Go to our YouTube channel to watch the episodes (just search The YouSchool)
My nightmare at 20 years old was that I would wake up at 40 and feel deep regret that I lived the wrong life- a really nice, predictable, and boring story belonging to someone else.
If you had told me back then that there was actually a roadmap, a step-by-step curriculum to walk through that would help me put all the pieces of my life together and set me on a path to build an authentic, meaningful life- I would’ve done anything to get it.
It matters now more than ever.
Right alongside planning for your future is living well now. We’re at an urgent time in our world: mental health / unemployment and The Great Resignation...
Building a Meaningful Life isn’t something you just close your eyes and wish for.
It’s not something only a few people get lucky enough to experience.
You can’t just put your head down, do what you’re ‘supposed to’ and try hard, and expect it all to work out.
It’s something you can design. And everyone deserves the opportunity to build a meaningful life.
The thing about life, though, is there are no black and white answers. What we’ve discovered over a decade of working with more than 20,000 students, hundreds of educators, over 1,500 military service members through their transition to the civilian world, and countless conversations with parents, elite athletes, therapists, neuroscientists, and researchers are:
There are 30 Critical Questions everyone must answer for themselves so their identity is defined, their purpose is clear, and they have what they need to build healthy relationships. Those are the pillars, and answering those questions will give you the foundation you need so you can make wiser choices about your career, feel alive as you pursue a mission and contribute to a cause bigger than yourself, experience inner peace as your inner and outer lives become more congruent, navigate the complexity of friendships so you can find the belonging you long for, and feel grateful for the life you get to live.
I’m not exaggerating, this is the reality you can experience.
So here’s the plan: every week we’ll release a new episode.
In one episode we’ll dig into the question- why it’s critical, how to go about discovering an answer.
Go to theyouschool.com/store to sign up.
The following episode we’ll invite a guest and talk through that question with them- so you can see what it looks like to dig in and do the deeper reflection work.
Maybe this is something you’ll want to go through for yourself.
Perhaps you have a friend or small group and you want to have these deeper conversations with them.
Or you’re a parent, and you’ve been struggling to find the right conversations and context to engage your kid- follow along, listen to these episodes in the car or watch them together online.
If you’d like, you can sign up and follow along with some curriculum to guide you, too. These episodes are free, please share.
To access the curriculum that goes with the episodes is simple- signup for only $5/month and we’ll send you the videos as well as a downloadable worksheet you can use to go deeper for yourself or with a friend or your kids or students.
Raising Grateful Kids
The last thing any parent or teacher wants is to see a kid grow up to act entitled like the world owes you something. Humility and gratitude are universal traits we all uphold. Kids, by nature and age, live in the center of their own world and grow up expecting to be given what they need. Because, well- they're kids. But we need to teach them how to recognize that life is not all about them. In fact, life works better when we put others first and show gratitude for what we’ve been given. Most students don’t practice gratitude, and they won't unless they learn how powerful and relevant it can actually be for their everyday life. There's fascinating research from neuroscience and psychologists in recent years: Gratitude makes you healthier: It’s been shown to lower stress, reduce pain, and even improve our immune systems, blood pressure, and heart function.
Gratitude makes you happier: Scientists studying positive psychology found that a one-time act of thoughtful gratitude produced an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% reduction in depressive symptoms.
Gratitude rewires your brain: you begin new pathways of positive thinking, positive action, and pro-social behavior. It gives you an experience of joy, thankfulness, and connection (it takes at least 15 seconds of intentional savoring and thoughtful concentration).
Raising grateful kids doesn’t happen by accident. They won’t grow up that way automatically—they must be taught the importance of gratitude, see it modeled, and practice it over time.
Research has proven that grateful people have stronger social bonds. Duh. Does anyone like being around an entitled person? Nope.
One simple exercise you can do is to pick someone you’re grateful for, write down at least 5 reasons why, and then either write them a letter (not a text!), call them and share the list with them, or tell them face to face.
Bonus points if you bribe your kids to try it, too. But even if they don’t, if they see you do it, that’s a homerun.
Finding Your Worth - An Interview With Teen Therapist, Ashley Cox
Ashley Cox, MA, LMFT received her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy in July 2012 from Azusa Pacific University. Since 2011, she has provided child and family therapy, as well as individual counseling, in both clinic and private settings. She is passionate about helping her clients cultivate healthy relational skills, improve boundaries, increase assertive communication, and heal from past trauma in order to experience the best in all relationships.
Ashley has primarily worked with children, teens, and college-age clients, and completed the majority of her training at a child and adolescent clinic in San Diego, CA. She has also been a featured guest lecturer at Point Loma Nazarene University and Azusa Pacific University. Ashley works with young people with a compassionate and personable client-centered approach. Based on the needs of the individual client, she will tailor the treatment method but often utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Play Therapy techniques to meet the goals of the client and family. She can also integrate the Christian faith into the sessions as the client feels comfortable in the course of the work.
