Scott Schimmel 0:20
Your kids are going to build a life. They're going to live life. They're going to have careers, they're going to have families, they're going to become adults. And part of the question that I think I wrestle with and you probably wrestle with, is this deep anxiety- Will they do it well? Will they be happy? Will they live a good life? Well, welcome to The YouSchool podcast. I'm Scott Schimmel, and we're gonna dig into that very conversation, which is, well, it's a conversation about conversations with our kids, talking about the good life, they need our help, your help our kids need our help, to think through and process what it looks like what it means to live a good life. Now they are given examples, as they grow into the teenage years and head on into the adult years. Examples of what it looks like to live well. And I would say you're the primary ones, to help shape that- how you live, what you talk about. And we can actually help them pick a good path. And it's not just left up to chance. It's not just being good in school and getting a good job. It's much more than that. Teenagers are going through what people call identity formation. It's figuring out who you are, how you fit in this world, what the world's all about, what does it all mean. It's about finding out who you are, and who you're not. Figuring out what's most important to you, and the process of getting the clarity for every single kid you and I included is to try on for size, different identities, different personas. To try on, they don't try on everything. And not everything sticks. Sometimes they change within an hour, within an instance, it just instantly doesn't resonate. But it's very possible. And I'd say for most people, this is true, that you can pick iden, an identity that isn't true to who you are, or who you want to be, and carry that into adulthood without realizing what you're doing. Kids are given this opportunity to explore who they are, and what they're longing for, and what we're longing for for them as well, would be to find acceptance in who they are. True acceptance for who they really are. They would find a group of people outside of the family to belong to. Its family-plus. It's not just the family, and it's not just friends, it's both. Find people who will truly accept who they are. And they can feel like they can belong and their true authentic selves. And ultimately, the deepest longing every human, I believe, has is for what I would call authentic congruence. Now, it's a fancy word of saying, to be myself, to live life, the way I'm meant to live it. To be fully integrated, to be fully authentic, genuine, and to make decisions that align with who you are and who you want to be. Now, there are different options for the good life. And I just want to talk about the big three, there's big three options, you can almost think of them as like theories, these theories or formulas would be if I get this or do this, then life will be good, I'll be happy, I'll live life well, I will feel good on the inside, I will have lived a good life in hindsight. So the big three, number one would be this- get a lot. So to a kid, if you want to look into the future, the lens on this would be whatever it takes to get a lot. Now get a lot might be money, get a lot of possessions, get a lot of affirmation, get a lot of awards, get a lot of degrees, get a lot of power, it would be to get a lot. The second one would be to do a lot, do a lot in your life, accomplish things, solve problems, get out there and get after it. Do a lot- gain skills, gain power. And then third one would be to impress a lot. Get people to think well of you. So get a lot would be to have a lot. If I do a lot then I have the power to do more. Impress a lot means people like me. Those three options are likely the grid on a deeper level of what your kids look through life through. And they probably see it in you subconsciously without even thinking about it. We offer to our kids our own version of the formula of a good life. And looking back at these three things, they're not implicitly bad or wrong, and I'm not even critiquing them. To get a lot- to have possessions, to have freedom to be able to pay the bills, to have the flexibility to be generous. I mean, we have to make income, we have to have it. To do a lot- to take your talents and strengths and apply them in effective ways. Also awesome. To impress a lot. In other words, to get people to think well of you. In other words, to be a kind human, who's considered generous and open and warm, and friendly, all three things are awesome. The problem is, on the other side of the pursuit of any of those one things and typically someone produced pursues one more than the other two, is not the good life. In fact, it might be this ever present quest and search for more, to get more, to do more, impress more. And that becomes you might have called like the rat race, you might win the race, but you're still a rat. Just continue to push and drive. Maybe the next thing I get, the next thing I do, the next person I impress will then lead me to a fulfilled existence. The problem is, all three of those formulas are void, they don't add up, they won't lead to the good life. So what do you do about that? Well, there are other things, other things in our lives that are more important than getting more, doing more, or impressing more. There are values and things that we care about and hold on to. And here's a really, really simple exercise for you to do and that my encouragement would be for you to do this on your own, like literally write this down, think about it for a little while, more than a minute, maybe a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, maybe even have a conversation through this exercise with your spouse, a friend, colleague, whatever. Here it is, "What's most important to me is... because..." That simple. I'll put this in the show notes. "What's most important to me is... because..." Now look at these examples. I just put down I think 10 or 12 examples. What's most important to me is generosity- being generous. What's most important to me is justice. Because what's most important to me is truth. Because what's most important to me is adventure. Other examples, courage, service, wisdom, exploration, compassion, recovery. What's most important to me is despite how I have to sometimes organize and manage my life, working, getting more education, being around people, the highest value for me something that's more important than most other things, or any other thing, just one particular thing that really matters to me this value, this value of generosity, this value of compassion, this value of adventure, of wisdom, and here's why here's my perspective on why that's most important than anything else, because we're here to be generous, because we're here to speak truth to power, because there's a big world out there and exploring it is going to lead me to a fuller life. We have the opportunity to, to shape how are kids lead their lives, not down a path of getting more, doing more, impressing more, which leads you to a loop of doom that you can't get out of, you can't ever get off the track that just keeps coming back to the same station. And instead, help them build their lives. on things that truly matter. Super simple exercise, talk about the good life, do the exercise, here's here's the formula, here's the take it with You do the exercise, write it down, really figure out what it is for you, it's most important to you what's more important anything else, and especially the why then take an opportunity to tell that to your kids. That simple. They're in the car, at the dinner table, "Did I ever tell you about what's most important to me in life?". I mean, literally, that's an awkward, don't just do it to a random person, but with your kids, with your students, if you're a teacher. "Did I ever tell you about what's most important to me?", "Let me tell you what's most important to me..." and I and you might even have a story of when you realize that or discovered it, or a role model who taught that to you or a moment where that was a big insight for you. And that's it. And if you share with them once that's cool. Our kids do have a way of remembering these things. But it'd be really cool. If you share that with them every so often. Even cooler still would be for them to see evidence of that in your life. And for you, for them to hear you talk about it. Because justice is so important to me, I'm reading this book. I want to be more informed on this particular issue because generosity is so important to me. I decided that what we're going to do this year is... Because service is such an important value to me and how I think we should live our lives I've signed us up for, in other words to reinforce that through consistent action. And I think that the last part is the question that we would ask our kids would be similar, a similar exercise- what's most important to you? And why?
Even by asking, the question presupposes that they're going to have a choice to make, which they do. And that you by asking that question, are giving them the freedom and the responsibility to choose for themselves. They don't have to make your choice. We all know that. They don't have to choose the same value or the same value to the same degree. But they need to come up with their own answers to one of life's biggest question- what's most important to you? So this whole episode is all about really one question. We're helping our kids think about their lives and find clarity about their lives, clarity that that will yield a deeper sense of congruity with who they are, authenticity, a sense of adventure in their own life, in a sense of a North Star, a compass for them to make better decisions. It's important, it's simple, we can do it. And I want to encourage you to think about that. After you listen to this episode. Thanks for coming. Thanks for listening. See you again soon. Another episode of The YouSchool podcast. Hey, thanks for joining in on the new school podcast, we'd love to share with you the resources available on our website at theyouschool.com. Not just articles, ebooks, worksheets and other podcasts episodes, but specifically you should know about a free course we have available called The Real Me course. It's digital, it's interactive, and it'll guide you to get clear about who you are in a great story you could tell with your life. So go register for a free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com That's the you school dot com.
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