Scott Schimmel (00:24.374)
We are working through this series of the mistakes that teenagers make about their future. And what I wanna talk about today is something that I think we always overlook, and that is kinda focusing on the wrong thing. Now, when I was little, I can remember, I don't know, about nine or 10 years old, and saying to probably my mom, when I get older, I can't wait to be a little league coach. Like, even at a little age, I had these...
dreams, this kind of daydream about someday being an adult who was caring for kids. Now, no surprise, I ended up coaching Little League for years. And now I coach my other little girl soccer for my 10 year old daughter. And I have 23 teams. I think ever since I was little, I always knew that I wanted to be the kind of person that was involved in kids lives. I couldn't wait. Whether it was becoming a teacher.
or a coach, whatever. And embedded in that dream was also wanting to be a dad. I just always wanted to be a dad. And I've said for years, kind of as a joke, I can't wait to be a grandpa. And it's true. And it's not just being a dad or a coach or a grandpa. I think I have a pretty specific imagination for what that would specifically look like, the kind of person that I would be, the kind of impact that I would make, the kind of relationships that I would have with kids. It's really clear to me. And that's a very different path.
than obviously saying at a young age, when I get older, I wanna become a millionaire, or I wanna have a house at the beach, or I wanna drive a Ferrari. And I'm sure I had those goals too when I was a kid. I couldn't wait to be a fighter pilot like Maverick after seeing Top Gun. But the mistake, the clear mistake that we're gonna talk about just real quickly in this episode is the idea of pursuing ambitions versus and instead of aspirations.
Those are probably words we use interchangeably, but ambitions are specifically around destinations, goals, things you want to accomplish, things that you wanna be able to check a box on. Aspirations, on the other hand, would be much more about character. It's about more, it's more about experience. It's more about who you become. And that's where the focus doesn't get paid enough. Enough attention to...
Scott Schimmel (02:50.102)
the kind of person that you want to become. So we've developed a series of exercises over the last 11, 12 years that help young people and really anyone going through our curriculum to process and think through their aspirations. And there is a section that we'll always ask about, ambitions, like where do you want to travel? What do you want to accomplish? What would kind of make up a good life for you? But the strong emphasis that we've developed over time is
to help people process the kind of, and then fill in the blank for the role, different kinds of roles that we all play. What kind of parent do you wanna be if you wanna be a parent, if you have that aspiration? What kind of spouse? What kind of friend? What kind of leader? What kind of coworker? What kind of neighbor? What kind of citizen? What kind of learner? We will actually process with somebody, each one of those different, because we all play those different roles.
And when you're young, it's actually a really fantastic time to get clarity on what that looks like for you. Back in the Top Gun, when they were trying to find the target, they would say getting tone on something. You wanna get tone on, of course, goals. I wanna graduate from a school, I wanna get a job, I wanna sell a company. Those kinds of things are ambitions, but aspirations are the ones that really light somebody up.
The bigger the aspirations, the more clear they are, and the more aligned with the congruency of who you are, like really lined up to what you value, what's most important to you, what's deep inside your soul, the more those are aligned, the longer shelf life they will have. So, steal some of these exercises, have conversations like this. If you're a student, a young person listening to this, write down your thoughts.
What kind of friend you want to become someday when you're picking age 50 60 70 80 90 What do you want to be able to say about your family? What do you hope that they'll say about you? Those are aspirational questions what kind of Leader do you want to be if you work inside of a company? If you want to work with kids, what kind of teacher do you want to be? What kind of coach do you want to be? What do you hope you're known for those kinds of aspirational questions? Can light somebody up and give clarity to the next?
Scott Schimmel (05:16.314)
layers of decisions that have to be made. And when you've got clear aspirations, the things that get in the way, those big decisions become actually less important. They're clear, easier, lower level questions to make. Will that job help me on my aspirational journey? Will moving there help me become the kind of person I wanna become? We'll be in a relationship with this person.
Scott Schimmel (05:46.606)
helped me become the kind of person that I feel like I'm destined to become. That's it. Another mistake young people make is focusing too much on ambitions and not enough on aspirations. And aspirations is where the good stuff is. I'll be back next week with another episode of the U School Podcast.