From the 29th to the 31st of October 2021, we had over 50 teenagers and young adults come together to have conversations with TMO on how to be a Resourceful Teenager. This note is compiled from the first general session facilitated by Oluwatosin Faith Kolawole (TeeFaith), after which participants were divided into categories. Click this link to know everything about TMO Conversations.
The Resourceful Teenager
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Resourceful as being able to meet situations: capable of devising ways and means.
Now, let’s break this down:
Being resourceful is the ability to find and use resources at your disposal to achieve a greater good – to solve problems and achieve goals. It is the ability to overcome problems or to make do with what is available to create a solution. Overcoming any possible problems that might arise.
For TMO Conversations, our focus is on how you can be a resourceful teenager or young adult regardless of the field you are in. But before we go into the HOW, let’s discuss the WHY.
Being resourceful is one of the most important skills you can have in the world today, regardless of where you find yourself. This is because it requires out-of-the-box thinking, one skill that can take you far in life.
Sometimes, what singles you out in a room of people with similar skillsets as you is your MINDSET and how you approach challenges. Being a resourceful person will not only make you stand out but will also give room to you creating solutions to already existing problems without making silly excuses.
Resourcefulness is also a soft skill and while so many people tend to focus on hard skills (talents and abilities that can be measured), soft skills are the personality traits that will take you further.
In this day and age, hard skills are not all that is there to help you get to where you’re going.
That’s why it’s possible to be a first-class graduate and still struggle to get a job, because you don’t know how to sell yourself or to be resourceful.
Unless you want to be ordinary and do the bare minimum, you will have to learn to be resourceful and it starts NOW. It is one investment you will be forever glad you made in your life.
Start from where you are and with what you have.Tweet
You have to create that balance between hard skills and soft skills and resourcefulness is one highly recommended skill that will take you far.
So, HOW can you be a resourceful person?
Have the Mindset
I’m sure you’re familiar with the common saying “you can achieve anything you set your mind to”. This is because you have to set your mind to achieve it first before going on to do all the work that comes with it.
This is not an aspire to perspire to not expire moment but simply the truth.
You will need to prepare your mind every time, especially when the task ahead of you seems difficult or impossible. You have to remind yourself that you can do it.
When you start with that, you can then think straight to see things and people around you that can be helpful to you achieving your goals.
With a resourceful mindset, you will always see a way. You won’t allow circumstances around you to determine your next steps.
You will also not settle because you know that you can find a way around it.
This helps you STAY POSITIVE.
You’re asked: “How do we reach 100 teenagers living in a remote area?”
Someone with a rigid mindset might straightaway think it’s impossible. Then comes the excuses. ‘They don’t have phones there. We don’t have friends there. We don’t have the money to camp there for days. We don’t blah blah…’
But if you have a positive mindset that you can make something come out from nothing, you’ll think differently. This is where you now position your thoughts elsewhere. Start thinking out of the box.
- Who can I talk to that will be helpful here?
- Who can we call?
- Okay, I have access to Twitter. What if I make a tweet asking for anyone who stays in that area?
- What if I post the link to that tweet on my WhatsApp status, asking people to retweet?
- Okay, can we crowdfund some amount of money and just go there to do a food drive, so we can get their attention?
- What if we send just one team member there to save cost. This person will make friends with a learned person in that area and we’ll start from there.
- What if we liaise with a school or a church, so we can use their building to converge these teenagers, instead of renting a hall?
This is how a resourceful person thinks – making the most of what you have.
Now, you may have the right mindset but nothing just works, regardless. That’s possible. But don’t let your initial response to things be “it’s impossible”. Learn to think OUTSIDE THE BOX. Many people will pay for this.
Understand That Being Resourceful is a Skill
This means it can be learned and mastered. Like every other skill, you can learn to be a resourceful person and master it over time.
This means you might not be perfect on day one but you will learn it gradually and master the art of being resourceful.
So, it’s okay if you look at someone else and think “how does this person think?! I want that”.
It’s okay. It’s a skill. You’ll learn it and master it with time.
But remember that it starts with the mindset. Always remember this.
If you’re part of the TMO Army, you’ll know what being resourceful means because we see it play out in most of the projects we carry out. While there may be a thousand and one reasons not to push a project to fruition, Teens Meet Outreach will still do it.
- What do I have right now that can help me here?
- How can I achieve this goal with everything I have at my disposal?
Most often than not, we have more than enough. We do. Unfortunately, we let excuses get the better of us.
