It’s not easy to be a kid in the modern world. There are thousands of opinions and ideas floating around in books, on television and all around the internet. To make matters more confusing, there is a seemingly infinite supply of information to draw conclusions from and it is often difficult to verify the accuracy of these various sources. Modern youth in Lebanon also struggle with conflicting ideals presented to them through religion, politics, tradition and peer culture. The path to success is a narrow one and it is easy to get lost with so much distraction and misdirection.Conflicting IdealsOne of the biggest puzzles facing 21st century youth is the maze of conflicting ideals that winds through all aspects of human society. What matters to a youth’s parents, his teachers, his boss and his friends are rarely the same thing. Many kids are intelligent enough to judge their own actions in the scope of their environment, but they don’t have the wisdom that comes from decades of experience either. Successful people learn to create and follow their own ideals in the context of the social ideals they are surrounded by.Youth must develop the ability to set goals and push towards achieving them on their own. This is not to say they shouldn’t seek help, but they must learn that their own personal momentum, observations and actions impact their future more than anything else. Teaching a child to be an independent thinker requires authority figures to step back from their own perspectives, opinions and positions to provide youth with the tools to make their own decisions.An Invincible ObstacleSuccess isn’t usually easy. As youth grow and learn about the world around them, they come to realize that nothing is as simple as it seems on the path to the top. Writing a book takes months or years and learning to be a doctor can take a decade. Nowadays, you can’t just start up a business, you need to learn how to manage finances, pay taxes and work with inefficiently managed organizations to accomplish business goals.Youth must grow up in reality. Parents and educators should help their children and students understand that success really is possible, but it requires planning and thorough contemplation. A reality check doesn’t shatter dreams, it strengthens them.Work Now for the FutureTelevision, computers, mobiles, alcohol and drugs are just a few of the hundreds of outlets that provide immediate satisfaction when used. These things make it hard for younger people to think in terms of months, years or longer when looking to the future. Many aspects of modern culture encourage young people to sacrifice the future for the present. Feeling good and having fun now is paramount.–Success comes slowly and is earned with hard work. Youth must understand that each day is a building block for their future success. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t learn to have fun from time to time, but they need to understand the merit of expending effort now for future benefit.