Beyond Brilliance: The Power of Purpose for Gifted & Talented Learners

Gifted and talented learners possess exceptional abilities that set them apart from their peers. However, the path to realizing their full potential can be riddled with challenges, and one critical aspect that often goes overlooked is the development of a strong sense of purpose. Let’s delve into the significance of cultivating a sense of purpose for gifted learners and explore how it can positively impact their educational journey and future contributions to society.

Who is a Gifted Learner?

According to NAGC, the National Association for Gifted Children’s definition of giftedness, students with gifts and talents perform—or have the capability to perform—at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. These students often demonstrate high levels of creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. While they possess immense potential, a significant number of gifted learners remain underachievers.

70% of Gifted & Talented students remain underachievers for life. 

This is due to a variety of factors like narrow ways of identifying giftedness, lack of personalized development of the gifts and talents etc. One of the most prominent being a lack of challenge in their educational environment. When gifted students are not sufficiently stimulated, boredom can creep in, leading to disengagement and a decline in academic performance.

Too Much Focus on Academics

Another contributing factor to the underachievement of gifted learners is the excessive emphasis on academic advancement. While excelling academically is important, it should not come at the expense of developing a broader sense of purpose in life. Gifted students need opportunities to explore their passions, interests, and potential contributions to society beyond the confines of a traditional classroom.

The Importance of a Sense of Purpose

Especially as gifted students enter their teenage years, they begin to grapple with questions about their role in society and their future career development. This is where a sense of purpose becomes crucial. Victor Frankl, in his renowned work “Man’s Search for Meaning,” eloquently states, “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘why’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how.'”

In other words, having a sense of purpose provides a powerful motivation that can help gifted learners overcome challenges, boredom, and underachievement. It gives them a reason to persevere, learn, and grow.

Research Supporting the Importance of Purpose

Recent research conducted by Yeager (2014) supports the idea that promoting a prosocial, self-transcendent purpose can improve academic self-regulation among students. This research suggests that students with a sense of purpose beyond themselves are more likely to persist even in tedious learning activities. These activities lay the foundation for their future contributions to the world beyond the self.


In conclusion, fostering a strong sense of purpose can be a game-changer for the Gifted & Talented learners. It empowers them to channel their exceptional abilities toward meaningful and impactful endeavors. By recognizing the importance of purpose in education and life, we can ensure that gifted learners not only excel academically but also become future leaders and contributors to society, taking the world forward. 

3 ways to build clarity on your child’s career choice

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

“I don’t think there is much scope in Cognitive Science”, said Amy’s father one Sunday evening during our introductory call where I was getting them acquainted with Power Club.

It’s only natural for parents to want the best for their children, and they often worry about the potential challenges and uncertainties that might come with certain career choices. They hope for paths that offer more stability, less uncertainty, and promising rewards. However, it’s crucial to understand that what parents perceive as a good career option might not align with their child’s aspirations and passions.

As a coach and mentor, I’ve witnessed this dilemma numerous times. Young minds may harbor dreams and ambitions that differ from what their parents envision for them.

So, how do you handle a situation where what you think is the best career path for your child is different from a path that they have chosen? As a parent, it’s difficult. You want them to spread their wings but also keep them grounded to reality. How do you clear the fog of uncertainty that you have regarding the choice they want to make?

In the realm of fostering a profound connection between parents and their children’s career choices, three pivotal facets emerge as beacons of clarity and support. In my personal experience, I have found that these three aspects can instill a sense of certainty in any parent regarding their child’s career path.

Let’s dive right in!

Step 1: Understand the job environment

It’s entirely natural for parents to feel skeptical when their child approaches them with a newfound passion, especially when the child might have limited knowledge about the practicalities of the chosen path. As a parent with years of experience, you are aware that success in any career isn’t solely about generating innovative ideas or creating something remarkable. It entails numerous tasks, some mundane and less exciting, that contribute to overall success.

To effectively evaluate your child’s career choice, it is essential to begin by gaining a clear understanding of what a typical day entails for a professional in that domain. This process involves becoming aware of various aspects of the job that your child might not find as appealing but would be willing to embrace as part of their journey.

For example, a writing job that involves handling client grievances or a research job that requires you to keep writing proposals to get your research grant. Go through this great resource to get started, Role Models’ videos on CareerGirls, I have seen that a conversation with people who are actually doing that job right now is quite effective. Encourage your child to find such people on LinkedIn and request an informational interview. You’ll be amazed at how responsive people are to share their stories and knowledge.

Step 2: Understand the lifestyle

Adulting also involves determining the type of lifestyle you aspire to lead, calculating the necessary income to sustain that lifestyle, and assessing the likelihood of earning that amount in the career you eagerly wish to pursue.

