got a kick out of my new nickname, "Muscle Cheeks."

My problems continued into junior high school. I hated seventh grade and have chosen to forget most of it. I do remember that I still had fat cheeks and an eighth grader named Scott kept trying to pick a fight with me. I don't know why he picked on me. I'd never met the guy. Maybe it was because he was confident he could pound me. He'd wait in the hallway with a couple of his friends and challenge me to a fight every day after my algebra class. I was petrified and tried to stay away from him.

One day he cornered me.

"Hey, Covey. You big fat sissy. Why don't you fight me?"

"I dunno."

He then slugged me in the stomach real hard, knocking my breath out. I was too scared to fight back. He left me alone after that. But I was humiliated and felt like a loser. (By the way, I'm bigger than Scott now and I'm still looking for him. Kidding!)

As I began high school, to my pleasant surprise, my face grew into my cheeks, but a new set of problems arose. Suddenly I had to make a lot of important decisions that I wasn't ready for. During the first week, I was invited to join a club with seniors who drank a lot. I didn't want to join but I also didn't want to offend them. I started to make new friends. Then, there were all these new girls. One even started liking me. She was pretty and aggressive and it was exciting and scary all at once. I had so many questions. Should I like this girl? Who should I hang out with? What classes should I take? Should I go to that party? How can I juggle school, sports, and friends?

I didn't realize it at the time, but these were some of the most important decisions I'd ever make in my life.

The idea for this book started when I sent out surveys to hundreds of teens from all over and asked, "What are your biggest challenges?" Here's what a few of them said:

"Stress. Trying to fit everything in is my number one challenge because I have a lot on my plate."

"Dealing with sexuality. I have to be able to make the right choices now so that I don't have to live with my mistakes later. It seems like if you're not having sex when you're a teenager, then you're a prude or something."

"Parents. I have to deal with them every day and it's exhausting."

"School and grades. My mom screams at me."

"Preparing for college. It's right around the corner and I haven't really given it much thought. Every time I try to think about it, I just end up getting a huge headache, so I don't."

"Divorce of my parents. They always fight over who gets visitation."

"High-school drama. Who's going out with who? Popularity. Best hair. Most athletic. Who's got money? Who said this about them? It's ridiculous!"

"Money. Barely enough money to live."

"Peer pressure is a major problem. I give in really easy, with the right people."

"I worry about the safety of my family because you can walk the streets and get killed. Most people are not going to school just to do drugs. I fear for my lil' brother and sister."

"Body and appearance. I struggle with my weight all the time."

"Friends. They are just bugging the heck out of me. I don't relate to them anymore. They ignore me and stay in their little cliques. I feel excluded, so lately I have just been staying away from them."

"Dating. I don't date whatsoever and here I am at 17. My friends dog me and make me feel like I'm not doing something I should."

"Body and appearance. I struggle with my weight all the time."

I carefully studied all the surveys I got back. I also interviewed numerous teens from various locations over a three-year period. And a pattern began to emerge. Out of the 999 different challenges that were mentioned, six stood out above all the rest.

As I looked deeper, I discovered that with each challenge there was a choice (or series of choices) to be made. Some teens I interviewed had made smart choices; others, dumb ones. As a result, some were happy and some messed up. These challenges represented fork-in-the-road decisions and the consequences were huge. It became clear that what you do about these challenges are the six most important decisions you'll ever make as a teen!

The Six Most Im portant Decisions You'll Ever Make

  • School. What are you going to do about your education?
  • Friends. What type of friends will you choose and what kind of
  • friend will you be?
  • Parents. Are you going to get along with your parents?
  • Dating and Sex. Who will you date and what will you do about sex?
  • Addictions. What will you do about smoking, drinking, drugs,
  • and other addictive stuff?
  • Self-Worth. Will you choose to like yourself?

You may not have thought much about these decisions. Or you may be struggling with one of them or all of them. Whatever your situation, you need to learn all you can about each decision, the ins and outs, the good and bad, so that you can make informed decisions, with your eyes wide open. You don't want to get down the road and find yourself saying, "If only I'd known better."