Ashley facilitates open communication, empowerment, and empathy to establish trust and foster growth. She takes great care to bring instill hope and confidence in the youth, college women, and families that change and recovery is possible. She will address challenging seasons for families by promoting new parenting approaches, addressing unhelpful thoughts, modeling healthy assertive communication, and implementing coping strategies that appeal to the client and are effective.
Therapy is a sacred space for vulnerable work and she will approach it with you in a professional, caring, and upbeat way. She would be delighted to join you in your journey toward greater wholeness.
Connect with Ashley at her website https://www.vibrantoutcomescounseling.com/ and on Instagram
Learning to Accept Yourself As You Are
When you're trying to find inner peace with external metrics like the number of followers you have, your athletic ability, your grades or test scores, or your number of likes on an Instagram post, you'll feel insecure, in danger, and constantly lacking. You won't think clearly, you'll easily neglect your values and virtues, and you will allow a destructive story about who's on top to become your controlling narrative.
Managing Your Kid's Big Reactions & Anxiety with Charlie Ruce
Remember when we thought the majority of the stress and strain of the pandemic was behind us?
Well, now we're headed into summer and still carrying all of the stress and anxiety from the past two (plus) years.
As Charlie says in the episode, "In the past couple years, what we have seen is the amount of intensity and complexity in our world and our country go sky high. And when the amount of complexity and intensity goes sky high, our nervous systems feel that in the form of more fight energy (like anger, frustration, irritation), more flight energy (fear, worry, insecurity, anxiety), or more freezy energy (like overwhelm or collapse). "I don't want to do anything", they might say. They feel lethargic and have low energy. When we're talking about our kids, what we would expect is that their nervous systems are now having to process and deal with a massive increase in complexity and intensity."
About Charlie Ruce
Charlie Ruce, LMFT is a licensed therapist with extensive training in trauma and understanding how the autonomic nervous system reorganizes itself at higher and higher levels. Charlie’s primary training in this area comes from the model Organic Intelligence, founded by Steve Hoskinson. Charlie has been training with Steve since 2014. Using this understanding, Charlie has helped executives, small business owners and entrepreneurs heal their traumatic wounds and build their capacity to find more fulfillment and satisfaction in their personal and professional lives. Before starting his own coaching and counseling practice, Charlie spent 7 years working at the Soul Care House, a group therapy practice in San Diego. He also spent 2 years helping manage, train, and supervise the Soul Care House staff team as the Clinical Director. Charlie lives in San Diego with his wife Heather and their Great Dane Matilda.
To learn more and connect, go to charlieruce.com.
Editing Your Life Story With Sanam Charlton
ABOUT SANAM CHARLTON
Sanam is a graduate of the University of Florida with degrees in Accounting and International Development and Humanitarian Assistance, with an MA from Mercer University in Early Childhood Education. From the beginning, she was well aware of her desire to make an impact within her community and therefore has spent most of her professional career working behind the scenes at various non-profit organizations that address economic and environmental challenges faced by communities. Additionally, Sanam spent over two years as an elementary school teacher, cultivating the minds of her students and nurturing their holistic selves. It was during her role as Operations Manager at The Honor Foundation that she discovered, with the support of her colleagues, her WHY: her purpose, inspiration, and passion.
As a first-generation college student, Sanam learned early on to be patient, persistent, and resourceful in order to forge her own path to success. She has a deep understanding of the importance of mentorship and the impact it can have on a person’s professional and personal life. She has always found purpose in helping others see what they are capable of so they can choose to find success and happiness in what they do.
As JIT’s Employment & Resource Managing Coordinator, Sanam is taking on responsibility for researching, communicating, and coordinating critical resources for the short and long-term employment success of our youth. This critical information and essential individual guidance will assist participants in obtaining meaningful employment, defining who they are as individuals, achieving financial stability and security, and cultivating relationships and connections to achieve their goals.
In her free time, Sanam enjoys reading and relaxing at the beach. She spends her weekends playing board games with her friends and scouting out new restaurants with her husband.
Teaching Skills of Self-Discovery
Accurate self-awareness is a foundation for health and wellbeing. It’s the basis for quality relationships, career satisfaction, effective leadership, and almost any worthy endeavor you can imagine. The people who lack self-awareness are typically the ones we try to avoid at all costs. You know the type- you probably work with one (or live with one). They aren’t aware of how they come across, they’re reluctant to own their mistakes, and they try to project a character of themselves that’s inauthentic. Self-awareness is available to every person, but it requires a commitment to pursue it. Can you imagine a well-lived life without it?
This podcast is exactly what I was looking for, full of relevant information that can be used in your day to day life.