Do the same for your child by creating an approximation of the cost of living in the city where they envision working in after completing college. Then, compare this with the average starting salaries in their preferred profession. This can give you and your child a clear view of the lifestyle they can have in their preferred career choice.

For example, you may realize that many event planners or community managers cannot lead a “lavish lifestyle” in a metropolitan area. You can also check out Numbeo’s Cost of Living Estimator for a basic understanding of different expenses and how your child may need to budget for them. Since this doesn’t take into account income tax, insurance and any emergency expenses, multiply the final value by 1.5 to get a fair idea of what your child needs to make in a month.

Step 3: Understand the preparation required

You might be wondering if your child will stay committed for the duration of time required in many careers, especially those that demand years of experience or additional degrees beyond undergrad. Careers that involve managing others or require deep domain knowledge often necessitate substantial preparation. To assess whether your child is prepared for this commitment, it’s crucial to understand the typical qualifications and background that companies expect from candidates in the desired role. Engage them in a discussion about their readiness to dedicate the necessary time and effort.

For instance, research might reveal that most practicing Neuropsychologists hold a PhD and have completed a 2-year postdoctoral research program. Similarly, CEOs of large companies typically reach that position in their 50s or later. You can explore the concept of Job Zones, which classifies occupations based on the level of preparation required. For a more precise understanding, reviewing actual job descriptions related to your child’s desired career on LinkedIn can be helpful. This way, you can better gauge the qualifications needed and ascertain whether your child is prepared to meet the demands of their chosen path.

Approaching the discussion of your child’s career choice using the toolkit I have offered above can indeed be beneficial and effective. When your child explores the different facets of their preferred career path, it demonstrates that they are taking their decision seriously and putting in effort to understand the potential outcomes and challenges.

By reducing uncertainty and gaining conviction in their decision, they can effectively communicate their goals and aspirations to you. This clarity will make it easier for you, as a parent, to understand their perspective and support their choices. It also shows that they are mature and responsible in their approach to making important life decisions.

Ultimately, knowing that you are backing their decisions will provide them with the confidence and motivation to pursue their chosen career path with enthusiasm and determination. Your support can make a significant difference in their journey towards a fulfilling and successful future.

Guiding the Gifted & Talented: 3 Aspects for Successful Career Discovery

Successful Career Discovery
Career Discovery

Meet Maya, a 10th grader studying in a renowned international school in Dubai. Like many of her classmates, she hasn’t figured out the path she wants to pursue after school. What makes her different from her peers however is the range of activities in which she is thriving. She never had trouble getting top grades in most of her school subjects. Maya has a gift for writing and the arts. She has written dozens of articles for her school magazine and won essay writing competitions. On top of that, she creates amazing artwork which won her praise from the head of the school. She is also  passionate about researching the human mind. One would think that such a bright child would have no problem making a career decision. However, Maya often feels torn between her different interests and is not sure how to go about making the best choice for her future. She is not alone in this struggle.

Maya falls under the category of “gifted & talented” children, i.e., those who possess a great amount of natural ability, talent, or intelligence which becomes evident at a very young age. The career indecision that Maya is experiencing right now is common to most gifted & talented children as per Professor Jae Yup Jung of the University of New South Wales, Australia. According to Professor Jung, the conventional approaches to career decision-making often fall short when helping gifted & talented children.

Given that these children have the highest potential to become leaders in different fields and bring about a significant impact on the lives of others, it’s important to understand what unique aspects apply to these students when it comes to choosing the best-fit future pathway and how we, as parents and educators, can support them effectively. 

In my experience, the following 3 aspects should be kept in mind when dealing with the career development of gifted & talented students. The same factors have been highlighted by the leading global centers for research on gifted and talented youth.

Aspect 1: Multipotentiality – Embracing the Gift of Possibilities

For the longest time, conventional wisdom recommended that people specialize and start specializing early. However, gifted & talented students are multipotentialites, i.e., they have interests and abilities in a range of fields. They can be good in multiple career fields. For example, Maya can enjoy working as a psychologist, a journalist, or even a designer. Not only that, she can be especially suited to work in an array of emerging interdisciplinary fields like Climate Communication, User Experience Research, Bioethics, and Game Design. 

According to the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education and Talented Development, enabling Maya and other gifted & talented children to become open to such possibilities and realize that they don’t have to choose just one thing requires exposure to diverse possibilities, including emerging careers that require multidisciplinary thinking.