Many decisions you make as a teen can impact your life forever. In his book Standing for Something, religious leader Gordon B. Hinckley tells this story about when he was young:

While working in a Denver railroad office, I was in charge of the baggage and express traffic carried in passenger trains. One day I received a call from my counterpart in New Jersey who said that a passenger train had arrived without its baggage car. Three hundred patrons were angry, as well they had a right to be.

We discovered that the train had traveled from Oakland, California, to St. Louis, where a switchman had mistakenly moved a piece of steel just three inches. That piece of steel was a switch point, and the baggage car that should have been in Newark was in New Orleans, fourteen hundred miles away.

Prisons all over the world are filled with people who made unwise and even destructive choices, individuals who moved a switch point in their lives just a little and were soon on the wrong track going to the wrong place.

Each of these six decisions is like a switch point, a small three-inch piece of steel that will lead us down the right or wrong track for hundreds of miles.

A Tale Of Two Teens

Imagine two 19-year-old girls about to graduate from teenagehood. At age 13, they were in similar situations. At 19, they are in very different places, because of their choices.

Meet Allie. She smiles a lot. She is attending a local university and has two great roommates; they have a riot together. Allie has a tuition scholarship, and also works part time as a teacher's assistant. She plans to graduate in two years with a degree in English and become a teacher. Allie is dating two different guys right now, but isn't really serious with either yet. Throughout her teen years, she didn't date much and felt a little insecure about it, but she's proud that she didn't sleep around with every other guy. She hopes to meet a wonderful guy and get married someday.

At fifteen, Allie tried drugs once but, afterward, realized how stupid it was. Since then, except for an occasional glass of wine, Allie doesn't drink, smoke, or do drugs. She's free of addictions. Every Sunday night, Allie calls her mom, whom she calls her "best friend." Although she has problems, overall, she is confident, goal-driven, and happy with herself.

Meet Desiree. She is strikingly beautiful but suffers from low self-esteem. When asked why, she replies, "I don't know. It's just that I'm always thinking I'm fat and ugly."

Desiree started smoking when she was fourteen and smokes two packs a day now. She claims she could quit tomorrow.

She works full-time at a grocery store making minimum wage. Although she completed high school, she never really tried in school and doesn't see a need to get more education. She lives in an apartment by herself and has various live-in boyfriends. During high-school, she fooled around with lots of guys and was involved in many abusive relationships. "I always seemed to pick losers," she says.

Desiree doesn't have much of a relationship with her parents. And she has little contact with any of her best friends from high school. She doesn't know what she wants to do with her future and often gets depressed.

Two girls. Two totally different outcomes. Why? Because of their choices. Can you begin to see why making smart choices about school, friends, parents, dating, sex, addictions, and self-esteem is so huge?

The Ten-Year Experiment

Before going any further, try this little experiment:

Your job is to introduce yourself to someone as you were exactly ten years ago today and tell them a few things about yourself.

If your name is Jeremie and you're seventeen, you would say something like: "Hi, my name is Jeremie. I'm seven years old and I live in Toronto, Canada, with my parents and my younger brother, who is four. I just finished first grade. I have a goldfish named Spot and I love to color and play soccer. I feel happy inside."

If you're reading this book and you're near someone, try this experiment with them. Tell them it's part of a book assignment, so they don't think you've gone psycho. Introduce yourself as you were ten years ago, then have them do the same. If no one's around or you're too embarrassed (no big deal), just fill in the blanks below.

The date ten years ago today is:

My name is:

I am ______ years old.

I live in:

I live with:

My favorite things to do are:

I feel:

Now, shift gears. Your job is to introduce yourself to the same person as you would like to be ten years into the future. Tell them what you're doing and a little about yourself. Remember, this is how you would like to be ten years from now. So, Jeremie would say something like:

"Hi. I'm Jeremie. I'm 27 years old and I live in Vancouver, Canada. I just got married to a wonderful woman named Jasmine. A few years ago I graduated in music from the University of Toronto and I now teach piano at a private music school. I love my family and I hang out with them a lot. I'm feelin' really good about where I'm headed with my life."

The date ten years from now is:

My name is:

I am _____ years old.

I live in:

I live with:

Over the past ten years I have:

I feel:

You just practiced time travel. When you went back ten years, what memories surfaced? Were you in a good spot or a bad one? And what about the future? What did you see ten years from now? What do you want to do and who do you want to become over the next decade?

