Will you be voted most likely to succeed? Or are you struggling to get through daily tasks; getting to school, hanging out with friends, making good grades, graduating high school to move on to your future? Have you ever wondered why some people are successful in life, and some seem to struggle with each passing day? Many think that successful people had some natural ability in a certain area which brought them success. Or they were naturally smart because their goals came so easily to them. If you’re one who does not feel like you have any special talents, gifts, or abilities, it’s easy to feel discouraged and like you can’t be successful.

What if you knew about a sequence of steps that if followed, makes success almost fail proof? Statistics show that if you 1) Obtain your education- whether that be a high school degree, or further with a college degree and then 2) Get full-time employment and then 3) Wait until age 21 to marry before you have children, there is only a 2% chance you will live in poverty. (Poverty is not being able to take care of your family on your own without government assistance.) However, if you do not achieve these three norms in this order, there is a 76% chance you will live in poverty. Pretty staggering statistics.

This success sequence says nothing about being top in your class, or having some special talent or sporting ability. These steps are things each of us can attain. So, go to school and get that degree, find that full time employment, and then choose to marry your partner before starting a family.

Some of you reading this may have already done some of these steps out of sequence. You are not alone. Christy Shaw, Community Educator here at Clarity says of her experience, “I had a baby before the success sequence even started. Right before high school graduation. I know what it’s like to face obstacles of all kinds. But can I encourage you that you don’t have to be a statistic? There is hope in any situation. With the love and support of my family and friends, I was still able to finish my education, find employment, get married, and not live in poverty.”

With some help and determination, your story doesn’t have to be over because of one wrong turn. Sometimes those experiences can make us more determined to stay on the course needing completed so we can have successful futures.