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Life Purpose & Career


In this lesson, we are going to explore how to help your teenager discover their life purpose (or authentic career path). In it you will learn:

  • The importance of putting your teenager in touch with their passion
  • Why using fear and survival thinking can send them down the wrong path
  • That your teenager has a unique gift waiting to come out
  • The importance of a “relevant education”
  • How most schools are failing our youth
  • To help your child see that school is everywhere
  • Why you need to take an honest look at your career path
  • & Much more

If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.

Think Back For A Moment

Before you start this lesson I want you to take a moment and think back to when you were a child. Did you have any dreams? Did you want to be something when you grew up? How did your parents encourage you? Did they tell you who to be? Or did they allow you to choose your own path?

Now lets be really honest…are you doing what you love and living your dream now? Or, are you working a “job” just to pay the bills?

“What will you become when you grow up?”

One of the biggest concerns for a parent is “What will my child do with their life?” and, “Who will they become when they grow up?”  For most adults, many of us struggled with what we were going to do with our lives when we got older. Some of us may have had guidance counselors or parents who encouraged us to be someone important. But for the most part, many individuals were left with “What will your major in college be?”

By choosing our major in college and using it as some form of barometer as to “who we would be”, it determined what we were going to do with our lives and this gave us a sense of purpose. We’re taught from an early age that what we do needs to make a lot of money otherwise we will not be successful. Yet why are so many people unhappy and unfulfilled regardless of how much money they’ve obtained? Why are there so many people in the world with college degrees that are hardly used? Why are there so many people having mid life crisis’s because their life feels empty and meaningless when they turn forty or fifty?

Chances are, some of you taking this course probably don’t love your job. Sure, you may have come to terms and accepted it. But if you’re like most people in that your job is separate from whom you are, then you’re missing out on more than half your life. Since we spend forty (or more) hours a week at our job, wouldn’t it be great if we also loved it? Why are so many of us miserable when it comes to our career?

life purposeKids Always Knew

When we were kids, we always knew what we wanted to do from moment to moment. We saw one toy that excited us and we played with it. Then when we were done we went on to the next toy or game and life was a random series of moving from one exciting thing to the next. We never had to think much about what we wanted to do other than what was in front of us and brought us joy in that moment. If we got bored, we used our imagination to come up with ways to entertain ourselves.

As we got older, the looming question of “What will you become when you grow up?” started to hang over our heads. As if the clock was about to expire on our fun time and then we had the moment of truth where we needed to become serious adults and take on responsibility and “grow up”. The message was that once we became an adult the time for fun was over and we were supposed to separate what we did as kids from who we became as an adult. In other words, the fun was over! I still recall to this day when my dad told me how I should enjoy my youth because once I got older, I would have to get “serious”.

Survival Mode

Because we have been living in survival mode for so long, we have defined our career as a way to stay alive. It has represented our method for putting food on the table, shelter over our heads, and clothes around our body. For most of us, a job (or career) is something we do because we have to so that we can survive. But the truth is, our society is now at a point where technologically and systematically speaking, our jobs don’t just have to be a survival mechanism. They can have so much more meaning than just an end to a means.

What To Do

Below I’m going to outline a 14-step process that you can use to help guide your teenager to find their true path in life. At the end, please note that I combine them all for you to create a simple list you can use.

Projecting Your Fears

Step 1 – Do not project your fears onto your child and instead provide them a neutral space to explore what they want to do with their lives.

I remember growing up my dad always told me that I should be a doctor or lawyer because they make a lot of money. I kept hearing from parents all over how “We don’t want you to have to suffer the same way we did” and all this did was instill fear in me. Hearing over and over again that the way to be happy is to make a lot of money is a disease of the mind and society seems to be suffering from it. However, this belief is starting to unravel. Looking at people who have money and seeing how most of them are so miserable clearly shows that money doesn’t buy happiness.

