Where does ambition come from? My 15 year old daughter seems to lack all drive & I don't get it! Of course they say, that's just teens, but I swear I think she's intentionally trying to be less motivated. "I don't need HS, I just want to be a hair cutter!" Are you kidding, wow, we've really set the bar high. How can her mom be a teacher & dad, bust his hump building his own business & yet her goal is to strive to cut hair? Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with cutting hair, but, don't get stuck cutting hair because that's the only option available. If she was dumb that would be one thing, but she's very smart, and could be whatever she wants. Her understanding of computers is amazing to me, she could be social media specialist or in some other technical science field if only she would try. Any ideas? Cell phone or car or independence don't seem to be any motivation, she seems to be just biding her time, waiting to be free, unaware that this is as free as it gets!

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try."

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

“Try and fail, but don't fail to try.”
Stephen Kaggwa

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Dale Carnigie

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
Vincent van Gogh

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Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on September 19, 2009 at 5:42pm
To answer the question:

Ambition comes from wanting to be better than we currently are, be in a better place than where we are currently standing, or have more than we currently have...sadly, at 15, there's not much in the rearview mirror that can be used as a reference point to self - start from.

As for advice, all I've got are some things to ponder..

Is she coddled and thus lazy, or criticized and thus fearful of trying? sorry for the hard question, but the answer will determine the best approach to take.

maybe she sees how you built a business, decided that working for someone else sucks, and cutting hair is her way of following in your footsteps..hairstylists are commission based entrepreneurs too, after all...maybe she likes people, and being in front of a computer all day doesn't hold any appeal?

Maybe bring her in deeper to what it is you do, and how you got to where you are. show her how much comes in, how it comes in, how much the gov't takes, and how much the family burns through to maintain her lifestyle..maybe make the case that developing skills and trying equals a better chance to maintain her lifestyle going forward..it can be done,, but it takes a long time to build up a hairstyling clientele that can support her.

I know not everyone likes to discuss money and stuff with their kids, but reality checks do wonders for peoples thought processes..

All you can do is tell her everything, and push her while building her up...she's only 15, so letting her assimilate more of life and grow up is a good thing to do as well.
Comment by Steve van horn on September 19, 2009 at 6:20pm
Thank you for your response, all valid points. I'm sorry if I offended any hairstylist out there, that was not my point to say that cutting hair isn't a good job; it was to say: stay in school & try hard. After that you will have options. If cutting hair is what you still want, then great. Like you just said, she's only 15, let's get some life behind, with option wide open before making career decisions.

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