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The Success Sequence

- by Marina Paredes, Certified Dibbles Institute Educator What did you want to be when you grew up? Many of us romanticized during childhood about becoming a doctor, police officer, lawyer, a famous actor, etc. Most of us dream about someday finding our princess or Prince Charming and living happily ever after. As children, these fantasies are all well and good, but the older we become the more we realize someday we will be making important decisions about these areas in our lives.

I’m going to be sharing with you guys about the Success Sequence, and my experiences in following this sequence without knowing anything about it. You may be wondering what I’m talking about. The sequence (or order) in which one does some of life’s big things really matters. While there are no guarantees in life, doing some of life’s most important things in a certain order can really make a difference in how your life turns out—even reducing the chances of living in poverty, believe it or not. According to a study from the Brookings Institute, if people follow the Success Sequence, they only have a 3% likelihood of falling into poverty. The Success Sequence consist of the following 4 simple steps:

1. Finish high school/graduate

2. Get a full-time job

3. Get married

4. Have kids after you are married and have a full time job

Finish at Least High School/Graduate

When I was in high school, I wanted time to go by superfast and I wanted it to be over with. I always did my best in school because I wanted to graduate with good grades. I planned to go to college right away after graduating and continue my education. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, but things could always work out at the end. I did graduated and got my high school diploma. I took a couple of years off from school because I met the love of my life and we decided to get married right away. It’s important that you get a high school diploma and obtain as much college education or training as possible. It will point you towards success.

Get a Full-Time Job

I had my first job when I had just turned 16 years old. I started working for Panda Express part-time. I continued to have this job for the next six years. It was an income that maintained my financial needs for that phase of my life. When I got married, I became pregnant with my daughter right away. We (my husband and I) noticed that in the long run, our income was not going to be sufficient because we wanted to have more children in the future. My husband and I decided that it was time for me to continue my education and I quit my job to go back to college. My husband worked and brought income to our house. Even though I couldn’t get my degree, obtaining extra education has opened many doors for me. Deciding to commit to finishing your education will help you obtain better employment and there is a big chance for you to obtain your dream job.


Marriage, Then Children

If having a family is part of your dream for the future, then making a clear decision and having clear intentions about when you are ready to do that, and under what circumstances, is very important. Making a decision to leave sex out of your teen relationships gives you freedom to enjoy relationships without the worry of pregnancy or STDs. Committing to complete all the four steps of the Success Sequence will help you succeed in reaching your dreams. Do whatever it takes to finish high school, further your education, find employment, and marry a supportive partner before having a child. It will be worth it.

People who follow the sequence or stay on track boost their odds of living in the middle or upper-income levels (97%). Money doesn’t buy love or happiness, but does buys things that matter like housing, childcare, and other essentials. Keep in mind that you can still be successful even if you have skipped ahead in the sequence. You don’t have to stay where you’re at. You’re never trapped! Work hard at turning your dreams into reality!

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