I often tell my clients to imagine themselves 10 years from now. Then I ask them, "what does your life look like?" Typically, I get canned responses, which, of course, we dissect to get to real answers. A common canned response is “to be successful.” … what does that mean?
Actually think about that for a moment; what does it mean to you to be successful? Why is that your definition? Do you think your teen has the same definition?
When it comes to helping young people reach success I’ve heard all kinds of advice including:
“Go to college and get a job.” This suggests that if you go to college you are essentially guaranteed a well-paying job that will provide financial freedom.
I’ve also heard “Follow your dreams and pursue your passions.” This suggests that those seeking only financial success are living unfulfilled lives; only in making a job of your passions will you be happy.
While these two pieces of advice may seem like opposites, they do have something in common. They both suggest that what you do for a living is the main measure of success. Whether what you do brings you money or passion, it tends to be our professions that define us.
Here's the thing...
What we do for income is only a piece of the puzzle that is our life. It needs to fit, yes, but it is not the whole picture.
Each person deserves the chance to craft their own unique definition of success for their life. This is what ensures that we don't get swept up in the current of what everyone else is doing rather than following our own path.
Do you have resources in your life to help your teen do this? Most college guidance is focused on how to get accepted into a university, which is very valuable of course. However, most of the families I work with come to me because they have little to no career guidance available to them, let alone guidance on how to craft a unique definition of success.
If you need more resources to help your teen design a game plan for life after high school that is unique to them, click the button below to learn the process I take with my clients to help them design a life they'll love, get matched with occupations that are uniquely suited to them, and help them find and take their next steps with drive and purpose.
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Emma B Perez