One of the best ways adults can help guide iY youth into their future is to help them think through five critical decisions. Everyone ends up making these decisions, by default or design. But if they’re made on purpose — and in the right order — they can become a kind of compass to help them steer a course in life. These five decisions are great topics for discussion between students and their parents or mentors.
1. Values: These come first, because they’re the moral compass. Students should determine these first, even before they choose their vision. If they don’t, they may compromise all kinds of beliefs and ethics en route to their goals.
2. Vision: This usually comes next because it is your blueprint for life. Vision is the big picture goal a student has for their future. It helps them choose colleges, mentors, internships, activities, and where they’ll live and work.
3. Virtues: This is next, since it reveals your best tool to influence and serve. By virtue, I simply mean the greatest gift a student gives to a team or organization. Every one of them should discover their primary strength or virtue early.
4. Venue: This follows because now you’re ready to find a suitable context. When a student has determined the three items above, they can then decide where they will employ their gifts, vision and core values.
5. Vehicles: Finally, you can choose the actions necessary to reach the goal. Ultimately, students will have to make the decisions all adults must make: What will be the day-to-day activities I will perform to use my gifts and accomplish my vision.
I encourage you to find a young person and dialogue about these five big decisions. Save their future now.