Free To Choose

The good news is, where you end up ten years from now is up to you. You are free to choose what you want to make of your life. It's called free agency or free will and it's your birthright. What's more, you can turn it on instantly! At any moment, you can choose to start showing more respect for yourself or stop hanging out with friends who bring you down.

Ultimately, you choose to be happy or miserable.

The reality is that although you are free to choose, you can't choose the consequences of your choices. They're preloaded. It's a package deal. As the old saying goes, "If you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other." Choice and consequence go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. For example, if you decide to do poorly in school and not go to college, you'll suffer the natural consequences of finding it hard even to get an interview for a high-paying job. Likewise, if you date intelligently and avoid casual intimacy, you'll enjoy the consequences of having a good reputation and not worrying about STDs and pregnancy.

The word decision comes from the Latin root meaning "to cut off from." Saying "yes" to one thing means saying "no" to another. That's why decisions can be hard sometimes.

You're always better off making a decision once and being done with it instead of making it again and again. For example, as a teen, I decided I wasn't going to smoke, or drink, or do drugs. (Now, I'm not making myself out be a hero, because I made lots of mistakes as a teen, as I'll show you later. But I did do this one thing right.) So, I avoided parties where everyone got plastered. I chose not to hang out with guys who did drugs. I never felt peer pressure to do this stuff because I'd already made up my mind once and didn't have to keep making that decision over and over.

Some might say that I missed out on a lot of fun. Maybe so. To me, it gave me freedom: freedom from getting stoned and doing something stupid; freedom from a drunk driving offense; freedom from forming an addiction.

A Quick Overview

There are different ways in which you can read this book. You can read it from start to finish (probably the best way), or skip around and go to the chapters that interest you the most. If you're really lazy, just look at the cartoons. Here is a quick overview of the chapters.

School -- I'm Totally Stressed Out!

Of all your challenges, school ranks #1. Why? It's the stress! As one teen put it, "School...Argh! People put pressure on students that school is everything and it stresses me out!"

You have to deal with gossip and grades, teachers and tests, labels and lunch ladies. Yikes! You have to cope with parents who actually expect you to try your best in school, for crying out loud. On top of that, you have to worry about preparing to get a real job someday.

Why is what you choose to do about education such a big decision? Probably because what you do about it will open doors of opportunity or slam them shut for a very long time.

In the chapter on school, we'll hit many important topics like:

  • How dropping out of school wrecks your money-making potential
  • Finding motivation when you have none
  • The 7 secrets to getting good grades
  • Rising above a learning disability
  • Preparing and paying for college
  • Finding your voice (we're not talking choir here; we're talking about discovering what you're good at)

Freinds -- So Fun...So Fickle

Some teens find it easy to make good friends. For many, though, it's a struggle. We don't fit in. Or we're judged because we don't have a perfect body or wear the right clothes. It's especially hard when your family has to move and, suddenly, you're the new kid at school trying to break into established cliques. Many of us have had times when we've not had any friends at all. Or we have such a great need to be accepted we become friends with anyone willing to accept us even if they bring us down.

And then there's all the drama. It is the weirdest thing, but virtually every girl I've spoken to tells me, "Any two girls get along fine, but three never works." Us guys have a different set of challenges, like punching each other and dating each other's girlfriends.

Who you choose as friends and the kind of friend you choose to be is a huge decision. In this chapter, we'll talk about lots of interesting stuff such as:

  • Surviving the popularity game
  • What to do when you don't have any friends
  • Being the kind of friend you'd like to have
  • Surviving the catfights
  • What you need to know about gangs
  • Standing up to peer pressure

Parents -- How Embarrassing!

"My mom is OK. She tries to understand me. But it's like the more she tries the more she annoys me. And then my dad is just crazy. And I just can't relate to him at all."

This is Sabrina. She's pretty normal. She loves her parents but can't figure them out half the time. Part of the problem with parents is how we see them. When I was in grade school, my parents were cool. But when I turned 13, they morphed into nerds and became so embarrassing. Suddenly, they forgot how to dress, talk, or walk upright. I'll never forget the time in eighth grade when I was on the sidelines during a football game and I felt a tap on my shoulder.

