I am intrigued by the statistic that shows that only 17% of the global working population feels engaged in their work. It's insane! It's fair to say then, that most of the people on this earth don't enjoy what they do. Such a big waste of potential, isn't it?
I will not dwell on the question of why this is happening but rather: Is there something that I can do as a parent to set up my kid for success on this one? What can I do to maximize my kid's chances to love what they choose to do in their lives?
Recently I got inspired by Laura, my wife and the founder of lifebloom.org to look deeper into the psychology of purpose, grit, perseverance, high-performance habits and children development (you can check for the book titles here). Here's what my conclusions are:
People who love what they do are people with a strong sense of purpose. People with a mission bigger than themselves. People with a continuously exciting calling. This makes people feel a number of strong emotions including the emotion you feel when you've helped someone for example. These types of emotions trigger the brain to release hormones that are addictive. And that's why I believe such people will bounce forward after facing difficulty and will figure it out and persevere in their efforts to achieve their mission.
The big bold purpose is not enough. It requires that those people feel capable of achieving that big bold mission. The capability - that more often than not is built with experience in time after exploring a number of interests and sticking to one at some point in time.
Ok, so how can a conscious parent nurture those two elements in their kids? Here's how I think as a starting point and I am really curious what you, dear reader think. Don't be shy just drop your thoughts, experience, knowledge in the comments section there.
How to cultivate the sense of purpose in children? One way I am thinking of is to start with cultivating generosity and exploring together the emotions linked to that. For example, emphasizing the moments of generosity when those happen, asking how it feels when you give, how it feels when you receive? Often saying - oh, you are so generous! Thanks for that, or this "this person was so generous" she let us queue in front of her"...
How to cultivate the second component? The capability? Well, this one I think is through letting children explore as many as possible experiences with the intention to spark a particular interest (or a few of those, as children often will jump from one interest to another for years and years). Then when one particular interest seems to stick and she perseveres on that one then I would do whatever it takes to support that interest - whatever that may be!
In my conclusion, based on all those books I've read I think these two components shall be a good compass. What do you think?
Here's a short video with my thoughts.