Young adults who are confused and stressed about creating a successful life need to interview every adult they meet and ask them five key questions for both encouragement and perspective. The holiday season is upon us, providing opportunities to engage adults with the following questions.
- When you were my age, did you know your career path would look like what you are doing now?
- Did you make mistakes, make bad decisions, doubt yourself, or experience failures along the way?
- What did you learn from these experiences?
- How did you overcome your biggest challenges?
- What advice would you give to me at this stage of my life/ career?
The holidays are a natural time when families and friends gather, so I encourage young people to grab aunts and uncles, grandparents, and family friends and interview them with these types of questions. So many young people in high school, college, and 20-somethings feel like they should have their whole life figured out by now, and since they don’t, they feel behind, stressed, and discouraged. We need to share our experiences with them to give them some peace of mind and perspective.
I also encourage them to read biographies or watch documentaries of eminent people to hear about their paths to their calling. We all tend to learn best from stories. I’d also encourage them to read the following books for encouragement and guidance.
Letters from My Grandfather: Timeless Wisdom For a Life Worth Living, Tim Jordan M.D.
The Element, Ken Robinson
The Right Words at the Right Time, Marlo Thomas
Everyday Greatness, Stephen Covey
Most adults are more than happy to share their stories. This kind of perspective can help young adults relax and start allowing life to unfold vs. trying to force it.