Aspect 2: Mindful Excellence – Embracing Imperfection on the Path to Excellence

In recent years, perfectionism has gotten a bad rap as it seems to be a key reason why a lot of high-potential students often feel that they are not good enough and experience anxiety before high-stakes examinations and competitions. Yes, it’s also true that the high expectations that gifted & talented students have from themselves along with high expectations from parents and teachers become a source of stress.

However, author, psychologist, and director of Gifted Development Center Linda Kreger Silverman points out that there is another side to perfectionism. Gifted & Talented students are best placed to strive for excellence when they focus on their strengths. What they require is guidance to understand what excellence in different careers looks like and a realistic estimate of the effort and time required to get there. They also would benefit a lot from mindfulness practices which readies them to overcome self-criticism and persevere through obstacles as they explore future possibilities.

Aspect 3: A Need for Intellectual Stimulation – Balancing Challenge and Skill to Experience FLOW

Gifted & Talented students are filled with a desire to challenge themselves and it often requires personalized attention on the part of school teachers to keep them engaged in class. When it comes to learning more about different kinds of occupations, Maya and other gifted students with whom I have worked with, often share a worry about whether a said career would be able to sustain their interest for this particular reason.

When Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi interviewed 8000 artists, scientists, and other professionals across different cultures to find the conditions that lead people to really enjoy what they are doing for their own sake and not for any reward, one of the conditions that came out is the need for matching challenges and skills. This means that relying on activities like watching videos or reading articles about different careers alone may not be stimulating enough. Gifted & talented children should be encouraged to immerse themselves in activities that professionals perform in their day-to-day work. I’ve seen gifted and talented students enjoying these challenges much more as they find them to be novel and more complex compared to the academic tasks they do in different subjects. To help them identify work activities where they will experience a sense of timelessness, gifted & talented students should be asked to try out increasingly complex work activities as they build their skills.

Gifted students can grow up to be eminent individuals who can build game-changing innovations and move the world forward. To realize their full potential and ignite their passions they require a conducive environment and a special focus on the 3 aspects highlighted above. Maya and other gifted and talented students would thus be able to effectively tackle career indecision and set themselves to thrive in college and beyond.

At Power Club, we’ve brought together a world-class team of industry experts, college admission advisors, and life design coaches to build a personalized, experiential, and collaborative career discovery program exclusively for the gifted and talented.

College enrollments continue to fall – Top 5 reasons to consider life design curriculum to counter this disconcerting pandemic trend

If you are a parent, teacher or high school administrator concerned about the falling number of high school graduates attending college, you are not alone in seeking ways to motivate teens to pursue higher education. The Associated Press article – Jaded with education, more Americans are skipping college – captures the disconcerting trends and concerns. As tuition prices soar and student debt becomes an increasingly prevalent issue, many teenagers are turning away from college altogether in favor of joining the workforce right away. For many of them, the pandemic was a double whammy – their education on Zoom was not engaging and they found jobs that provided steady income.

Per the AP, “Nationwide, undergraduate college enrollment dropped 8% from 2019 to 2022, with declines even after returning to in-person classes, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse.”

You may find yourself challenged with getting these teenage minds to understand the huge potential benefits of continuing their education beyond high school. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of five key reasons why incorporating life, career and college design education will be integral in helping students understand their options, explore different possibilities and make informed choices about their future. In order words: don’t let your teens miss out on exploring all they can become!

Mitigate/manage the financial burden of educational debt

Creating a plan to manage educational debt can be the key to financial success. Before taking out student loans, it’s important to understand exactly what type of loan is best for you, how much you need, and what you’re willing to pay back each month. Additionally, make sure to research as many scholarships and financial aid programs as possible, by filing a FAFSA form or planning a visit with the school’s financial aid officer for further advice. Community college can also be a great way to lessen the burden of educational debt; take the time to explore options within your community and talk to advisors about which credits may transfer. Lastly, consider alternative lending if you have already taken out loans but are struggling with repayment. There are countless tools available to help manage debt and create an effective life design that works both now and in the future.

Pandemic saw sharp drop on college enrollment

percent of recent high school graduates, ages 16-24, enrolled in college. Source – Associated Press.

Learn/teach life design skills that students believe prepares them for the real world

Learning the skills of life design helps teenagers create strong, meaningful futures for themselves. Rather than focusing only on college tuition and loans, life design encourages teens to think about – how they can find their purpose by connecting what they love and are good at with the world’s needs and what will pay them. Those are the four elements of the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai. Life design focuses on long-term thinking and planning, which better prepares them for lasting success in the real world. Through developing life design skills at a young age, students can develop an understanding of how to balance independence, creativity, and financial freedom while still finding future success. Life design skills help people navigate the unexpected possibilities and issues that come up throughout life – people skilled in life design are less anxious, less stressed, more creative, more productive, and happier.

