I am going to geek out a little bit for this post. The new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, is coming out as you read this, and it seemed like a great time to reflect on past movies and the scenes that stick out. I will leave most of the reflection to you but join me in reminiscing, and then if you feel so inclined, read on about how this connects to working with teenagers below my list. In my mind, they are really all equally good scenes even if all of the movies are not equally good movies. Just a warning, there are spoilers ahead, so read with caution if you haven’t seen Star Wars!
The top 25 Star Wars Movies Scenes, in my opinion and not in any particular order.
Luke’s Jedi training with Yoda. “Do or do not there is no try.”
Luke shoots the Photon missiles into the core of the Death Star and it explodes
Starkiller Base Explosion
Darth Vader tells Luke, “I am your father.”
Luke fights the Emperor (lightning fingers)
Darth Vader dies
Ray steals the Milenuum Falcon
Han Solo is frozen in carbonite
Luke fights and escapes from the Rancor
Speeder chase on Endor
C-3PO is crowned a god
Lando betrays Luke, Han and Leia
Obi-Wan is killed
Rathtars on the loose
Opening scene in Force Awakens when we meet Kylo Ren
Bar scene looking for a ride to Alderaan and first meeting of Han Solo
Luke’s finds his Aunt and Uncle dead
Anakin Pod racing
Luke sleeps in the Wampa on the frozen planet
Tripping up the AT-AT’s on Hoth
Anakin finds out his mother is dead
Luke sneaks into Jabba the Hutt’s lair to rescue Han and Leia
Luke, Han and Leia escape from Jabba’s barge and the Sarlacc
Light Saber training with the blast shield down
Luke sees the visions of Obi-Wan, his father and Yoda
If you are not a Star Wars fan, that is totally fine. For me, this was a fun exercise in remembering back over the movies and thinking about the scenes and why they might be memorable or significant.
I have been listening to Don Miller’s Story Brand podcast a lot lately. It is focused on marketing principles and those principles are drawn out of the art of storytelling, something Hollywood movies are often very good at. The amazing thing is there is life application in this process as well. I encourage you to download his free ebook on the full 7-part framework and how to tell a story. But if you just want a quick idea to of how to use this with a teenager, let me give you a couple of suggestions.
First, realize that teenagers are closer to the beginning of their story than the end or the middle. This perspective helps us as adults remember that they are still in the development and learning stages and that if we can coach them through this process they, most of the time, will learn to navigate life well.
Secondly, we all need a guide. It is really amazing how many guides Luke has from Obi-Wan to Yoda to Han Solo at times. For teenagers, they need more than one guide, and they need for those people to be willing to allow them to fail and then walk with them through that failure. This way they learn that life is not always easy and that they can overcome the difficulties if they choose to engage the right skills and resources.
Finally, recognize that there is a bigger picture going on. It’s not only about what is happening right now. There is a destination and having a clear vision for what that is helps you prioritize what’s happening right now in order to be able to arrive where you want to go. If a teenager gets too distracted by the now, they not only lose sight of the future, but all too often they give up the future they could have had for something satisfying in the moment.
How would you apply these principles and others that may be related to coaching a teen through the adolescent years to set them up for success? Let us know!
Ricky Lewis is our Executive Director and has been with us since the beginning. As a father of 4, he seeks to help parents and their kids Live Life Better.
Story-telling is a powerful tool, especially when working with teenagers. In this episode, Dr. Michael Arnold joins Chris to discuss Narrative Therapy and how you can use stories to start conversations and deepen relationships with teenagers. Don’t panic about Narrative Therapy, even you can utilize the power of story and metaphors!
Michael Arnold, Psy.D., M.A.C.L. is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with over 17 years of education, training, and professional experience in providing psychological services for individuals, couples, and groups. Dr. Arnold is the founder of Alliance Counseling and Psychological Services in Southlake, Texas. He believes that therapy should consist of creating a safe and supportive environment to promote one’s ability to thrive in response to life’s challenges.
