It's schoolies time!! I live in Byron Bay, Australia and the graduating Years 12s will descend upon us here next week, to party and celebrate the end of an era.
What comes next is a big question for all of these teens. Some will have crystal clear vision and have already been accepted into courses for next year and others will be confused and lost for a while to come.
Have you found your direction? Are you fulfilled by your work?
When I ask mothers where they would like to see their teen in ten years time most say happy, in a job they enjoy, contributing to society, content with their lot, and finished school and uni - or some variation on this theme.
Finding a job they enjoy is essential to their satisfaction in life. If you answered that you are fulfilled by your work I'm guessing that your in a job that utilises your gifts and strengths, where you are valued for what you do, and where what you do has a positive impact on society.
Making good money is fantastic and goes along way towards having a fulfilling life yet if these other factors aren't present then happiness and fulfilment will only be found through empty pleasures on weekends and four weeks holiday a year.
In these uncertain economic times job security is rare and the fear of losing out financially drives people to choose jobs they don't enjoy.
The statistics say that our current teens will change careers thirteen times in their lifetime.
I'm all for teaching adaptability, but accepting that they have no control over their fate and are destined to be swept along for the roller coaster of economic ups and downs - no thank you!
I fully believe that each of us, including you and your teen, has unique and special gifts and talents, and a unique and important purpose.
This doesn't mean that their purpose is to go out and save the world, they may be motivated towards a positive cause or their purpose may be to make beautiful music and travel around the world in a gypsy van.
To be a doctor or an artist, to heal or to create beauty - which role is more important?
Everyone is special, and no-one is special.
Because one person's role makes more money in our current economic system, does that deem their role as more important?
Are the CEO's of the big banks more valuable to society than the stay at home mums and countless volunteers? Of course not!
Judging someone's worth by their financial status is danger danger danger!!!
Choosing a career or pathway based on how much money it will bring you, or how much of a false sense of financial security it promises - no thank you!
My initial career choice after school was psychology for six months because it sounded kind of interesting, and then investment banking.
Yep, I was good at maths and wanted to earn LOTS of money, but this wasn't a path of the heart and would never have brought satisfaction. It played to my strength of being good at maths, but I did not see it as having a positive impact on society, and although it would have paid well it would not have given me the lifestyle I wanted. Instead it would have involved long hours, big cities, office buildings, and corporate shindigs - not for me!!!
So here's my 3 tips to help teenagers (and everyone else) find direction!!
1. Focus on their gifts, strengths, and passions... the idea that only some kids are gifted and talented is totally ridiculous... everyone has their specialness... if your teen can't identify their own strengths and passions... encourage them to explore and try out different pathways... volunteer organisations, community clubs, hobbies, travelling etc. etc....
2. Talk to them about their life dreams and visions... it's not just about work and career... lifestyle, work hours and environment, relationships, home, travel etc. are all important... and ask about their dreams and visions for the world... start from an anything is possible perspective... because it is!!!
3. Teach them that when they find what they absolutely love and commit to it wholeheartedly... then the finances will look after themselves... yes, teach them to budget, save, and invest wisely.... but they need to learn to act from faith rather than fear...
If you listen to the loud voice of fear in your mind more than the quiet voice of faith, then the free 5 day Mindful Mums program is for you.
Developing a Mindfulness practice helps you to detach and listen to the voice of fear, without believing it's lies.
It will enhance your ability to listen with presence and truly feel what is going on for your teen.
And it will transform your relationship with them.
Click here for to sign up.