Because of our expectations, instead of allowing our kids to tell us what they want to do and supporting them the best we can, we’ve been projecting our own misguided beliefs onto them. We either want to see them follow in our footsteps or we pass along our fears of not making it in the world. We push our kids toward jobs that make lots of money even at the sacrifice of their happiness. The irony is that if we all did what we loved to do we would all be quite successful in our own way; both emotionally and financially.

If you want to empower your teenager, the first step is that you must come to terms with your own fears around money and what a career is supposed to be. If you project your fears onto your teenager they will be left to work through them as they get older. Look at all the people having mid-life crisis’ who are rediscovering who they really are and what they want in their forties and fifties.  By giving your teenager a healthy and positive outlook on what a career can be, and by not associating it with fear or survival mechanisms, they will stand a better chance of discovering their life purpose.

Discovering Ones Life Purpose

Step 2 – Encourage your teenager to do something that is meaningful for them.

In recent years, the term life purpose has been slowly but surely replacing the word “job” or “career”, and this is a sign that we’re moving in a healthier and holistic direction. If your teen views their career as their life purpose rather than a job, it adds much more meaning to what they’re going to be doing for the rest of their lives. It’s so imperative that your children develop a healthy relationship around the idea of what it is they’re going to be spending their time on when they mature. This is why so many teenagers struggle with school. They’re afraid of what comes after and why shouldn’t they be? So many people are miserable in their jobs that when a teenager sees this, it gives them nothing to look forward to.

Once you have removed all fears from your definitions of what a career really is, then you can teach your teenager that a career can be a very meaningful and rewarding experience that gives them a purpose in life.

Excitement: How To Find Your Life Purpose

Step 3 – Guide your child to listen to and trust their excitement, and take action to the best of their ability.

One of the biggest genres in the self-help section of bookstores is how to discover your life purpose. Many people are lost and confused as to how to find purpose but the truth is we already knew how to do this when we were children. Unfortunately we were untaught this talent as we got older and then forgot how to do it. The way your teenager can find their life purpose is by following their excitement. As children, we always knew what excited us and we would engage it for the moment and then synchronistically move onto the next thing that excited us.

For some people this may sound too corny but look at some of the most successful people such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs. If you read their stories you will see that they did exactly that; follow their excitement. I’m not saying there is not education and other components involved that act as “supporting details” but the driving engine for their success (and many others) is that they did what they love to do.

If you want to do your teenager a great service, encourage them to do whatever excites them the most. Allow them to discover and embrace what excites them no matter how trivial it may seem in the beginning. It could be something as “simple” as skateboarding (although multi-millionaire Tony Hawk would say otherwise to how simple it is), or fiddling with a guitar (although John Mayer would argue that he was not just fiddling). It really doesn’t matter how trivial or simplistic it may “seem”. As long as you encourage your teenager to do what they love, the universe will provide everything they need in creating a clear path as to what they should be doing with their life.

Your main goal other than encouraging your teenager to do what they love is to teach them good work ethics, follow through, and integrity for “how” they do what they want to do. As their guide, it’s important that you don’t project your own expectations or desires on them and that you:

  • Provide them a neutral space for self-discovery.
  • Help them stay in the moment and discover what they love.
  • Encourage them to do whatever excites them every moment in their life.
  • Do whatever it is they want to do with conviction and integrity.

So the third step in supporting your teenager is to let them trust their excitement. All of us have something that excites us and this also ties into motivation. For those of you who have a hard time getting your teenager motivated, I guarantee that once they find something that excites them; it will change their lives forever and you will not have to motivate them.

Their Unique Gift

Step 4 – Tell your teenager that they have a unique gift to offer the world and that they will find it one day.

