This morning my 13 year old daughter, Maggie, was up finishing up her homework at 5:30. No one told her to, she just set her alarm and got started. She's talking about going into the medical field, which will be new for our family; she will will have to be a trendsetter. Her school average is upwards of 99.
My other daughter, Marissa, is also doing quite well in school. She's 13 months younger, and hasn't talked about what she wants to pursue yet. Her average is also in the high 90's.
My 18 year old son, Robbie, is in his second year of college with a GPA of 3.87. He is also now talking about the medical field.
My wife and I have not tried to push any of our kids in a particular direction career wise, although we comment where it's appropriate. What we're seeing, I believe, is the result of their watching our business adventures (sometimes misadventures for sure,) and the fact that we've shown them you don't have to settle for average. There is more than finishing high school, getting a job, and getting married. Not that those are bad things; I think they're all good. But why not prepare for your own future instead of depending on someone else? The excuses come easy as to why you're going nowhere, but they won't amount to much at the end of the day. It's much easier to prepare early on, as opposed to after you get your own place, get a job, and the monthly bills that always follow.
The highs and lows will be much more extreme when you step out, but life is also much more satisfying. I guess it's not for everyone; but remember, it's easier to endure a little pain after a failure than the pain of regret later on for things you never did. After it's too late.