That is the question my son asked me and so I recorded an episode about that conversation.
Here's how our conversation went...
It can be really scary to think about.
There's apressure to know. I hear it as a pressure to know who we are. To know why we are here. There's even thefeeling of fear of getting it wrongand failing.
I shared with him about how I remember the first time someoneasked mewhat I wanted out of life andwhy I thought I was here.
I was about 11 years old and it was a librarian!
I had shown an interest in the personal development section of the library and we proceeded to have an amazing conversation about howwe get to decide who we are in life.
So today I'm reminded of that wonderful conversation and feelvery consciously connected to my intentions as I shared my thoughts with my son.
I saw that he was relieved.
I had just told himhe gets to decide who he is going to be. I told him it's wonderful that hespends time thinking about who he is. Wondering about knowing what you want to do in life is special and important work. Iencouraged him to explore what the answers may be for him. I told him it's ok not to know exactly...just follow the clues.
He was smiling and feeling relieved.
I told himthere is no race and no penalty for getting it wrong.
Experiment and trying thingsto help yourself figure out what you like to do.
Thereal penalty is denying yourself that freedom and joywhen you choose to focus on the wrong things.No-one gets to tell you who you are. They can offer their observations, suggestions and feedback... they cannot tell you who you are. They can not possibly know!
I shared thatI feel scared to 'do the thing' all the time. Sometimes 'the thing' is just to be myself. I told him I’m 46 andjust starting to really go for it.
It's a brave, conscious act to love yourself and give yourself permission to live your life committed to becoming your best self!
The world needs you to be you fully, that's when your talents, strengths and gifts really shine. From thatauthentic placeis whereyou will make the biggest difference in this world.
Today's Goal: To keep being me. Keep being curious and keep following the clues.
I hope you like my share about myconversation with my son. I left him with this thought and I hope you'll engage in a similar conversation with your people!
Take a moment and think about what being you means to you... if something flashes in your mind... go do that thing... explore that idea...keep becoming!
Welcome. I'm Lucy Colangelo. This is the Wonder experience. And this one's going to be a short one, a quick one I just had to jump on here because I've been out of practice with recording episodes and I want to get back in the groove and no better way than to reflect on a conversation I had with my son this week. He just out of the blue comes up with asking me when did you know what you wanted to be?
And I wanted to just share what the conversation led to because I thought it was really interesting and it could be helpful. So I told him that the clues were already there when I was twelve years old and that is a true story. I've always been fascinated with how people discover who they are, what their gifts and talents and skills are. And I remember a time when I was going to the library a lot, and I made friends with the librarians, and they were all so helpful with keeping me engaged and picking out new books and different sections, and I was just, like, broadening my horizons getting into all the different things that you can get into in the library. I mean, there's books on everything, right?
And I was telling my son that I think that the key to all of it is staying curious and that knowing yourself is a part of it. So I asked him to reflect on what he already knows about himself and it was a really empowering exercise because he was sitting there while he was just thinking about how he doesn't like being indoors a lot, he doesn't like being on computers a lot, he likes being outside, he likes doing things, making things. He's looking forward to certain courses. He's in high school now and he wants to continue to learn about construction and different things like that. And I said, yeah, the clues are always there and he's 15.
And the point of my message today is that I think that we defer knowing ourselves. We think that it's something that's going to happen once we acquire all this education. Once we get to a certain place with our learning and the way that the education system is going, it's deferring that knowledge that learning out further and further in life.
I don't know that everybody thinks this way, but there's generally a sense out there that oh, you don't know yourself, you can't know yourself, you're a high school student, right? And it's true. And I think there's a part of us that never really fully know ourselves. It's like an unfoldment in life. It's something that reveals itself to you and it keeps revealing itself.
And I think that when we talk to our young people, I think we need to be saying there's things that when you reflect on it, they were always there. They were always there in this way. And then other things new things emerge. And it's kind of a mash up, a mixing of these things. So I was telling my son, I said, I always felt like I was a teacher.
I was always inspired by what I was learning and I wanted to share it. And any time I learned any kind of thing, I wanted to tell people because I felt like it would inspire them or expand their horizons and make for a great conversation, this type of thing, this openminded kind of appetite for knowledge. And so I'm just generally I think that's my disposition is to be curious and I think that it's helpful in life. And I think we need to be encouraging our young people to be curious and stay in this conversation with themselves and understand that there are going to be themes that emerge that are going to be you could call them truths about yourself, and then there's going to be things that are oh, well, that's a different angle, that's a new direction. Similar to me.
I don't think that when I was twelve I found myself having a digital business online and teaching and sharing these ideas. But if you knew me when I was twelve, you knew that I was into these conversations back then too. So sometimes the details aren't there, sometimes the general themes. It's a mixing of these things. I feel like we just need to be encouraging curiosity, encouraging exploration, encouraging investigating things.
And so my message to my son was like, you need to have experiences. You need to go out there in the world and take what you're learning in school and apply it and play with it and experiment and explore with people what the concepts are, what the foundational elements are. What are you trying to accomplish, what's going on, what lights you up? So that's my message for today.
When you think about when did you know what you wanted to do? Think back, how far back can you go that you knew things about yourself that are still true today. And then also, what are the new things, what are the things that are emerging? And share those stories with your young people, with your students, with your teenagers. This is the time in their lives where they need us to be in this kind of conversation with them.
We need to be normalizing, that there's things we don't know and there are things that are still to be discovered and that is the process, that is what is going on. There isn't a finite set it and forget it kind of knowing. And there isn't this one time in your life when you're getting an education. Encourage our young people to be lifelong learners. Encourage them to keep evolving.
That's what's going to develop their resiliency and their ability to adapt and keep going and keep improving and keep doing better in the world. so that's my message today, same as always. I'm into this self-activation thing. I'm into this self-awareness cultivating self awareness. And I feel like we need to do it around stories and we need to be having these conversations with our young people at a younger age when they ask these foundational, wonderful questions.
So, yeah, bring up that conversation. The question is, when did you know what you wanted to do? And get into it. Tell them what's going on. Tell them what has been going on.
And I'm sure it's going to make for an enlightening conversation. That's it for me. Until next time. My wish for you is that you stay curious, you shine on, and that you absolutely love who you're becoming. Bye.
In the Activate Now Podcast, Lucy takes you into her world as she gets curious about what it means to be fully activated in your life. Every episode is packed with interesting ideas, new strategies, relatable stories, practical guidance and the tools and encouragement you need to activate yourself into a better life.
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