"Hey, Sean. It's me. Dad. Do you and your buddies want a piece?"

I was shocked. There stood my dad on the sidelines, where he wasn't supposed to be, with a 16- inch pizza, during the middle of my football game, asking me if I wanted a piece of freaking pizza.

I was horrified. And, in front of all my teammates, I denied that I even knew him.

But, trust me, when you get a little older you'll find that your parents will instantly mature and become cool again and your friends will start saying things like, "Dude, your mom is awesome."

The quality of the relationship you want to have with your mom and dad is a choice and it's one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. In this chapter, we'll discuss many vital issues, including:

  • How to build an awesome relationship with your mom and dad
  • Disarming your parents in one line or less
  • Four magical expressions to use with your parents that work every time
  • Surviving a divorce
  • Coping with the "Why can't you be like your brother?" syndrome
  • What to do when your parents are really messed up and you have to raise them

Dating & Sex -- Do We Have to Talk About This?

I wish we didn't have to talk about it, but we do. If we didn't, I'd be irresponsible, because it's one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. Perhaps the most important. (Parents, if you're secretly reading your teen's book right now to see what I have to say about this topic, just relax and trust me. I won't botch it.)

When I was a boy, my parents never talked about the birds and the bees. My dad would turn red in the face if he even thought about it. So, I learned all about it from the neighborhood boys that were in the know. But times have changed and you'd better get real clear on what kind of people you're going to date and what you're going to do about sex. If you don't, someone else will make the decision for you and you don't want that. In this chapter we'll get into stuff like:

  • Dating intelligently
  • So you don't date...so what?
  • The problem with centering your life on a girlfriend or boyfriend
  • Spotting red flags in a relationship
  • What are STDs and why should I care?
  • Debunking the four great myths about teens and sex

Addictions -- It's Not Hard to Quit...I've Done It a Dozen Times

I admit it. I picked up an addiction in high school -- to nachos. I couldn't get enough of them. I couldn't watch a movie without nachos. I couldn't pass a 7-Eleven without getting my nacho fix. I'm still hooked. I've never stopped to think about what goes into that greasy, cheesy stuff, but I'm sure it ain't cheese.

I'm so lucky I didn't pick up any other addictions during my teens. I feel bad for a coworker who has to go outside every two hours in the rain or heat to have his smoke. I feel bad for a family friend who messed up his brain so bad from drugs that he's just not in there anymore. Clearly, the decisions you make around this challenge often stick with you for life.

Today, there's pressure to binge-drink, smoke, do drugs, take steroids, sniff glue, and do a number of other enticing things. As a couple of teens put it:

"A ton of people do it, so it's hard to stay away from it."

"I've stopped, but I still want it."

You won't want to miss this section. Your peers have some really good stories to share. We'll chat about:

  • The three brutal realities of addiction
  • The truth about alcohol, tobacco, meth, ecstasy, 'roids, cocaine, prescriptions, inhalants, and more
  • This is not your parents' marijuana!
  • Conquering an addiction
  • The drug of the twenty-first century
  • Where to get great nachos

Self-Worth -- If Only I Were Better Looking

One girl said, "My biggest challenge is selfesteem. There are too many beautiful people. I feel ugly." If you ever feel this way, you're not alone. Compared to the models we see plastered in Cosmopolitan and GQ, we all feel ugly.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. But if your self-confidence or lack of it comes from how you stack up on the good-looks gauge, you've got serious problems.

The fact is, there are lots of kids with big noses and dorky clothes that are full of self-confidence. And there are loads of well-dressed, popular kids who have no self-confidence at all. Obviously, there's so much more to healthy self-worth than beauty and biceps.

When all is said and done, learning to like yourself is a choice. It may not seem that way, but it is. It's a matter of learning to get your security from within, not from without -- or from what others say about you. This chapter will cover:

  • The one true mirror you should always look to
  • Why fixating on other people's opinions of you is stupid
  • Character and competence: the foundation stones of healthy self-worth
  • What to do when you're depressed and can't pull out of it
  • Developing your unique talents and skills
  • Mining your own fields for diamonds

The 7 Habits Crash Course -- They Make You or Break You

In addition to a chapter on each of the six decisions, there's a short chapter called The 7 Habits Crash Course. It's up next. A few years ago, I wrote a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. If you've already read that book, the chapter will serve as a good review of the habits. If you haven't read it, the crash course will get you up to speed. It doesn't really matter in which order you read these books. It's sort of like the Star Wars movies. They all go together but it doesn't really matter which one you watch first.

