What is purpose? How can teens find it?
Teens are naturally driven to seek new experiences—and that may be the key to helping them develop a sense of purpose in life.
Let’s start with what purpose means. According to Kendall Bronk, a leading researcher on youth development, purpose has four defining features: dedicated commitment, personal meaningfulness, goal-directedness, and a vision bigger than self. The development of purpose is intricately woven with the development of identity. Thus embarking on a voyage of discovering one’s purpose is critical to during the adolescent years. Research shows that teens and young adults that seek purpose report higher life satisfaction and levels of happiness. New research even suggests that a feeling of purpose in young people is associated with better physical health.
A difficult Question: Do we parents know our true purpose in life?
The only way of finding your true purpose in life is by refusing to live a life that isn’t centered on getting approval from other people. You have to explore your interests and passions, and when you come to discover what you are meant to be, you must be prepared to silence the voices and listen to one voice only. That voice that lives inside of you. That voice which is your True North. The voice that will tell you to keep trying, keep moving, believe in yourself, and to stay true to your purpose.
Unfortunately, not many people have found their true purpose in life. They are either living a life that they are told they are supposed to live or they have accepted the misguided notion that finding your true purpose in life takes years and years. Which may not always be the case.
Here are the top 5 things that are hindering you from finding your true purpose in life:
1. You don’t know where to begin.
One thing stopping or delaying you from living your purpose is that you have no idea where to begin finding what your life purpose is in the first place. The only way of discovering what your calling is in life is by knowing where to begin searching and the best place to start is inside you. What are you passionate about? What excites you? What can you do exceptionally well that has people coming to you for assistance or advice? That could be your true purpose.
2. You rely on other people to dictate what your life purpose is.
You are failing to realize your calling because you have become accustomed to people telling you how you ought to live and what you ought to be doing. Sometimes your closest friends or family may have the right intentions when advising you or telling you what you should be pursuing but just because they have good intentions doesn’t mean they are right. They may have a picture of who and what they want you to become but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you were created to be.
3. You are engrossed in comparing your life to that of others.
Comparing your life, abilities, or achievements to that of other people can stop you from knowing your destiny. You spend most of your time focusing on “If only I was that smart” or “I wish I could do that” and fail to appreciate what you are already great at. If you are truly set on finding out your true purpose you have to stop comparing yourself to other people, get rid of negative thoughts, and replace them with “I was born to have an impact and I will find out what that is.”
4. You already have a “picture” of what your purpose is.
We all have an “idea” of what we are meant to do or which line of work we are supposed to be in particularly during our adolescent years. You may be impressed by a successful Fashion Designer in your neighborhood, the work she does, as well as the influence she has and conclude “I could do that” or “I was born for that” only to realize “I may be called for something else after all”, years after graduating in the same field. This is not to generalize but more often than not, the idealized “picture” we drew of our purpose in our younger years turns out to be the wrong picture.
5. You are not seeking guidance from the right people.
While discovering your true purpose on your own is the way to go, seeking guidance from the right people won’t hurt. It will accelerate the process of finding out what your calling is in life and give you ample time to seek efficient ways of staying true to your purpose and working on becoming who you are meant to be.
Great resource is this Ebook of Kendall Cotton Bronk. You can read this book in this blog or download it for free!