teens work

The more they act out of their motivated abilities pattern*, the greater is a teenager’s satisfaction that they are using their life for its intended purpose –the purpose that they define, based upon the abilities, talents, skills, and temperament they see in themselves.

This exercise from the previous post  gives teens in your life some concrete data about who they are: see this link: Guided questions motivational patterns.

guitar projectThey choose eight achievements from the data gathered from the questions.

These should be achievements that are the most important to them. For each item, they write:

  • how you got involved in it
  • the details of what you actually did
  • what was specifically enjoyable or satisfying to you

Look for the pattern

  • See the clear, strong connection between who you are and what you have done.
  • According to Miller and Mattson, the motivational pattern might be something like
    • improve/make better
    • meet needs/fulfill expectations
    • develop/build
    • be in charge/command
    • combat/prevail
    • acquire/possess

Knowing this, teens can now ask themselves: In what careers or environments will I be free to move in my motivated pattern? What educational path will best take me there?

“Isn’t that just like you?”

And so it is that we find the child acquiring his first scooter car when he is 4, his first bicycle at 8, his first car at 16, and his first house at age 30 is still acquiring money or material things at age 60.

The child defending her sister against a bully at age 9 is preoccupied at age 28 with her ministry to people facing personal tragedy or death and is making friends with former gang members at age 45.

Maybe what teens should do with their lives can be found, in large part, within what they have been doing all along.

* Go here for a more detailed description.

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