In this book, we'll use the 7 Habits as a tool kit to help you make these big decisions. So just what are the 7 habits of highly effective teens? Simply put, they are the habits that successful and happy teenagers from Africa to Alaska have in common. Don't leave home without them!

Ready for Tomorrow

My purpose in writing this book is simple: I want to help you make smart choices around each of the six decisions so you can be happy and healthy today, and ready for tomorrow -- a future so bright you'll have to wear shades. When you turn twenty and retire from being a teen, I want you to be able to say:

  • I have a solid education!
  • I have good friends that bring out the best in me!
  • I have good relationships with my parents!
  • I don't have an STD, am not pregnant (nor gotten anyone pregnant),
  • and have made smart choices about dating and sex!
  • I am addiction-free!
  • I like myself and am OK with who I am!

Of course, you'll make mistakes during your teen years, face many struggles, and have many highs and lows. No one expects you to be perfect. But please don't make it harder than it has to be. By simply making smarter choices starting today your teenage journey can be so much smoother.

I like what the poet Robert Frost had to say about the importancI like what the poet Robert Frost had to say about the importance of decisions.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference."

P.S.

Oh, by the way, I encourage you to personalize your book. A teen named Carol said, "I come from a book-oriented family. I've been reading since the age of three, and writing anything in a book is a sin." I was raised this way too. But let's change that rule, right now. The new rule is: Mark up your book! Get out your pen, colored pencils, highlighter -- whatever -- and go to town. Scribble. Doodle. Have some fun with it. Write in the margins. Circle quotes you want to remember. Highlight stories that inspire you. Record insights as they come. You'll get a lot more out of this book if you make it your own.

Copyright 2006 by FranklinCovey, Co.


Continues...




Excerpted from The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make
by Sean Covey
Copyright © 2006 by Sean Covey.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


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Table of Contents

WHAT'S INSIDE

The 6 Big Ones

The Choice Is Yours

The 7 Habits Crash Course

They Make You or Break You

Decision 1: School

I'm Totally Stressed Out!

Sticking It Out

Surviving and Thriving

Off to College

Finding Your Voice

Decision 2: Friends

So Fun . . . So Fickle

Surviving the Everyday Ups and Downs of Friendships

Making and Being a Friend

Peer Pressure

Decision 3: Parents

How Embarrassing

The Relationship Bank Account

You're So Annoying

Closing the Gap

When You Have to Raise Your Parents

Decision 4: Dating & Sex

Do We Have to Talk About This?

Intelligent Dating

The Four Great Sex Myths

Love Waits

Decision 5: Addictions

It's Not Hard to Quit . . . I've Done It a Dozen Times

Three Brutal Realities

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but

Striking at the Root

Decision 6: Self-Worth

If Only I Were Better Looking

The Social Mirror and the True Mirror

Character and Competence

Conquering Your El Guapo!

Stick to the Code

It's Worth Fighting For!

