Recently, I was chatting with a young adult after a church service. Being close to graduating I asked them about their plan after high school. My experience is that most of the time that leads to them telling me about all their dreams, aspirations, and hopeful career path and educational plans.
Sometimes, students like this one ask something like, “how did you get to where you are as a full-time speaker?”
Although life is not a simple formula, I often share three things with them that I believe anyone, but particularly young people can apply to their lives. Here they are.
Follow Your Passion
Life is expensive, and I understand that young people need to be aware that they need to make a financial living someday. However, I have also talked to many people who are now young professionals and their biggest regret was that they just followed the money and the career with the highest salary.
I also remember listening to a podcast and was surprised to hear that after someone makes $60,000 a year, their level of happiness does not increase. In other words, more money doesn’t fulfill you but feeling passionate about your work will. Lets be honest though, sometimes work is work and there will always be seasons that are harder than others.
Nevertheless, encouraging young people today to discover and follow what they are passionate about is very important. Many of them are very confused in this season of life so encouraging them to tap into those passions God has already placed within them can help direct their steps.
This can be discerned through prayer, community, and sometimes through trial and error.
Work Your Butt Off
I recently had a lunch meeting with someone who wants to pursue a career as a speaker, and they asked if I have formal education. Possibly due to my easygoing personality or stupid sense of humor they assumed I was uneducated. When I shared that I had 8 years of post-secondary education, they were shocked.
When it comes to your career, or shaping your life in this world God has placed us in, sometimes you might have to work harder than anyone else to get ahead in life. Whether that’s earning certain grades to open up post-secondary education doors, or working extremely hard and long hours perfecting a specific skill or trade; encouraging this young generation to work as hard as they can to succeed is vital.
Trust God Every Step of the Way
In the Bible, we see many people who entrusted their lives to God’s hands. I am a big believer that the results are up to God. He is the one who can open up doors that we cannot open ourselves, and he will be the one to put us in the right place at the right time to succeed.
Part of trusting God means we depend on Him, continue to pray for His will to be done, and seek His kingdom first. Leaving the results to Him can be humbling, especially when things don’t happen as we’d prefer. It’s in those moments that our trust is really put to the test.
There is no straight path forward to a career or calling success. All your high school dreams may not come true, but these foundational life principles can help every young person take the next right step as they navigate their pursuit in furthering their education and career.