All of us, with no exception, have a unique gift to offer the world. Your job as your teenagers guide is to help them discover their unique gift and talent in life. The biggest mistake parent’s make is by assuming that their child’s talent is trivial but it’s not. It could be something as simple as drawing, skateboarding, playing the guitar, tinkering with computers, or whatever it may be. If you see your child getting “lost in the moment” when they’re doing something; that is their gift. The mistake that parents make by assuming that what they’re child is doing is trivial and “won’t be a career”, is that they don’t see how it can eventually unfold and manifest into something much bigger. We hear many stories of people who were just “messing around” with something and the next thing you know, they’re a huge success.

So the fourth step in this process is to not discount what it is that excites them now and encourage them to dive in head on so that they can get the most from the experience.

Synchronicity

Definition: An apparently meaningful coincidence of two or more similar or identical events that is causally unrelated.

Step 5 – Teach your teenager to take action to the best of their ability and trust in synchronicity with no expectations.

A very important ingredient in allowing your teenager to follow their excitement is trusting in synchronicity.  The reason it’s an important part of the process is that when someone is excited by what they’re doing, it raises their state of being. When a person is “high on life” because they love what they’re doing, it opens the doors to more opportunities. This means that one day what your teenager is doing may seem insignificant but because they’re so into it, it allows for other opportunities to present themselves. They’ll be able to explore their excitement and it will take them to the next step of their process. This is the meaning behind “The Secret” and “Law Of Attraction”. Simply put, you’re putting out such a high frequency and vibration to the universe that it makes it more probable that there will be an opportunity waiting to take you to the next part of your process.

So the fifth step is to teach your teenager to let go and trust in synchronicity. All they need to do is the best they can in every moment and let the magic happen. It still requires action because one cannot just sit and think of what excites them. They must be willing to take action to the best of their ability.

Relevant Education

*Note: Make sure to read the lesson on School

Step 6 – Create a relevant education that supports your teenager in what they’re passionate about.

Our educational system is backwards. We force students to take a bunch of classes that are completely irrelevant to what it is they want to do. I have spoken to so many people who feel like they have been taken advantage of and wasted so much money in college because they had to take courses (which they paid for) that had nothing to do with what they wanted to do in life. While your child may end up going to college, it’s important that whatever they study is relevant to what excites them. In fact, because of the Internet, you would be amazed at how much you can learn just researching the web.

The sixth step in this process is to help create a relevant environment for your teenager to support what they are passionate about. You need to surround them with the tools and resources that are relevant to what they want to do. Help your teenager find people, books, videos, or any resource or information that helps them learn about what they’re most interested in. Depending on what it is they’re passionate about, they might need to go to college or might not. If they’re following their passion and it turns out they do need to go to college, then at least it’s money well spent because if it’s “relevant” to what they enjoy doing, they will know how to apply what they’re learning.

Timing Is Everything

Step 7 – Do not feel forced into society’s system of school timing. Allow your teenager to unfold naturally while at the same time setting clear boundaries about what is expected of them financially once they hit a certain age.

Because we have been raised in a factory type educational system, it has been engrained in our collective psyche that we must go to college when we are 18 and have a degree when we are 22. Do you know how many kids leave college in debt and are still not sure what they want to do? I know of so many people who are $50 – $100k in debt from college and then decided to change majors. Why not just send your kid to college when they know what they want to do?

The real challenge most parents face with this issue is that they want their kid to be making money and self-sustainable by a certain age. That is understandable. So make it clear to your child that you will give them the time and space to explore who they are, but at the same time, they need to be self sufficient with their own expenses. Since everyone taking this course is at a different place financially, you need to set your own guidelines around what you expect from your teenager financially.

The seventh step is to make sure that if they do go to school they go when the time is right for them and don’t feel forced to do so just because our current structure says it’s time. You will make the most of your money if your child goes to college when they know how to apply what it is they’re learning.

School Is Everywhere

Step 8 – Encourage your teenager’s curiosity. Teach them to ask good questions and pay attention and that every moment of life is school.

Everything is school. All of us are learning in any circumstance we find ourselves in whether it’s walking down the street, talking on the phone, waiting in line, and so on. Anytime we’re speaking to someone and asking questions, we’re learning. When we watch a video we’re learning. When we watch life go by, we’re learning. Learning takes place every second and every moment and is never off.

