Letter to a troubled teenager (19)

Letter to a troubled teenager (19)

By Reza Ganjavi

Dear <>

If you really want to finish this last year of apprenticeship, you need to bring order to your life. As a first concrete step, clean your room. If an object doesn’t have a right place, find a right place for it. When everything is in its right place, you have order. It’s impossible to have a quiet, clear brain without a clean room. Order is required for quietness. When there is mess in the room or any other area of one’s life, the mind goes there.

You’re already obviously very intelligent from what your mom tells me. You’re so intelligent that you desire to think less. Thought has its right place, for technical practical matters, but the modern day society, especially here and in some other highly orderly places, thought is over emphasized. Thinking is limited because it’s based on experience and therefore it creates divisions and brings confusion when it’s misapplied to non-practical things. We can talk about this later and open it up more.


Part of having order in life is to clean up the body. Smoking pollutes the body, it poisons it. Just stop it. If you have a hard time, let me know, I’ve written an article of tips. Get that out of your life and your life will immediately improve, and so will your luck. Smoking brings bad-luck because poisons/negativity attracts negativity and makes you susceptible to negative energy.

It’s also important to eat right, get enough rest and exercise. Then you got the physical aspect covered. Don’t forget the brain is physical. As a Persian saying goes, a healthy mind is in a healthy body.


I am not a doctor or licensed therapist so you should not view my opinions as expert advice. These are just my opinions which you should not accept, but you may want to examine them and if you find any truth in any of them then you’ve found that truth, it’s first hand!


When you want a very interesting movie you get completely absorbed. You don’t have to make an effort to concentrate on it. When you’re interested in something, when you love doing something, you pay attention to it naturally. However, order is necessary, as stated above. It becomes hard for the mind to pay attention to something, even if you like it, when it has disorder in other parts of life, like one’s room!

“Attention deficit disorder” is often misused. It’s natural for a child to have a quick mind, to be aloof, etc., but these days kids are quickly drugged up. An aloof empty mind, one which is more interested in the birds outside the window than the classroom has been the characteristic of some geniuses but the society is quick to crush some minds as being unfit to fit its ways. The ways of society are often stupid but sometimes we have to play the game. I think the current apprentice system here is stupid and it just serves to provide cheap labor to an economy that doesn’t care about customer service so juniors are put in senior roles and mess up time and again, and kids are pressured to provide stupid labor for cheap just to do time. I know highly intelligent youngsters who have to make photocopies and other mindless things just to do time. But that’s the way it is.

I understand you’re a year from being finished and assume you want to do it. Completion is really an amazing feeling.

This is a very hard society. It is very thought dominated. The deterministic perfection outside is sought inwardly and since we are not trams people end up unhappy and that’s why suicide has such a high rate. Of course suicide is utterly stupid and in most cases shows lack of intelligence. It also shows how spoiled the people are: they have no idea what hardship is since everything material is provided – nobody has to worry about starving or sleeping in the street or not getting medical care. So tolerance for hardship is very low here. I’ve had very hard times and what helped me was to stay calm and quiet, and hard times always pass.

Your mom tells me you’re a light to yourself. That is so very important.


One of the key problems many are faced with is due to image making. They make an image of themselves or image of others’ image of them, and so on. This is an area where thought does not belong but it enters. An image is made of thought. The challenge is, is it possible to live without any images of oneself? This is a magical question and opens many doors. Life is much easier when we are inwardly quiet. This is a deep subject. We can talk about it more in depth if you like. Image making is also problematic because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s nice to be simple and approach things with simplicity and with brevity.

Society and tradition wants to impose its images and its ways. It’s important to stand up on one’s own and think for oneself and question everything. When we examine the ways of tradition we may find some to be true and keep some, and discard what doesn’t make sense. In a way, a free person is a rebel but true rebellion doesn’t mean shaving one’s head or shouting in the streets or taking drugs. The real revolution is inward and involves questioning everything and not living a second hand life but a life in which we do things because it makes sense to do them, not because society says so. As an example, I don’t smoke because it doesn’t make sense, it’s stupid, although society, in 20-Minutes in the morning, at train stations, etc., tells me to smoke.


If your objective is to get through this last year of apprenticeship, you can do it. Communication with your bosses is important. You can ask them what you can do better, and you can tell them how they can help you do your job better – how they assign tasks to you etc. – I know you already have the idea that they should not continually give you tasks without letting you finish the last task – a feeling of accomplishment is important. And please, get those cigarettes out of your life – I can really give you some good tips on that. Any attempt your mind makes to postpone quitting is just an excuse – on this one, believe me, I’ve been there, and have talked with many smokers. It’s all one big scam to make the tobacco companies rich. Get smart ;-)


- It’s natural, and statistically normal, for a person of your age to not know what they want to do, what to study. Part of a good education system is to help you find what you love to do. So don’t be afraid to change your mind. People who end up doing what they don’t love as a career, end up unhappy. And if you have found what you love, that’s wonderful.

Best Regards,

Reza Ganjavi