Thank-Yous

Help Desk

Bibliography

Index

About FranklinCovey

Covey Classics

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Sean CoveyQ: Why did you decide to write The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make? A: Because I realized that being a teen today is tougher than ever and teens have a whole different set of challenges to navigate than their parents and teachers had. And I figured that if I could give teens some of the facts in a way that they'd find fun and entertaining, then I might be able to help them make smart choices, choices that may very well affect the rest of their lives. Q: How would you sum up the book's meaning and what is the overall effect you hope it has on teens?A: Many decisions a teen makes can impact their lives forever. Whatever a teen's situation, they need to learn all they can about each of these decisions, the ins and outs, the good and bad, so that they can make informed decisions. Each of these six decisions is like a switch point for a train, a small three inch piece of steel that will lead them down the right or wrong track for hundreds of miles or years and years.Q: Which of the six decisions, if any, do you think is the most difficult for teens to make? A: From all the letters and interviews and surveys done with teens all over the world, one of the most difficult challenges teens face is what to do about sex. The media treats sex as a disposable form of entertainment that can be bought, sold, rented, or traded, and is available 24/7. Alisia, a teen from Illinois said it best, "If sex is portrayed all day long on the TV how do they expect people not to want to try it?" There are so many popular beliefs out there that are false and unsupported by fact. It's really tough for a teen to know what is true or false. Q: What is the stance you take when giving teens advice, especially on touchy subjects like sex?A: The approach I've taken on all the challenges is a principle-based and practical approach that applies to teens universally. I don't pretend to take the place of parents, I see myself as a supplement. And I really debated on whether or not to even write a chapter on Sex and Dating because it is so darn touchy. On one hand, I didn't want to be careless or casual about something so delicate. On the other hand, I needed to be brutally honest and share the facts. I did my best to find the right balance. Q: If you were to offer one piece of advice for teens, what would that be?A: Although genes and upbringing deeply influence you, you are you because of your choices. Remember, there is a lot of hate, violence, and depressing stuff going on in the world and it's easy to get down, but take heart. There is good in this world and it is worth fighting for. I also believe that you are good and that you are worth fighting for. Q: In the book, you write, "Choice makes you who you are." What would you say to teens that have made some wrong choices in their lives? A: Well, it's never too late to learn from your mistakes and get back on track. Whether you're 15, 19, or 45, it's never too late to change course. If you do, your past trials can actually become a blessing to you and others. Of course, you're better off making right choices to begin with, but remember, smart people learn from their mistakes while really smart people learn from the mistakes of others.Q: What made you decide to direct your writing toward teenagers? A: I think this is the finest generation of teens that has ever lived with the greatest challenges that have ever been faced. That's why I wrote this book. Q: How does The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens relate to this book? Will living the 7 Habits ultimately make these decisions easier for teens? A: YES! The 7 Habits are vitally important in helping teens make smart choices. The 7 Habits are a framework or a way of thinking that can help anyone solve their problems better and faster.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

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2 Star

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2008

    This guy is all wrong

    We were reading this book in class as a group and we got to a part where it said 'depression is a choice'? Now, being how my mother works with people who are depressed and went to school to get a master's degree in college I think she would know what she was talking about when she said 'depression is NOT a choice. Depression is either caused by a chemical inbalence or things depressing happen to you that cause chemical inbalences. Medication CAN help that. If this guy is going and telling everybody that it's their fault their depressed and they choose to be, then these people won't get help, won't get medication, and eventually end up sucidal. And sometimes, if it is parents who get depressed and stressed out while pregnant, and they don't get help, they too will become sucidal and some even kill their children.' Now they are taking this book and reading it to bunches of schools so kids will grow up thinking 'It's my fault I'm depressed, and I'm choosing to be, so I'm not going to get help or get medication'. Do we really want the next generation of America thinking this?

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2007

    luv it

    This book I really like--it told me I was on the low road. I was reading it and it was doing examples of other teens and they nailed me! After reading it I decided to do better in school, never get involved with anything that has to do with addictions, and wait till after marraige for sex. I decided I will be a better friend to everyone. And I will, repeat WILL pursue my goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 19, 2009

    Great Personal Resource for Teens (and Adults)

    As a Life Coach, I don't always agree with everything in this book, but in general, I think it is a great resource for teens and adults. It provides great advice and food for thought, not only for teens, but also for adults (like me) who may still be struggling with habits developed during their teenage years. Sean Covey's messages are clear and realistic, he doesn't sugar-coat anything, and he speaks to his readers as intelligent, competent adults.

    I believe this is a must-read for all teenagers. I am giving a copy of it to my nephew for his 17th birthday. I really think he will enjoy it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2007

    Mother of teens

    From a mom perspective, I set this on the counter at home and my 12 year old picked it up to look at the pictures and cartoons--the next thing I know she has it in her backpack and is taking it to school to read. I overheard her discussing the 'way cool' stories with a friend. From one mom to another, buy it, and leave it out where your teen will see it. I promise, they'll pick it up and read it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    Great Book!

    I don't know what the other review was talking about! I read this book in my English class, and we all loved it. The advice was great and the activities were a lot more entertaining than I thought they would be. I loved this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Teens will ACTUALLY read this one!!