The two most powerful tools we have in learning are:

  • Curiosity
  • Asking good questions

When someone is intrigued with something this means they have a level of interest that makes them want to explore what is going on. During their exploration process, good questions are what will help them learn more about it. By encouraging your teenager’s curiosity and teaching them how to ask good questions, you will empower them to make the most of every moment by learning something new.

The eighth step is to teach your child that everything is school and how to ask good questions. I have learned so much from people just by asking them good questions. I have some good friends from Stanford who I would have informative discussions with that led to extensive learning. In fact, without having to spend the $100k they did, I got to learn a lot of what they learned. Did I learn everything? Of course not! But I also didn’t have to pay $100k! Teach your child how to be curious, ask questions, listen and know that school is everywhere!

Experience Carries More Weight

Step 9 – Help your teenager apply what they’re learning and find a way for them to gain experience so they can build confidence and their resume.

While learning information is important, applying that information is much more important. Our school system is solely based upon cramming information down students’ throats and having them become memorizing robots. Without the ability to make good use of information and apply it in a practical way, what good is it unless your child is going to make their career on Jeapordy?

The ninth step in this process is to support your teenager in helping them apply what they learn. If you have ever been on an interview, you know that more companies value experience over education. In fact, many businesses don’t actually care what school you went to and put more emphasis on what experience you have. As someone who has run their own business for ten years and who has done plenty of interviews, I know from experience and other business managers that experience matters more than anything else.

Define Your Own Success

Step 10 – Guide your teenager to define their own success and find their own answers about what makes them happy in life.

When a newborn enters this world, they’re bombarded with messages from society that tells them what success means. We’re told that having lots of money, a fancy car, a big house, etc…are how we should define our success. Yet we know that many of these people are not happy. So what is success then? The answer to this question can only come from each individual. If there are seven billion people on this planet then there should be seven billion different definitions of what success is. That being said, all of us can agree on one thing; we all want to be fulfilled and live a happy and healthy life. I think this definition would ring true for all seven billion people. However, what makes up the details of happiness and fulfillment are going to vary from person to person.

The tenth step in this process is to help your child get in touch with their definition of success. Rather than projecting your definition or allowing them to succumb to societies definition, let them decide for themselves. In the end, they only have to answer to one person.

There Are No Small Jobs

Step 11 – Teach your teenager that there are no small jobs and to do everything with passion and integrity. By honoring what they do and where they’re at, they will move up the rung of the ladder much more effectively.

When first starting out at jobs or projects, some people assume there are some roles that are more important than others; that if someone is a manager versus a worker, the worker is valued less. Most people focus so much on where they want to go that they lose sight of what it is they’re doing. Some of the most successful people in the world started at the bottom and the reason they rose to the top was because they did their “small job” with the utmost integrity. Whether it was sweeping floors, answering phone calls, research, etc…these successful people embraced their role and did it so well that it was a no brainer for them to be promoted.

The eleventh step in this process is to instill a good work ethic in your teenager so they respect every aspect of what they do and understand that there are no small jobs. When your child truly embraces where they’re at now, it will make it much easier for them to succeed. People need to embrace where they’re at and make the most of the experience before they can move up another rung on the ladder.

The other side of this coin is that there are many people such as cashiers, secretaries, phone clerks, etc., that do not take their role seriously and therefore do not do their jobs with joy. If they did do their jobs with joy, not only would it make it more probable for them to move up the ladder, but they would also bring more joy to others and this in its own right is a success. Think about all the people a cashier at a supermarket comes into contact with. A simple smile, hello and warm exchange can literally change another person’s day.

