Ep. 75: “Purpose”–But Without the Eye-Rolling
Alexis Rockley, author of Find Your F*ckyeah, sat down with me this week to talk about how you can help your teen find their groove, their vibe, their f*ckyeah–the things that gets them popping out of bed in the morning, ready to take on the world. It’s sort of like “purpose” but will cause a lot less eyerolls…
Full Show Notes
[This episode contains strong language.]
You remember high school, don’t you? The crushing pressure to define yourself, the need to fit in with your classmates, and the stress of meeting all the expectations of adults and teachers. What do you want to do with your life? they ask. But, at sixteen, did you really know? Did your life pan out the way you thought it would? Or was it full of unexpected twists and turns, mistakes that served as learning experiences on your road to success?
It’s important for teenagers to recognize that they don’t, in fact, need to know everything about themselves by 18. But nowadays, with social media emphasizing the importance of personal branding and colleges putting pressure on teenagers to perform perfectly, teens can feel boxed in. They feel they need to know exactly who they are and what they want…ASAP! And they may get the message that their life must be one clean story with no zigs, zags, or misdirections. This limiting belief is detrimental in a world that is full of fast-paced change.
Paradoxically, change is the most consistent part of human experience. Every day, we learn more about ourselves and make adjustments accordingly. And experimenting, failing, and adjusting is how we figure out what makes us happy, what motivates us to get out of bed each morning with a clarity of “purpose,” or, for those who are rolling their eyes at “purpose,” our “f*ck yeah!”
Alexis Rockley, author of Find Your F*ckyeah: Stop Censoring Who You Are and Discover What You Really Want, sat down with me this week to talk about how you can help your teen find their f*ck yeah and break out of restricting stereotypes. Rockley, who humbly describes herself as a “nerd who loves research,” is leading a movement to help young people find their “purpose” and “joy” in life…but in a cool way. She has spent years studying and working with experts in the field of positive psychology and her book unpacks the science and psychology in an accessible way to help people find their “f*uckyeah.”
According to Rockley, one of the most important aspects of raising well-adjusted, go-getter teens is to debunk the falsehood that “adults know everything.” Drawing from her own twisting and turning journey Rockley delivers the science behind teens limiting beliefs, and why it’s dangerous to place too much emphasis on, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” More helpful questions should address the reality of change–and acceptance of all the versions of you that you might be!
Rockley also speaks to me about how parents can help teens navigate our “factory school system” and set themselves up for the modern workplace. Rockley gives great tips on how to expose your teenager to environments that value creativity and problem-solving skills, instead of simply following rote instructions.
In addition to these fascinating topics, we talk about:
- How to get your teen excited about their future
- The problem with asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
- The tricky science of ‘limiting beliefs’ in teens and young adults
- The need for personal branding…
- And how personal branding could be negatively influencing who your teen is.
Alexis Rockley brings her enthusiasm and passion for helping others to this week’s episode, and her positive energy is contagious! I hope you find our conversation as fun and helpful as I did–and maybe you’ll be leaving a copy of her book lying around for your teen to ‘stumble’ upon.
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Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
1. Reframe “what do you want to be when you grow up” with:
“There will always be problems, so which problems do you want to solve?”
2. When your teens tells you what they want “to be when they grow up”:
About Alexis Rockley
Alexis Rockley is a positive psychology anti-coach and human pep talk. She is the author of Find Your F*ckyeah (available everywhere books are sold, via Chronicle Prism), host of the voicemail-style podcast, Call Me When You Get This, and leads her career and goal-setting workshops for creatives and entrepreneurs all over the world. She earned her Specialization Certificate in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her mission is to help people figure out how to actually like being alive—by translating the hard science of happiness for anyone who speaks emoji.