Evaluating job opportunities and life aspiration with or without college degrees

Knowing what career path to choose can be tricky. It’s hard to explore what pathways will be available and what debt you’ll have to pay off. Although immediate compensation is important, it’s essential to also consider the long-term implications of any financial decision. That being said, it doesn’t make sense to take on a job that you don’t enjoy just because it pays a lot– life isn’t worth living if your work isn’t satisfying. Instead of being hyper-focused on immediate payment and security alone, taking advantage of opportunities to explore the unknown may lead to more valuable and meaningful experiences in the future. Taking time to evaluate your job prospects carefully while considering immediate vs long-term compensation, satisfaction, and optionality can help you find the right fit.

From the AP – “Fewer college graduates could worsen labor shortages in fields from health care to information technology. For those who forgo college, it usually means lower lifetime earnings — 75% less compared with those who get bachelor’s degrees, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. And when the economy sours, those without degrees are more likely to lose jobs.”

Mentors, passion projects, and communities of interest provide valuable experience

College is a great avenue to develop skills and knowledge, however, it is not the only path to success. Recognizing this reality, mentorship can help teenagers build experiences, passion projects can spark something worthwhile, and communities of interest can expand access for finding mentors as well as like-minded individuals who share a common cause. By carving out time for mentorship and hands-on experiences or following one’s passions by investing in them, teens may gain valuable experience that will guide them on their life journey before, during, and after college. This type of thoughtful exploration of pursuits, done in a proven and structured curriculum, will open doors that are just as meaningful as college without the debt – demonstrating that there can be immense value in continuously creating a person’s own individualized life design.

Build career mentor networks while in high school

Finding the right mentors and building career-oriented networks before graduating high school is paramount to teenage success. Teens should explore what’s out there and access beyond their known people for expert collaborators. Bigger, diverse opportunities exist with in-person and virtual approaches. Reaching out to professionals in different facets of a particular field can provide direction as well as first-hand understanding about what a dream career entails. With research, curiosity and dedication, teens can create powerful mentorships that facilitate insightful learning experiences to create a life design of their aspirations.

As we have seen, teenagers can prepare for both the short-term and long-term reality of job opportunities before making a decision about college. Debt can be mitigated with education, skill development, and good decision-making. Learning how to design a life that maximizes one’s passion, interests, and strengths — instead of purely focusing on building career skills — is a valuable approach for teens who naturally want to take their lives into their own hands. In these unusual times, the world needs young people who can think outside the box more than ever. Therefore, actively seeking out mentors and communities of interest is an integral part of creating a successful career path, so students should begin building their networks now.

It is our mission at to ensure every student has access to a personalized plan, meaningful mentoring, hands-on projects, and community so if you are interested in exploring this route please sign up for a free 1:1 consultation with our life design experts to learn more about how we motivate teens, guide them to find their direction and improve their college application outcomes and experiences. We believe in developing talent through personal growth and self-reliance— regardless of traditional academic or economical circumstances — and are committed to helping young adults create their life designs that become their personal success stories.

Joelle Kaufman<br>
Joelle Kaufman

Revenue Catalyst | Optimizes Everything in Go-To-Market (GTM)

Mastering the Art of Being a High School Superstar: Insights from Cal Newport’s Book

Today college admissions is an overwhelming race. You are expected to achieve the highest grades, participate in various extracurricular activities, and maintain a busy schedule that can often leave you feeling burned out. Cal Newport’s book “How to Be a High School Superstar: A Revolutionary Plan to Get into College by Standing Out (Without Burning Out)” hits the nail on the head regarding how to approach the college admissions process holistically.

The examples presented in the book are from the mid-2000s, the competition for college admissions has only increased since then. However, the advice presented in the book is still highly relevant today. One of the key aspects of the book is the importance of under-scheduling. Newport emphasizes the beauty of having free time and using it to focus on your one or more deep interests, rather than constantly overcommitting and being overwhelmed by a hectic schedule.

The book encourages you to be “interesting” rather than well-rounded but run-of-the-mill. Colleges want to admit students who have unique and fascinating interests and experiences, rather than those who participate in a long list of generic extracurricular activities. The key is to pursue a few interests deeply, rather than trying to do everything and becoming a jack of all trades but a master of none.

High school and the life beyond is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s important for you to stay sane while running the marathon. You should take care of yourself mentally and physically, rather than sacrificing your health and well-being for the sake of productivity. Burnout is a real risk when you try to do too much, and it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance between school, extracurricular activities, personal time, and pursuing deep interests. 

