Determining Our Future Based On ValuesJun 14, 2022
Determining our future based on our values, purpose, aptitude, and goals — not just on where we come from and what was done before us.
The first question we seem to ask children is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When they’re in kindergarten and early elementary school, we’ll accept every answer they give. As they grow older, it seems like the expectations of the world grow heavier and the path towards success gets narrower. As early as ninth grade, we expect students to have a plan for what awaits them post graduation. And we seem to have made the choice for them: if you want to succeed, you’ll go to college or trade school.
White collar or blue collar.
Academia or “honest work.”
But what if there was a better way? What if we dreamed with students about who they are becoming and what may be waiting for them? What if we stopped limiting them to our narrow scope and definitions of success?
The framework that we currently use to think about the professional world awaiting students is not only too narrow (limiting options from the beginning), but it also fails to consider the whole person that we are talking to about their own future. I want to propose a broader and more holistic approach.
What if we started thinking about our futures based on our values, purposes, aptitudes, and goals? What if we considered where we came from and what was done before us, but didn’t let it indefinitely set our course?
What if we started empowering students to do the same?
I propose that if we equipped young people to carefully consider their values (what is most important to them), their purpose (how they productively channel those values), their aptitudes (natural talents and giftings) and their goals (where they want to go), we would be surrounded by a generation freer, more successful, kinder, more hopeful, more whole hearted, and more inspired than any that came before it .
Today, I am a white-collar advisor from a blue-collar background. I am also a husband, father, grandfather, and a successful entrepreneur. Most importantly, I am a man who has clear values that I re-examine at least yearly to keep fresh and to hold myself to them. If I had listened to the traditional path that claims that my future was spoken for by my background and family history of employment, I would not be where I am today.
It’s a long road to relearn the way we think and talk about success with students: but it’s worth it.
Believe that your students are more than their backgrounds and family credentials.
Believe that for yourself too.