I design and build decorative wood projects, from yard displays to furniture.
I open my work shop with my coffee or water in my hand, depending on time of year. I generally have a project on my workbench waiting. My work calendar is planned out 3 months in advance, so I usually know what I will be doing. By 2PM I close up the shop and go to my office where I do design work until 4PM or until I finish the current project. I find by staying very structured with my time it allows me to work fewer days per week, I spend the remaining days with my family and friends.
The number one thing is good body mechanics. I do a lot of lifting and standing. If you don't know how to handle your body, you don't belong in the workshop. Secondly, learn to experiment with your projects. What you call failures are only stepping stones to advancing your knowledge. I have learned much from my mistakes! Lastly, enjoy the process. For me it is not the end product that I strive for. From design to purchasing the supplies and throughout the building process I enjoy myself.
Here's the first step for high school students
Find a good finish carpenter and beg to become their apprentice. Start early, in Middle School even. Do it for free, the knowledge is priceless. Listen to every word, keep notes, and when you buy tools get the absolute best ones you can afford. Cheap tools are not worth the irritation they will cause you.
"I have not heard any discouraging remarks."