Newport advocates for you to be a “relaxed superstar” who has free time to focus on your interests and doesn’t sacrifice sleep to maintain a busy schedule. Sleep is essential for both academic success and mental health, and sacrificing it for the sake of productivity is not worth it in the long run.

In addition to pursuing deep interests, Newport also encourages you to pursue “wow” accomplishments. These are achievements that truly innovate, even in a small way. Innovation should take the world forward, even in the slightest way, and these accomplishments are the ones that will truly make you stand out in the college admissions process.

Overall, the book emphasizes the importance of having an enjoyable high school experience, rather than exhausting years that drain the life and spark out of you. One of the key takeaways from the book is the idea that being “interesting” is more important than being well-rounded. It’s crucial for you to find a balance between school, extracurricular activities, personal time, and pursuing deep interests. The college admissions process is about much more than just grades and extracurricular activities – it’s about finding unique perspectives and meaningful experiences that showcase who you are as a person. Pursuing deep interests is the best way to cultivate these qualities. This doesn’t mean that you should neglect your academics or extracurricular activities – it simply means that you should prioritize your passions and pursue them in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, there is no better advice in the world than to be the best version of yourself, rather than trying to fit into a mold of what you think colleges want. Pursuing deep interests, having free time, and cultivating unique experiences are the keys to standing out in the college admissions process, and in life. You do you!

Starting Early: The Key to a Successful Career Design and College Admissions Journey

Starting your career design and college admissions journey early can provide you with a number of benefits. It allows you to take control of your future and make informed decisions about your education and career path. In this blog, we will discuss why starting early is important, and how it can help you achieve your goals.

The first benefit of starting early is that it allows you to explore different options. By beginning your career design and college admissions journey early, you will have more time to research different majors, careers, and colleges. You can also take advantage of opportunities such as internships, job shadows, and college visits, which can help you gain a better understanding of what you want to do in the future.

Another advantage of starting early is that it allows you to build a strong foundation. When you start early, you have more time to take relevant courses, build strong relationships with your teachers and counselors, and participate in extracurricular activities that align with your interests. This can help you to stand out to college admissions officers and make you a more competitive candidate.

Starting early also allows you to plan ahead and manage your time effectively. When you start early, you can set realistic goals and create a plan to achieve them. This can help you to avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you are well-prepared for the college admissions process. Furthermore, starting early can also help you to avoid procrastination, which can be a major obstacle to success.

Starting your career design and college admissions journey in 8th or 9th grade can provide you with a number of benefits. It allows you to explore different options, build a strong foundation, plan ahead, manage your time in high school effectively and take advantage of resources that are available to you. With early preparation, you can increase your chances of achieving your goals and reaching your full potential. Remember, the earlier you start, the more opportunities you will have to make informed decisions about your education and career path. Starting in 8th grade gives you a head start and ample time to explore and make informed decisions about your future.

Passion Projects: The Secret to a Strong College Application

Passion projects are a great way to showcase your interests and talents to college admissions officers. They are a unique way to demonstrate your creativity, initiative, and dedication to a particular field or interest. By participating in passion projects, you can accentuate your college admissions profile and increase your chances of getting accepted into your dream school.

When it comes to college admissions, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. With so many applicants vying for a limited number of spots, it can be difficult to make yourself stand out. This is where passion projects come in. They allow you to showcase your unique skills and interests in a way that sets you apart from other applicants. For example, if you’re passionate about photography, you could create a portfolio of your work and submit it as part of your college application.

Passion projects also demonstrate your initiative and dedication. By taking on a passion project, you are showing that you are self-motivated and driven to pursue your interests. This is a trait that college admissions officers look for in applicants. Additionally, by completing a passion project, you are demonstrating that you are capable of setting and achieving goals, which is another important trait that colleges look for in applicants.

Passion projects can also help you explore potential career paths. By participating in a passion project, you can gain hands-on experience in a field that interests you. This can help you determine if a particular career path is the right fit for you. For example, if you’re passionate about writing, you could start a blog or write for a local newspaper, which can help you explore the field of journalism.

It’s important to note that passion projects don’t have to be related to your intended major. In fact, college admissions officers often prefer to see a variety of interests, as it demonstrates that you are a well-rounded individual. However, if your passion project is related to your intended major, it can be especially beneficial, as it can demonstrate your dedication to and preparation for that field.

When creating a passion project, it’s important to remember that quality is more important than quantity. Rather than trying to create several projects, focus on creating one high-quality project that you are truly passionate about. This will demonstrate your commitment to the project and make it more impressive to college admissions officers.

It is also important to document and present your project in an effective way. A well-presented and well-documented project can make a huge difference in the eyes of college admissions officers. A well curated portfolio of work will give college admissions officers a better sense of your skills and interests.

