Take control of your life

As youngsters grow into adults, they are expected to become more mature. But do kids understand what is needed to develop this highly valued sense of responsibility?

YOUNG people today are criticised for lacking a sense of responsibility. Some of them are called ‘hidden youths’ because they ‘hide’ at home like recluses, doing nothing gainful with their lives.

The failure to act responsibly is also common among those who are working. Some young people just do not show up for work when they come across problems, others choose to resign by WhatsApp, and do not even bother to write a proper notification letter to their employer.

Some blame inappropriate parenting methods for producing an incompetent generation. These include overprotective ‘helicopter’ parents on one extreme and draconian and overly-demanding ‘monster’ parents on the other.

These views may or may not be accurate or fair, but the unsatisfactory performance of young people certainly indicates one thing – lack of proper life planning.

The big questions
LIFE planning is concerned not only with the choice of profession, but also broad direction in life. It is ultimately about what a person wants to get out of life. In life planning, the questions to be asked include:

‧ “What is my purpose in life?”
‧ “What is my mission and calling in life?”
‧ “How do I achieve those goals through the role I play and the work I do?”

After setting life goals, we must then work out how to accomplish self-actualisation and building self-esteem, which are essential elements of a meaningful life. This involves identifying personal strengths and interests, as well as seeking self-understanding to increase one’s level of satisfaction in life.

Only when we have sorted out these fundamental questions can we start to make a decision on what kind of career we want and how to find a job. Through life, everyone plays different roles – student, employee, son or daughter, husband or wife, parent, and member of society. To play each of these roles well, we must never lose sight of our life goals, mission and calling.

Head in the right direction
IT is never too early to start life planning. First gain a deeper understanding of yourself. Ask what gives you the biggest satisfaction in life and what are the things that are most important to you.

You will find yourself at many crossroads ahead, and a wrong decision could take you in the wrong direction. But help is available. There are many books that you can read, and your teachers are also there to give you guidance.

What are your values?
You may try this exercise to get a better understanding of yourself.

Imagine it is time for you to choose a career. If you were given HK$1 million, how would you allocate the sum to ‘buy’ the following job characteristics?