I don’t have a laptop, that’s why.
It’s because my phone is bad.
Ugh, Nigeria doesn’t have light.
No money to buy fuel.
My parents are poor.
EXCUSES. And they are all valid. Very valid excuses that aren’t even your fault. But how will these excuses change your current situation?
After making the excuses, you still don’t have electricity anyway.
So, why not think of solutions and how you can make the most of WHAT you have and WHERE you are right now.
Everyone here has access to WhatsApp. That’s huge. That’s something.
It means you have a smartphone (regardless of how bad it is) and you have access to the internet. You can view WhatsApp statuses and even post. That’s huge.
You want to learn how to write?
Start with what you have. Write on your phone. If you can’t install a docs app to write, use your WhatsApp. Create a group with someone else and remove the person, so that only you will be left in the group and you can use it to write. Hack 101.
Then, once in a while, you can back up what you’ve written so far, so you don’t lose them.
Related: The Beauty of Journaling
You love taking pictures?
Stop complaining about not having a professional camera and start with your smartphone. Take the pictures like that and post them on your Instagram (or whichever app you use).
Start small. Use filters. With time, you can upgrade to editing with apps (Snapseed, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc).
Until you’re able to afford a better phone or a better camera, don’t give up your dreams and just start with what you have. And who knows, someone could find your work online and gift you with a better camera to improve your work.
Some of you have very good smartphones but don’t know what to do with them. It’s not just for taking quality pictures. You can do more with it.
- Install apps that can help your life and work.
- Connect with great people on social apps and learn from them.
- Do your research and embrace free opportunities that come your way.
Speaking of opportunities, there are many free opportunities out there but if you don’t have the mindset to learn and make use of what you have, you’ll keep making excuses.
I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive.
What about the free ones? Have you exhausted ALL the free resources on the internet that pertains to your field? Start with that.
Make Google Your Friend
If you Google “free resources on content writing”, I’m pretty sure you’ll see something you can use. Google “phone apps for editing photos”. Google everything and anything. Someone on the internet has most likely asked the questions on your mind. Google it and see answers.
So, you’re in the health field and you have a passion to educate more people about their health?
There are many ways to go about this. You can join an already existing organization that does that. Easy peasy. You can also use your phone.
- Start with your WhatsApp status.
- Proceed to curate a list for WhatsApp broadcast. You can ask your status viewers to indicate if they’ll like to be on the list (to avoid spamming people who aren’t interested).
- You can make threads on Twitter about things you’re learning or things you want to teach others.
- If you are more familiar with Videos, embrace TikTok!
You can be sitting in your house and be saving lives. Just by using your smartphone.
If you’re a writer, you can also join a health organization and ask to write for their blog. Volunteering to write for their blog will help you kill many birds with one stone.
- Now, you have a portfolio and work samples to show other people or employers.
- Your writing skills will improve.
- You are helping more people by sharing your wealth of knowledge
And this applies to every field.
Related: 4 Great Websites for Teen Writers
So, ask yourself “WHAT DO I HAVE RIGHT NOW”.
I promise you, you’re not empty.
Another thing I’ll also like to address is that you don’t have to be a FOUNDER or LEADER in something to make an impact.
Join existing platforms.
Join existing organizations.
Join hands with them to achieve your goal. You can start with that.
Also, stop waiting until things are perfect before you do anything.
For example, you’ve noticed you only have access to electricity at night; around 5:00 – 7:00 AM and you need light to work or study. How about you change your sleeping hours. Sleep early, so you can be up by 5:00 AM to do one or two things.
Use what you have right now to get what you want.
Perhaps your mates abroad have constant electricity and can’t be bothered, yes. But instead of comparing yourself and making excuses, you can find a way for yourself. Be resourceful.
And let me tell you, many times when people say “if I have XYZ, I’ll do this thing better”, it’s not always the case.
Personal experience. I used to say “when I have a better smartphone, I’ll constantly create content and be more regular on my Instagram page”. It was a lie.
Sometimes, it’s true. Of course. But the point here is that you don’t always have to wait. Pending the time you get that breakthrough, start with what you have.
- Write/work with your phone pending the time you own a laptop.
- Divide your movie hours and use half of it to read books that will help your life.
- Embrace free resources that will help you when you can
These things are important and this is how you can be RESOURCEFUL.
I hope you have learnt something from this. Feel free to share in the comments your take-home points from this.