Learning is a life-long activity.
You likely agree with that as a homeschooler since you’ve taken on the challenge and joy of educating your children. One of our final ‘tasks’ in educating our children is to guide them in the right direction for their post-secondary education and career choices – and ideally instilling in them a love of life-long learning.
We want to direct them with their interests in mind and what skills they tend to pick up naturally, but we can’t just depend on our teens to really know what that is without them taking a close look at what God has instilled in them already.
I teach a purpose planning process to help people discover what they’re really meant to do for work and in their personal life. It is three simple steps of discovery and quick follow-up with ACTION. You can follow the link at the end of the article to access the video series with worksheets and more direction but read through the steps here first. I’ve adapted the instruction to be more relatable for teens to go through each step.
This is likely my start to developing a mini-course specific to teens for this process so there may eventually be an edit to this article to add a link to a complete video series for teens as I’ve done for adults.
Uncover Your Vision and Purpose – For Teens
FIRST STEP – Your Core Values
This can be a tricky step for teens and young adults – or even older adults that haven’t had the opportunity to discover what they deem important rather than taking on the values of those influencing them. As a teen, your parents’ values are a big factor in your life and other people that you have meaningful relationships with.
As you answer these questions think most about what is true for you and not how you’ve been influenced by family and friends. It’s not that their influence is bad or wrong (for the most part, I’m sure), but as you mature, your individual values come out more and more and you get to identify with the plan God has just for you. Read through these deep-thinking questions and get brainstorming to flush out all the ‘true you’ clues.
What makes me spontaneously smile?
What makes me REALLY happy when I’m doing it or when I see other people doing it?
What irritates me, what’s a ‘pet peeve’ or what downright makes me angry?
After jotting down a few responses to these questions, go to the link for the course at the bottom and get the worksheet for this step where you’ll find a list of core values you can go through and mark the ones that you feel are important. Write down other values that come to mind. Then circle the top 3-5 that are most true of you.
SECOND STEP – Your Special Gifts
To find out what is special about you – what your natural talents and gifts are – ask yourself the questions below and write down answers that come to mind.
What do I do that seems to have the most impact on other people?
What’s something people tell me I’m good at?
What do I do that I enjoy and seems to make time fly by?
What do I secretly believe I can do but just never tried yet?
Get the worksheet for this step at the course link below to go through the list of suggested talents and gifts to identify a few that may be true of you. Write down other gifts and talents that come to mind. Then narrow your list down to 3-5 in order of what you feel is your strongest skill to your weakest.
THIRD STEP – Past Experiences
Now is the time to look at those events, or ‘seasons,’ in your life that you have experienced to fulfill your purpose in the future. The past often holds the key to unlocking your future. So, start thinking about your past and what has made an impact on you: the ordinary things, the special things, the heart-wrenching things, the good things and the bad things.
As a teen you may think that you don’t have much in the way of past experiences, but many of the shaping experiences of adults happen in childhood. Remembering some unpleasant things from the past may not be easy, but this process should help give you a bit more peace with some of those not-so-great things when you see how they have been part of your experience to fulfill your purpose.
This step is a bit more intensive than the other two and is best done with a bunch of different coloured sticky notes and a good 30-45 minutes of alone time. Get the full details and worksheet through the course link below and be open to what comes up for you.
Bring Together Your Purpose
Now is the time to get to the best part of this process of discovering your purpose: bringing together all the knowledge you’ve uncovered about yourself. Through the course link below, you can download the PDF where you’ll lay out the results of each of the steps and make connections to start on the journey of discovering God’s vision for your life. Being able to see it all together like that allows your brain, your mind, your thinking to be able to notice how they converge, how they connect, how those different areas really make the whole complete you and what kind of work you’re supposed to be doing.
This process is not a one-time event that charts your whole life. Rather, you’ll use this as the start of keeping on track with what God has created you for. I’ve personally gone through these steps 3 times and am due to go through it again. Each time I deeply look at what I’m really about and pray for guidance, I am given a fresh perspective of what I should be doing in different areas of my life.
By getting a clearer vision for what you’re really made for, you can avoid paying for education that you don’t end up using, feeling dissatisfied in a job that isn’t fulfilling or spending time in a career that you aren’t suited for. While you may change jobs and careers over the years (which I recommend!), having this insight into what you’re really about will keep you on (or close to) the path that you are meant to be on.
Go to the course page Uncover Your Vision and Purpose and enroll for free to access all the worksheets, videos, and further instruction.
Stephanie Morrison has been building businesses, mostly from home, for over 10 years, motivated by her strong determination that her two youngest boys would be educated at home. She works for The Old Schoolhouse® on the Canadian team, and also coaches and trains entrepreneurs to start and grow their business from home. Her and her family are all comfortably nestled in the trees in Central Ontario. She loves being a home-body and building up her permaculture property. Learn more about Steph at www.creatingworkandplay.com