Our guy in the orange shirt on the rock looking exuberant, lets say, has found the Real You, or at least has prepared for the journey of discovery.
In the old times, when it was time for you to come of age, there was a whole ritual and rites of passage event that took place. You would have to head into the wild on your own and, hopefully, return having survived, found your spirit guide, and ready for the next stage of your life – a new name, greater conviction and clarity of purpose, and new role in the tribe.
How exciting and helpful does that sound?
However, you weren’t offered out to the world until you were ready. Your life up to that point was designed to prepare you for this journey. You had an elder/mentor guiding you as you headed towards adulthood. You had to have certain skills, certain abilities, and certain confidence in place, before you were ready.
Back in the day, hunting, cooking, wound care, knowledge of plants and animals, awareness of seasons and weather, and so much more, was necessary.
Today, we act as if academic success, things that “look good” for colleges, and technology are the important things for you to learn.
But I believe you can better prepare your kids. On your journey of discovery, you don’t have to forage food, fight for survival in nature, or handle being alone, but you need more than just academic training.
What training do we need to survive (or even thrive) in the world today?
Based on my work with teenagers, when you head off into the world on your own, the kinds of things that you are going to run into include:
- hard and confusing decisions
- loneliness and making connections
- temptation and ease (of drugs, alcohol, shopping, video games, technology, and more)
- self doubt
- questions about meaning
- and in this consumer culture a barrage of messages that say “you’re not enough”
Beyond the simple and helpful things like doing laundry, shopping for food, preparing food, taking care of your stuff, and cleaning up, there is another level of what it takes to find a life worth living.
So far, I’ve identified the following among the skills that our orange shirted exuberant guy has learned for his upcoming journey.
- Showing up
- Taking responsibility
- Being courageous and creative
- Persevering through frustration and difficulty
- Trusting your intuition
- Connecting to people
- Creating positive and hopeful habits
A conversation has begun around these as I’ve begun to ask people what they think. You can join in on the Play Huge blog.
What do you need to be find your way to the exuberance, excitement, and curiosity of the aliveness and exuberance that lives inside you?