pg13-3 teen girlSome teens can do anything—they get good grades, are excellent athletes, and are involved with music, drama, editing yearbooks. They can do anything but do not know what to do with their lives. Miller and Mattson

Miller and Mattson continue, “Hidden behind their multiple interests is the consistency of a particular way of working and playing, a motivational pattern.

teens happyA teen’s motivational pattern unlocks the door to a career they will love.

Extensive research leads to the conclusion that consistent motivational patterns emerge “in rudimentary form by age 10 and are fully fleshed out in mid-teens.” Further, the motivational pattern remains consistent throughout a person’s life.

A poignant example

Kayla Jean Mueller was an American human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker. She was taken captive in August 2013 in Aleppo, Syria, while leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital and died earlier this year in Syria at age 26.

When she was 22 she wrote to her parents: “Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love. I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.

The more teens act out of their motivated pattern, the greater is their own 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. Here’s an exercise you can give to the teens in your life. To get started, see this link: Guided questions motivational patterns.

Next week : A second exercise to help teens pull out their work pattern from the data they recorded.

 Tweetable: Six questions help teens identify patterns in their most satisfyingly consistent way of work and play. Click to Tweet