11/17/2014 01:01 pm ET Updated Jan 17, 2015

10 Tips for Teens

Recently I was invited to speak to a student group at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the questions posed to me, as a former CEO of a local bank and author of a newly-revised book, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, was "What advice would you offer?"

Since I am in my fifties and sport more than the occasional gray hair, as a former bank CEO and author of a recently revised book I seem to be asked this question more often than in previous years. Rather than fire off some random thoughts, I decided to conduct a personal ideation session, using both the left and right hemispheres of the brain in a methodology based on Dr. Roger Sperry's Nobel Prize-winning discovery about hemispheric division in the brain and Dr. Lucia Capacchiones's applied psychological principles -- a method described in my book.

By brainstorming in the left-brained, more conventional fashion, I got some ideas. Then, accessing the more creative right brain, I came up with another set of answers. Both sets seemed worth sharing, and demonstrate the differing results achieved in using this methodology.

Conventional process thoughts:

1. Don't be afraid to say "No," and don't be afraid to say "Yes" either. Be intentional and authentic with your decisions.
2. Resist cynicism.
3. If in doubt, pay it forward.
4. Hard work usually pays off.

Thoughts inspired by Right Brain Methodology*

1. Life isn't fair, don't spend much time lamenting it.
2. If you allow yourself to be who you are, you'll be more satisfied in life and probably happier as well.
3. Don't keep score, but keep your eye on the path and the prize.
4. Love is more important than money.
5. It's not being shallow to strive to be happy.
6. Aim high -- you can make the world a better place.

*Methodology is described in Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius by William A. Donius. (Revised edition released by Atria Books, Simon and Schuster, August, 2014)