Childhood used to be a time of dreaming big. So why have so many teens lost their connection to that thing that really lights them up?
I’ve been on a statistics kick lately – here’s one I saw go by in my tweetstream (a good place to fish for quotes and statistics) that really gave me pause:
“69% of teens say they have a spark. 31% can not name their own spark.” ~ @ParentFurther
That’s right, according to a survey from Search Institute, only 69% of teens say they have a spark — something that lights them up.
And 31% of them don’t know what it is.
Whatever happened to childhood being a time of dreaming big?
I don’t think it was coincidence that I had just posted one of my favorite quotes to my Facebook page.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman.
Why do we lose our connection to that spark, that thing that makes us come alive?
Why do we allow ourselves to go through our lives as zombies, not really awake to our purpose, not pursuing a dream, simply trying to find a need we can fill?
I’ve been working with clients in the areas of living on purpose, journaling dreams, turning dreams into goals, pursuing goals relentlessly but strategically, and achieving profitable businesses and fulfilling lives for a long time. And here’s what I believe.
To be alive.
We might say, “It never hurts to dream.” But we don’t believe it.
We’re scared to choose a purpose, because what if we get it wrong?
We’re scared to dream a dream, because what if it never comes true?
We’re scared to let that spark become a bonfire, because what if we get burned?
We’re scared to be fully alive. Because that means we could die.
I’ve changed my purpose statement many times. But I always have a purpose to live up to, and every new purpose I undertake is more meaningful than having none.
I’ve dreamed a lot of dreams that haven’t come true (yet.) But dreams I barely dared to dream have gifted me with wings.
I’ve let my inner spark die out. But I’ve brought it back to a blaze and found that it doesn’t burn, it illuminates.
I’ve been alive. And scared. And then I remember, only THIS lifetime ends. I go on. Forever.
And then I get scared that I’ll allow my fear to keep me from fully living the NOW that I’m in.
So that’s MY diagnosis.
We’re all scared. Sometimes.
But we’re all alive. In the NOW. With sparks that can light up the world.
If we let them.
(Reprinted from DixieDynamiteCoaching.com)
Photo: Flickr/Garry Knight