Scott Schimmel (00:05.57)
Welcome back to another episode of the U School Podcast. I'm Scott Schimmel and we're working through a series right now about the number one, number, not number one, but all the mistakes that young people will tend to make over time, patterns and mistakes that young people make over time about their future and what they choose to do. And one part of that, of course, is career, but it's also beyond that, the kinds of lives that they develop and design. Most people don't...
Most people make these mistakes. Most people don't think thoughtfully or plan ahead with any sort of clarity. Most people are going with the get lucky later approach. I'll figure it out later. And they listen to advice, voices that say things like, go where the jobs are, you gotta do something practical, you gotta do something that's gonna earn you money on the other side. And yet, you look at data and you just look around.
and think about all the adults who have tried that approach and would say that they're disengaged with what they do. They are not interested in their own line of work. And when you do not enjoy your work, it has a ripple effect to the, to all of your life. And I'm, and I know you know this, and I know if you're a younger person watching this or listening to this, that you understand that just on a cellular level. So here's the number two mistake.
young people make around their future and this is it. They do not consider their own interests. Now the phrase typically is you got to find something that you're passionate about. Find something that you're passionate about and you'll never work a day in your life. And yet if we're honest most people when they talk about passion either A especially young people A they don't have any because their grid and what they're looking through are the subjects of their classes. So passion
about, let's see, pre calculus, passion about reading a lot of English literature. Passion about marine biology. Or okay, if it's outside of school, why passion about? Passion about hanging out with my friends. Passion about binge watching a show patch, passionate about girls or boys.
Scott Schimmel (02:30.334)
It's just not a helpful phrase. It's just not a helpful grid. It doesn't really lead to, for most people, most people do not have any epiphany when they hear that posed to them. Oh, really? I should pursue my passions, because that's interesting. I'm very passionate about how machines work. Like that's all I think about all day long. You know, 19 years old, and therefore I'm gonna go do that for the rest of my life. It hardly ever, ever works. And I've given this advice as well. It's come out of my mouth. And I walk away, I'm like.
like thumbs up, we're good, you're good, you understand that, just. So what we're gonna get into in this episode is, and it's a quick episode, is maybe an alternative approach or more helpful approach to consider this idea of passion. Because what we're talking about when it comes to passion is really underneath that is an interest. Something that you're interested in. Here's the researched definition of an interest. It's an individual's momentary experience of being captivated by an object.
as well as more lasting feelings, that the object is enjoyable and worth further exploration.
In other words, you enjoy it. And not only do you enjoy it in the moment, but you're drawn to return to that, whatever that is. That's what you're interested in. And it just so happens that people who are more satisfied, more interested in their own work, do well. They perform better and they experience more happiness. Similar to what we talked about last week, if you haven't watched or listened to last week's episode.
It's all about happiness and success. If you do not pursue something with your life based on, derived from what you're interested in, you will not be as happy or as successful. So parents, watching, listening, we need to become really good at helping guide our kids to discover, define, and deepen their interests as it relates.
Scott Schimmel (04:37.27)
their future. So better question, what are you interested in? Where do you find yourself? And here's the key. There's a moment around your interests where you do not notice your own interests. It's an unconscious experience that we're actually trying to make conscious. When you're interested in something, it's the opposite. Just imagine if you're sitting through something really boring.
A boring presentation, a boring meeting, a boring lecture, a boring movie. You are conscious of how boring it is. You are conscious of how this feels unenjoyable. It's a discomfort. On the flip side, when you're enjoying something that you're interested in, you don't notice it. There might be a fleeting moment you're like, oh, this is kind of exhilarating. But chances are, especially in the early phases.
of discovering your interests, you don't even notice that you're interested in it. So we have to play detective. Angela Duckworth wrote a fantastic book about grit and great Ted talk. It's it's an oldie, but a goodie, I guess, oldie. It's like 10 years old, 15 years old. But she talks about three phases of interest development versus discovery, discovering your interests, just all of a sudden paying attention to. It's an introspective.
move of like, what am I looking around looking backwards looking at today? What were the moments of my day that were enjoyable? That I didn't loathe that I didn't even notice? What was it? And the grid for interests? Yeah, it's sometimes it's about the topic. We were studying hurricanes today. That was interesting to me. But sometimes it's about the activity. We were debating an idea.
in class today from a right perspective and a left perspective and I just found my so was it the topic or was it the activity was it the people was it the environment
Scott Schimmel (06:50.682)
I'm very interested in listening to and unpacking and understanding someone's life story. That started, I guess, young when I was, I guess the kind of friend that would prefer, I wouldn't have said this at the time, middle school, being on the bus, I would prefer to sit next to one kid on the bus and have a conversation.
versus standing around in a circle with five or six other friends. I didn't notice that, but what, and then, okay, so what was I doing when I was sitting next to a friend on the bus? I was asking kind of curious questions about what they thought about things.
Okay, then later on, so here's the second phase development. Development, developing interest doesn't come from introspection, according to Angela Duckworth, it comes from interaction, it comes from testing, it comes from going to touch and taste and sense what this means. And so for me, it turned into eventually in college, years later, joining a leadership role inside of a student organization where I...
That was my job was to facilitate small group discussions with small groups of people. And I was responsible to come up with questions to engage them in a discussion. That was, and then in that experimentation, it was like, oh, I really enjoy this. This is what I'm interested in. And then the deepening phase is where the investments involved and typically some support, some cheerleading.
deepening phases where you're like, I'm gonna invest in this. For me, it turned into a professional career of leadership and leading people through mentoring and small group discussions and helping them unpack and process their identity and their purpose and all the stuff I do now. The phases of development of my interests, now I would say, yeah, I'm passionate about it. If you'd asked 13-year-old me, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, are you passionate?
Scott Schimmel (09:06.094)
about working with people in small group discussions and helping them unpack the story of their lives, I would have said, huh, what are you talking about? But if going through the phases, discovery, development and testing, and then deepening so that I can end up getting trained in this, I ended up spending a lot of time and energy getting paid for it, that's how it all goes. So, final note, you don't wanna blow it with your future.
And unless you learn to understand and pursue what you're interested in, you will not be as successful or as happy and fulfilled. So paying attention to what you're interested in, discovering it through introspection, discovering what you are wired for, what makes you come alive, what you enjoy, and then learning to invest in that.
and test it and spend time and energy pursuing it. That's where passion gets developed. So quit asking, what are you passionate about? And instead start asking, what are you interested in? And if that doesn't spark any ideas, guide them or guide yourself to pay attention to the things that bring you life. We'll be back next week with more mistakes that young people make when it comes to figuring out their future.