Did you know a 16-year-old invented a pancreatic cancer detector, and a 19-year-old has launched a massive Ocean cleanup project? Stories of teen creators and thought leaders are aplenty. This begs the question – are teens more passionate than the world gives them credit for?
While most associate teenage years with being lazy and clicking selfies, in reality, GenZ is full of creativity and resilience.
Take for example Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, who organized the “Fridays for Future” school strike for climate and got the world to start talking about the looming threat of climate change. The teenager admits to being ‘painfully shy’, and yet she sparked a global movement with her determination!
Inside the Mind of a Teenager
For several years, the teenage mind has fascinated researchers. Many studies have shown that adolescence is a time when the propensity for taking risks is the highest. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, given that it pushes the boundaries of creativity and divergent thinking.
While many adults are conditioned by their environment to think in one pattern, adolescents seldom have such mental blockers. You’ll often find grown-ups focusing on things they cannot achieve or what cannot be done. To a teenage mind, however, every problem can be solved!
That’s why one sees so many teens today at the forefront of social movements, leading entrepreneurial projects and injecting energy and new ideas into public life.
According to scientists, the teenage brain is at a unique neurological stage. It retains the creativity of childhood years and at the same time, also starts gaining the adult ability to make social connections, and discover interests.
Their mind adapts quickly and has immense potential for learning. It’s a golden time to explore and figure out a passion!
The Road to Self Discovery
It’s a time when you start noticing your natural abilities and things that interest you. Take this opportunity to figure out who you are as an individual, separate from the family tribe, and as a person with a unique personality.
Self-discovery is a constant learning journey. It means finding your purpose in life (it takes time but we all get there!), it means digging deep and understanding the experiences and ideas that shape you. It means realizing what your values and beliefs are and living by them.
This road to self-discovery includes happiness, self-awareness, clarity and sometimes even enlightenment!
Think about what excites you and start exploring your interests. It will even help you answer the age-old question: ‘What am I passionate about?’
While some teens may be naturally inclined to think about life’s big questions, others may need a little encouragement. Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What am I good at?
- Which activities bring me happiness?
- What are my personal characteristics?
- Who do I aspire to be like?
While not everything in your teenage years is linked to self-discovery and figuring out a passion, being mindful of how you spend your time and being open to experiences can shape your future like nothing else can!
Start with small passion projects. If dancing, singing or performing arts excite you, go ahead and learn them. In case making and editing videos are your forte, open a YouTube channel. If writing brings you joy, start with a blog.
Try out new hobbies, join a class and do things that make you happy. Amid all this, you are sure to find your Ikigai – your raison d’etre!