Robyn McKay shares how parents can assist their children find an interest they are passionate about.
When I talk to parents about their children who have a lot of different interests and they are really good at a lot of different things there’s some confusion about, what should they do with their lives and how should they use all of their abilities and talents and this is the secret with kids who are multi-potential, meaning that they can do a lot of things really, really well.
Two things – one is, kids like that can be really good at things that they hate, and two is, the way to figure out somebody’s passion is to figure out where they find their flow, and flow is a consciousness state that’s associated with creativity. It’s when you lose track of time, when the activity actually just seems to really flow through you and by the way, surfing nordstrom.com is not being in flow, but if you are writing late at night and the words just seem to flow through you and you become completely absorbed and engaged in the activity that’s a real strong indicator that that activity brings you flow.
So finding your child’s flow is a very important thing and the other piece is figuring out what they value. What they value or hold precious and dear is another indicator of where their passion lies. So when the question comes up about “Well, he can do so many things well. What should he choose?” Choose flow and choose values to answer that question.
If you are wanting to nurture your child’s direction or help her find her passion one of the things that I really recommend is finding a creativity counselor or a coach who can really work with your adolescent on that very issue.
Let me give you an example of Lily, who I met with when she was 17. She was a senior in high school. She was scoring top marks in math, science and had blown the top off the ACT scores, right? And she also loved fashion and when I met her she had these really cool earrings in and she is this really neat kid who had kind of different interests – science, math and fashion design, and her whole life she told me, “Everybody keeps telling me, ‘You’ll figure out how to put those two things together,” and she was very frustrated by that because she couldn’t figure out how to put those two things together.
So here’s what I had her do. I had her imagine in one hand just the image of an astronaut, which is one career path that she was thinking of taking, and I had on the other hand imagine a fashion designer, which is another career path she was thinking of taking, and slowly as she imagined those two things I asked her to just move her hands together – it’s called psycho synthesis actually -- and to watch what this third thing is that formed and her eyes flew open and she was so excited because she finally figured it out how she would make those two things work, and she decided she would be an astronaut and she would have a really cool house and a really cool wardrobe and be able to express her fashion savvy in that way.