Chris Robey is the Program Director for Teen Lifeline, Inc. Earlier in his career while working as a youth minister, Chris earned a Masters Degree in Family Life Education from Lubbock Christian University to better equip his work with teenagers and families. Chris’ career and educational opportunities have exposed him to teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. Follow him on Twitter!
Karlie Duke started working as Teen Lifeline’s Communications Director after graduating from Abilene Christian University with a degree in Communications with a minor in Family Studies. Karlie has worked with teenagers for the past 5 years and is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram!
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Currently, I am facilitating two support groups at a high school alternative campus. I see students who have been kicked off their campus for one reason or another, and because it is a temporary campus, I never know how many weeks I will actually see a particular student. However, one of my favorite things is getting to celebrate with them when they finally go back to their “home” campus. After a student;s final group, I always tell them, “I hope I never see you again.”
And I mean that!
After those teenagers have left the alternative campus, I hope to never see them back in trouble or back in that classroom. (Now, I would love to see them around town or in a different context, but you get my point!)
As strange as it may seem, that is somewhat of a goal for Teen Lifeline Support Groups. Our job is to equip, encourage and empower these students to live life better and succeed outside of the group time. Maybe this means that they think about consequences before acting, surround themselves with better friends, deal with stress in a healthy way or find a trustworthy adult to confide in.
We love hearing stories of past students who have moved on, grown up and chosen to live life better. Austin O’Neal is one of these students, and his story hits close to home for me because I remember hearing it back in High School when we both participated in a Teen Lifeline Support Group.
Austin has chosen to live a different story and encourage others because of his own experiences. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to Austin’s story and how he is living out his “better life”!
A few years back, my wife and I were at the Storyline Conference with noted author Donald Miller. We decided to go to this conference in Nashville at what we believed was a pivotal time in our family life. I was in ministry at a congregation, and while everything was fine, I wasn’t sure what I was doing or where I was going. I enjoyed my job but didn’t see a future where I would be fulfilled and happy over the long term.
This particular conference seemed to be something that would at least help us think through these questions. The focus of the conference centered on understanding yourself as a character in your own story. We worked through our backstories and thought a lot about what we wanted.
There was one section of the conference where Miller riffed a while about relationships. During this particular section of the conference, he said something regarding relationships that has stuck with me –
“Sometimes we are just ONE good relationship away from everything being okay.”
Read that again.
One more time, now.
What a simple, yet powerful statement. These words seeped down into the recesses of my soul and found space to take root. The cost of the conference and travel to get there might have been worth it for those words.
Because the source of my discontent might not have been my job as a minister or the mission I believed in.
I was just very, very lonely.
Actually, both of us were. And, we couldn’t see much of a way out of the loneliness while being on staff at a church where there were very few families who were in our situation.
Why is this little story important, especially for those working with and loving teenagers? For my wife and I, the solution wasn’t really that profound. We needed relationships and we needed to figure out how to be in a place where we could find them. And, we did. We moved to a town and found jobs that put us in places where we could find people to live life with. We found some friends. Obviously a lot had to happen to solve our problem, but the problem itself was really simple – we needed friends.
And, Don was right. While we have our fair share of struggles and frustration in life, things are a lot better.
We were just one (or maybe more) relationship away. This made all the difference.
A Teen Lifeline support group operates on this idea. Sometimes, it’s the really simple solutions that make the biggest difference. Maybe it’s a different relationship. Or, maybe we could start doing one thing just a little differently. Then, the world opens up and we wonder what life looked like before.
Just like you and me, teenagers can get lost. And in the confusion of being lost, they lose sight of the fundamental, important things that brought joy and happiness to begin with. Our groups help students reclaim what was lost and discover what really matters. They face their problems by finding their courage and strength in themselves, others, or God. And discovering that the solution is so simple makes it so much better.
So maybe we don’t need to try and fix everything for our students, or ourselves, for that matter. Maybe instead, we help students to find the simple way that could make a huge difference.
Chris Robey, Program Director, and has worked with teens for over a decade and strives to help students see the best in themselves.