In conclusion, passion projects are a great way to accentuate your college admissions profile. They allow you to showcase your unique skills and interests, demonstrate your initiative and dedication, and explore potential career paths. By participating in a passion project, you can increase your chances of getting accepted into your dream school. Remember to focus on quality over quantity, and document and present your project in an effective way. With the right passion project, you can set yourself apart from other applicants and make a lasting impression on college admissions officers.

How Ikigai can help teenagers find a purpose

Ikigai for teenagers

Ikigai. There’s no one way to properly describe what ikigai means; it’s a little bit of an emotion and a little bit of a state of being. But loosely translated, ikigai embodies the idea of happiness in living. It’s what drives you and wakes you up every morning with a sense of purpose. But it’s so much more than that too. 

What is the meaning of ikigai?

Ikigai is a Japanese concept, compounding two words: iki (生き) meaning life or alive and kai (甲斐), pronounced gai, meaning an effect, result, fruit, worth or use. To summarize, it’s something that gives a person a sense of purpose or a reason for living. On a much deeper level, it’s a self-reflection process. Knowing your ikigai means understanding yourself, your values and what serves you in the real world.

But why are we telling you about this? Well, ikigai can play an important role in defining your life as a teenager and potentially answering one of the most crucial questions that you inherently ask yourself: what is my purpose?

The good part is that you’re not alone. Many more young learners and teenagers like yourself are plagued by what to study next, what to do, will I do well as a dancer, doctor, scientist, engineer, artist, or any other passion you want to explore.

As a young learner, ikigai can shape your motives and help you find your true passion. It can even serve as a way of finding the ‘why’ behind your actions and make you wonder whether it’s something that brings you joy or not. There’s really no better way to truly know yourself than by asking all the right (or wrong) questions. In fact, several studies have found that following the path of ikigai not only gives people clarity in their vision but also provides long-term health benefits too!

Ikigai for teenagers

What is ikigai not?

Now that we know what ikigai is, it’s important to note that it’s not as simple as “following your passion”. A few simple factors differentiate ikigai from the latter: 

  • Ikigai is challenging. It involves a lot of perseverance and personal growth. 
  • Ikigai is a choice. You must feel responsible for your choice and journey.
  • Ikigai demands commitment. It’s a process that takes time and effort, and you won’t see a difference overnight.
  • Ikigai boosts your well-being. It encourages positive relationships and good health, leaving you with more energy to do what you really love.

How do I practice ikigai at a young age?

Life as a teenager can be filled with curveballs, full of emotions, excitement, impulsive decisions, and a lot of confusion. As a teenager, you are at the cusp in your life where you need to decide on a career, find a path, and so much more. It is at this stage that many end up blindly following unrealistic passions and wind up feeling discouraged when their dreams don’t materialize. Many others will resign themselves to careers that bring them money and status but no joy or fulfillment. The end goal of practicing ikigai as a teenager is to, as Mark Twain rightly said, ‘find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life’. 

Now, you must be wondering how you can make this happen? Here’s how. First, start your journey by asking yourself these five crucial questions:

  • What does my best day look like? (Your perfect day, which brings you happiness)
  • What’s keeping me stagnant? (Is it your insecurities, fear, or doubts?)
  • What comes easy for me? (When you feel that time has passed so quickly you didn’t even realize it) 
  • Who am I when alone? (Tap into your true inner self)
  • How can I help someone today? (Something you can offer another that also makes you happy) [Side note: An NPR research found that a teen’s self-esteem rises after volunteering or helping strangers] 

These questions might seem philosophical or too deep to answer but they’ll go a long way in helping you find your calling. This is because ikigai for teens addresses inner crises and gently nudges them towards their goals. Answering all the above questions will help lay a rock-solid foundation and guide you in finding your passion or career.

Can ikigai help me find a career path?

Yes! Ikigai can help you navigate not just your life decisions but your career as well. Here are a few things you can follow to help you along the way: 

Seek answers

Start by writing down these questions on a piece of paper and try to answer each one of them with as much honesty as possible:

  • What do you love to do?
  • What are you good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can you be rewarded for?

It’s good if you have all the answers, but it’s okay even if you don’t. Give yourself the time to think about them and answer them over time. 

Let’s take for example that you’re an artist who loves to tell stories. You’ll realize that you have many career options to choose from such as an illustrator, a writer, a painter, or a filmmaker. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way of finding purpose. There’s only your way. So, don’t be too quick to judge yourself. You can always add, remove, and modify your ikigai along the way.