There is a story (and I will keep it short) of a bag boy (the boy who bags groceries at the supermarket) who would go out of his way and put short little positive messages and greetings in each of the customers bag when they checked out. People loved these messages so much that they would line up for his checkout line even if other lines were empty. Customers would tell the manager how much they appreciated his messages and they would drive out of their way to get them. It’s important that you instill this type of integrity in your child so that he or she does not define entry-level jobs as “low” and do them to the best of their ability.

Life Goes In Phases

Step 12 – Teach your teenager to embrace change and that life goes in phases.

The phrase “career” conjures up an idea of something we’re going to do for the rest of our lives. Forty years ago, having a life long career was relevant because of how our system was structured. These days, everything is much more fluid. People are switching gears all the time and exploring different paths. While for some it may happen that what they chose to do at twenty will still be applicable at fifty, these days it’s not the norm. The truth is that as we grow and evolve we change which means that our life purpose will as well.

The twelfth step in this process is to teach your child that life goes in cycles and that what they enjoy now, they may not enjoy in five or ten years and that’s ok. Teach them to be open to change and trust in synchronicity because when they embrace change, it will help alleviate those transitional periods that so many people judge as being bad rather than a natural process of life.

Enjoy the Process

Step 13 – Empower your teenager to enjoy the process of what they’re doing and stay true to themselves by not getting caught up in any get rich quick schemes.

At one point or another, you have probably seen some type of get rich quick scheme. Whether it be in real estate, the internet, working from home, pyramid schemes, multi-level-marketing, and so on, there are all kinds of people praying on those who don’t know what to do with their lives. Sadly, I’ve even seen a few friends get caught up in these fiascos and it’s a real shame. The reason that these schemes don’t work is because no matter what business you enter into, it will take work. More importantly, there will be challenges and obstacles along the way. When they come up, if you are not passionate about what you’re doing, everything crumbles.

The reason that so many people fall for these programs is that they’re living without really knowing who they are and what they’re passionate about. Most people are lost and out of touch with their true self and these programs know exactly how to tap into peoples fear based survival mind. People dive in blindly thinking they will be able to “get rich quick”, not realizing there is far more involved.

The thirteenth step is to teach your child that whatever they do in life, toenjoy the process. Individuals who get caught up in these schemes don’t realize that what holds more weight than money itself is the process. When Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg make their millions, you can actually see on their faces that the money is secondary and the process and products they are creating are primary. Truly successful people enjoy all the steps it takes to become successful. In guiding your teenager to find their path in life, teach them that “the process is the goal” and not to discount it or try to bypass it because they think it’s in the way of having money. This will help instill real values in their life so that they’re not always trying to “scheme” and be an opportunist with another get rich fiasco.

Lead By Example

Step 14 – Teach your teenager about how fun it is to be alive and offer the world your unique gift and being paid for this through your life.

As in all modules, it’s going to be important for you to lead by example. Do you hate your job? Do you separate your career from your personal life? If you’re struggling with your life purpose, now is the time to get real with yourself and take that leap of faith. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard for your child to listen to what you have to say when you’re doing the opposite of what you’re telling them.

Or, if you feel “stuck” and are not happy with what you’re doing in life, be brave enough to use yourself as an example by showing your teenager how you’re not happy with your career and you wish you would have learned these tools at an earlier age.

14 Step Process

So to recap the 14 steps in supporting your teenager to help them discover their life purpose you want to:

Step 1 – Do not project your fears onto your child and provide them a neutral space to explore what they want to do with their lives.

Step 2 – Encourage your teenager to do something that is meaningful for them.

Step 3 – Guide your child to listen to and trust their excitement and take action to the best of their ability.

Step 4 – Tell your teenager that they have a unique gift to offer the world and that they will find it one day.

Step 5 – Teach your teenager to take action to the best of their ability and trust in synchronicity with no expectations.

Step 6 – Create a relevant education that supports your teenager in what they’re passionate about.

Step 7 – Do not feel forced into society’s system of school timing. Allow your teenager to unfold naturally while at the same time setting clear boundaries of what is expected of them financially once they hit a certain age.