    I recently facilitated a TEENS class and had this book as a supplement to the materials. Since teens will not normally read through material on their own, one of the actitivies we did was to divide the class into 6 groups--one for each decision. I gave everyone 30 mintues to scan through their section and take notes, or highlight the things that stood out. After 30 minutes, they wanted even more time...so after about 45 minutes, I had each group present their section to the whole class. WOW!! They blew me away with their excitement and eagerness to share their sections. They made each of the 6 Decisions so relevant to themselves and each other. This book is engaging and discusses the things that teens need to know about. All the teens from my class give this book two thumbs up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    Couldn't Put It Down, Didn't Want It To End, Definite Favorite

    This book was a fabulous read. It really helped me to understand the facts of life, prepare for what lies ahead as my future, decide how to handle tough situations, and come to a realization of what obstacles are just around the corner. As a person who doesn't enjoy reading as much as others, I found this book in my hands in my free time quite often. Sean Covey is a marvelous author who knows how to keep the reader's attention. From his cartoons, to the personal stories included, to the proof of every fact in the book, he connected with me as a teenager in the modern world. He used games, questions, maps, and jokes to keep the reader feeling like he was part of their world. A good portion of his stories were ones that I have experienced myself, and his solutions truly helped me. Another thing I liked about Covey's writing was that he included references to his own book and proved his points with some ideas from that. Inside the book though, there was really nothing that I disliked about his writing or opinions. He made it clear that he was not trying to offend anyone and attempted to give advice that could apply to anyone. My favorite quote was "'When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.' -Mark Twain, author." His facts and examples are humorous to show teens what they look like from a different person's perspective. As the "new kid" at my school and in my neighborhood, Covey's ideas and stories led me to making more friends, believing in myself, and thinking more about my life in depth. Even for a near perfect person, this book really does help tie up loose ends. It is great for teens, parents, teachers, and anyone who wants a good freestyle reading book. The index is a clever idea making subject finding much easier. "The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make" made me think about how to focus on school and still have the right type of friends and surroundings, while getting along with and respecting my parents and staying out of trouble. I give this book a 5 because it kept me reading (and wanting to read) from cover to cover and taught me some very helpful information along the way. It will definitely be used as a guide to go back to in the future and look up helpful hints.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Teen "Bible"

    This is a very educational and informative book for teens. Although the comics and some of the writing were a little embarrassing/juvenile, I liked it because of the intensive research and thought that was obviously put into it. I kind of wish I had had a resource like this as a teen because of it's fact-driven education. There are a lot of myths that were debunked even for me as an adult. Good tool for teens.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    an awesome book

    it is very inspiring for the teenage soul and will help you make dissisions

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great insight!

    I bought this for my young (13)teen son. I wanted to read it myself first to make sure the things talked about were in keeping with our families values. I was so impressed with the content and delivery. It delivers wonderful information in a way that is entertaining and keeps your attention. Covey's use of personal experiences and his sense of humor make it an easy read. I'd highly recommend this book for teens and parents.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2008

    Wow

    We use this book in my eighth grade SFA (skills for adolescence) class. i love it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was really good! I liked how it had cartoons and stories and stuff to keep my attention and I also really listened to what Sean Covey was saying in it. Now I am trying to be nicer to my family, be better to my friends and, like the other reviewer, I have decided that I don't want to have sex until after marriage. I am also not goint to even try drugs. It's just a really good book. I think that all teenagers should read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    My son has read this book and LOVES it! He says Sean Covey is now his favorite author and is beginning to read another one of his books. Sean Covey's books are well written and written so that teens can relate to his stories and examples. Every teenager should read this book and I will definitely have my 15 year old read it next. Excellent read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Good book

    I havent read it yet but i bet this book is going to be good if his other book was helpful am sure this book will also. Read the that are tittle 7habits of a teen awsome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Best book ever

    It's the best I have read so far for teens. It covers all the basics and much more. Great gift.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2012

    daughter loved it, and then all her friends!!!

    My 13 year old couldn't put this down, and wants to buy a copy for all her friends that also love it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Cant wait 2 read

    Omg cant wait duhhhh

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    yucky!

    so i read this book in school and it was horrible! we had to read it for a class called connections, and it was awful! we sat there in the autiturium and read for 50 minutes everyday. it was yucky!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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