It’s not a race against time

Ikigai is not about getting things right or becoming a millionaire. Instead, it’s about your personal growth and finding the right place for yourself in the scheme of things. Remember not to pressurize yourself along the way. But always be curious; it will take you a long way. With some trial and error, you will be able to uncover your purpose and passion.

Let your ikigai be the north star for you. And never forget, it is a process and it will take time.

Discover your ikigai with Power Club’s Real-World Learning

At Power Club, teenagers can immerse themselves in real-world experiences to explore their interests and passions, and discover what they truly want to do. We enable real-world learning with the power of challenges created by global experts.

You can get started by exploring challenges across domains like entrepreneurship, design, sustainability, and many more. Interact with industry experts and find like-minded global peers who share common interests.

Preparing Learners for the Future of Work

future or work
The Future of Work is evolving rapidly and young learners will need to equip themselves with life skills that go beyond academic learning.

‘What do you want to do in life when you complete school?’ A majority of learners across the world are unsure of how to answer this question.

While schools stress over subjects and good grades, the foundations to prepare them for the real world are missing.

A significant percentage of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. 

There’s another reality to think about – our current school learners will be the ones who will create many of these jobs. 

In a rapidly evolving work landscape, it is essential for them to take charge and equip themselves with life skills that will make them future-ready. But are they up for the challenge?

Learning for the Future

A publication by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that young learners are in fact studying more than their parents and grandparents did, and yet when it comes to work, they struggle to enter the job market.

Saurabh Saxena, the founder of Power Club, a Career Development and College Admissions Program for 8-12th graders, says we need to do more to prepare them. “The future of work is very dynamic. It demands multiple skills in every role and the traditional teaching techniques are not enough to fill the gap.”

The next generation of citizens will require not just strong academic skills, but also important future-ready skills such as leadership, empathy, curiosity, creativity, imagination, and resilience, among others to succeed in life.

Also, if they are to create jobs and bring more innovations to the world, it’s important for them to develop a sense of purpose and stay connected with it. 

Finding a Calling

So what is preventing learners from discovering what they truly want to do in life?

“A number of reasons – they are not aware of their passion, they are not taught to take risks in life, they are not asking for help and most importantly, they do not know what new-age career prospects they can pursue,” says Saurabh.

In short, they cannot be what they cannot see. 

Another OECD study in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, that followed groups of young learners from childhood to adulthood, showed that the ones who combined part-time employment with full-time education fared better in their school-to-work transitions. A recent survey says that a staggering 93% of students are aware of only 7 mainstream career options in India as compared to over 250 different types of job options available in the market.

“Only when learners are exposed to the real-world, they discover their passion. But it is not necessary to enter the job market even before completing education to do this. What they need is real-world learning,” says Saurabh. 

The Age of Awareness

The good news is that they are eager to learn.

Scholars Seemiller and Grace say that ‘Generation Z’ considers itself thoughtful, open-minded, and more socially aware. It welcomes hands-on learning opportunities that help them learn in more engaging and contextual ways.

Teens need inspiration and guidance from industry experts to find their calling when it comes to the future of work. Power Club enables teens to immerse themselves in real-world learning experiences in domains like Entrepreneurship, Tech, Design, Sustainability and more.

“So many of us struggle throughout our lives to find our “Ikigai”, a sweet spot where you pursue something that you are good at, that you love to do, that the world needs, and something that you can be paid enough for. At Power Club, each learner has the opportunity to discover all these elements early on in their life,” he adds.

10 Teenpreneurs who’re changing the world with their ideas


Age is just a number when you are filled with passion. This fact doesn’t only apply to old age. Teenpreneurs from across the world are defying the notions of age too.

Building and running a business is often considered to be the job of someone experienced. People don’t take teenagers seriously or believe they can have the skills to run a successful business.

If you also think a teenager cannot become an entrepreneur, you’re mistaken.

You may lack experience, but you certainly don’t lack ideas, creativity, and a fearless attitude. Your innovative mind and the desire to do something are enough to put you in the shoes of an entrepreneur.

Don’t believe it? 

Let’s introduce you to some of the teenpreneurs rocking the world of entrepreneurship. They have not only made a mark with their innovative ideas but also earned millions. From healthcare to fashion, no field is untouched by these teenage entrepreneurs. 

Read on for some inspiring tales of teenprenuers who are changing the world with their ideas. The future might be waiting for you to be on this list.

Nikhiya Shamsher: Fighting Oral Cancer with QuitPuff


14-year-old Nikhiya of Bengaluru was left shaken by the plight of an oral cancer survivor. It led her to find the real reason for the high mortality rate among oral cancer patients: delay in detection. Moreover, these patients had to bear a lot of physical, emotional, and financial stress.