Step 8 – Encourage your teenager’s curiosity. Teach them to ask good questions and pay attention and that every moment of life is school.

Step 9 – Help your teenager apply what they’re learning and find a way for them to gain experience so they can gain confidence build their resume.

Step 10 – Guide your teenager to define their own success and find their own answers about what makes them happy in life.

Step 11 – Teach your teenager that there are no small jobs and to do everything with passion and integrity; that by honoring where they’re at will make it much easier for them to move up the rung of the ladder.

Step 12 – Teach your teenager to embrace change and that life goes in phases.

Step 13 – Empower your teenager to enjoy the process of what they’re doing and stay true to themselves by not getting caught up in any get rich quick schemes.

Step 14 – Lead by example.

My Excitement Story

I remember when I was fourteen and I wanted to become a DJ. My mom asked me if I was interested in getting an instrument and when I told her I wanted turntables she replied, “That’s not an instrument”. I was so excited about playing music that I figured out my own way of getting turntables. A year later I had them and little by little began to collect records.

Two years later I met a friend in a parking lot of a club and we talked about how sad we were that the types of events we enjoyed so much didn’t exist any longer. He heard that I was also a DJ and playfully we threw out the idea of throwing our own events. I was so excited about the idea that I pestered my friend to do it. I knew nothing about it but I was so passionate about it that we were able to pull off our first event and it was a success.

After six months of producing events I started another production company, and that became a success. This linked us up with other production companies and we all came together and threw one big event. This event was such a success that through our excitement, a few of us decided to start our own magazine. This career lasted ten years and I had no schooling in business, event production, publishing or advertising but somehow because of my excitement I pulled it off.

After leaving the music industry I became excited about life coaching, got certified (relevant education), and dove right in. I knew nothing about this industry either but was presented with an opportunity where I got to work with a major media company in the personal growth and natural health sector. This lasted another six years and I gained tremendous experience and contacts.

In some of my most successful years, I’ve made a nice income, did what I loved, and “technically” only have an 8th grade education. I’ve worked with fortune 500 companies, consulted, and developed many other businesses on my own. Everything I’ve ever done in my career was driven by excitement and my willingness to do the work.

For some parents it may seem impossible but I’m telling you from first hand experience that it works. I’ve also studied the paths of other successful people and it’s pretty clear that they’ve done the same thing. They followed their excitement! Of course it takes work and requires learning, but once the passion is “turned on”, everything falls into place very naturally.

Even with this course I knew nothing about launching or running this type of program. But I’m so excited by the message that I did my research, learned what I needed to, took the appropriate action, and here we are!

Perfect Example

Watch Shark Tank season 2 episodes 3. You can watch it for free on Hulu.com. This episode has two great examples:

  1. There is a family with a group of kids who were so passionate about their idea that they turned it into a business.
  2. A stay at home mom solves a problem by creating a toy box for her kids and turns it into a business.

When you watch this episode, you can see in action everything I’ve talked about in this module. You can see that these people:

  • Are so excited.
  • Knew nothing about the business.
  • Dove right in.
  • Surrounded themselves with a relevant education.
  • Took action every day to the best of their ability.

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Did you ever have a dream as a child? If so, what?
  • Do you ever feel like something is missing in your life? If so, write it down here.
  • Do you feel as though your parents did or did not support who you really are? Or, do you feel like you are living someone else’s life and not your own?
  • Are you worried about how your teenager will grow up? If so, why? Are they real fears or are you just projecting your own?
  • Do you see that your teenager is good at something? If so, what?
  • How can you support and encourage your teenager to live an authentic life?

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Sergio & His Mom

Dear Parent,

I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth, we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.

Sincereley,

– Sergio Diazgranados

  • If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula which will really help you get the most from this. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. Afterwards the program will cost $997.
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admin September 19, 2012
Copyright © 2012 Parenting Teenagers Academy. All rights reserved.