To solve this grave problem, she went on to invent a low-cost device called QuitPuff, which can detect the risk of developing oral cancer.

Initially, her project wasn’t taken seriously because she was ‘young’, but she kept trying. She has tested the device in hospitals and keeps working on improving the device to launch it in the market. She has also received many awards and research grants that help her sustain the project.

Langston Whitlock: Helping Elderly Have a Safe Trip

After learning that the homeless and elderly were facing transportation problems to get to medical appointments, Langston got the idea of building the ride-sharing app, SafeTrip, in 2018.

His app lets patients, caretakers, and healthcare providers book medical transportation. Moreover, the payment for the rides can also be made using insurance. Safe Trip has raised $2.3 million in funding and crossed revenue of $3.4 million.

Now 20 years old, Langston leads a team of people older than him. His company not only provides safe and affordable rides but also trains high school seniors to become SafeTrip drivers after graduation.

Sreelakshmi Suresh: Hobby to Web Design Agency

Designing websites used to be a hobby for 11-year-old Sreelakshmi. She decided to turn it into a full-fledged business and founded eDesign Technologies. 

Starting from the website for her school, she has designed websites for over 250 clients over 8 years. Her clientele includes some reputed names. Her business thrives mainly from word-of-mouth. 

Femi Adebogun: Simplifying Scholarships Application

Financing education is a big problem in the USA, and Femi took it upon himself to solve it. He founded ScholarMe, at 16, to simplify how high school and college students paid their tuition fees.

His website allows students to apply for all their financial aid at a single place that too cost-effectively. So far, his company has got funds of $4.2 million from 8 investors.

Interestingly, he hired remote employees and tried to hide his age, but eventually, they found out when the company won an award.

Hriday Dhand: Caring for the Health of Vegans

13-year-old Hriday from a family of vegans got concerned about the lack of critical nutritional values in their diet. After some research, he came up with the idea for his nutritional supplement product, Strength-O-Seeds. 

His product, made from dried fruits and seeds, aims to help vegans fulfil their daily protein and other nutrients requirements. He has also discussed his business plan with the chairman of the Marico group (a leading consumer goods brand).

Erin Smith: Small Observation to Big Idea


While watching a video, 16 years old, Erin observed something that would shape FacePrint.

She noticed that Parkinson’s patients’ laughs or smiles seem emotionally distant. This led her to build FacePrint – a diagnostic system that captures changes in facial expressions to diagnose and monitor disorders like Parkinson’s.

Her technology is undergoing clinical trials at Stanford University. She has also received support and funding from some pharmaceutical companies. 

Brandon and Sebastian Martinez: Socking Millions

11-year-old Sebastian’s obsession with patterned socks gave birth to Are You Kidding Socks. The Martinez brothers started designing socks and, with the help of their mother, found a manufacturer. 

Their socks became a hit and even made them appear on the show Good Morning America. The company sold $1 million worth of socks. They also launched a Charity Socks collection which shares a portion of sales with charitable partners.

Their future plans include the expansion of their business to manufacturing t-shirts, hats, and shoes.

Ananya Gupta: Driving Change with Grit Parity

Karnataka-based high school student Ananya is a gender equality advocate. Her observation that there is a lack of equal gender representation in school textbooks led her to build a tool called Grit Parity.

Grit Parity is a platform where you can upload your textbook to check whether the book has equal gender representation. Her goal is to ensure the education system facilitates gender equality not just in India but the world over. 

She has also received funding from Amazon Web Services and plans to expand her work internationally.

Kenan Pala: Creating Impact through Kids4Community

Kenan from San Diego has been passionate about helping others. He was surprised to find that he could not volunteer for a lot of causes as he was underage. Like him, many other kids also wanted to volunteer. 

He took the matter into his own hands and founded his non-profit organisation Kids4Community, where any kid can volunteer. So far, he has raised over $1 million from charitable events, corporates donations for various causes to support the community.

He plans to hand over the organisation to his younger brother once he enrols in college.

Ayushi Aggarwal: Making STEM Accessible 

16-year-old Ayushi is the founder of an international non-profit organisation Unknown16. Her organisation runs projects to help young girls and underprivileged children develop a passion for STEM subjects.

Unknown16 encourages children to develop ideas to solve social issues and become leaders of tomorrow. Ayushi has also been invited to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit and gained support for her initiative all over.

Sky’s the limit for you

All these teenprenuers are proof that you have all the power to achieve whatever you want. 

From making a difference in the world to making profits, your passion and your ideas have all it takes to build your career as an entrepreneur. So, what are you waiting for?

Start connecting with other teens who are passionate about entrepreneurship on Power Club today!