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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.
Episode 92 - Future Mistake: Wanting What Others Want
Without realizing it, people want, desire, and pursue goals and ambitions that others pursue first. We are an imitating people, subconsciously reaching for goals not purely because we value them but because of our innate need for approval and acceptance. It’s also how we learn, starting at birth, where we mirror and mimic the faces of others. It’s how we learn to speak and behave.
It’s also the secret that advertisers play on. We aren’t just fed ads about attractive new products; we watch people like us obtain those shiny new objects, and the subsequent joy and implicit fulfillment they receive awakens desire within us. But at some point, we need to stop mimicking the desires of others and discover our own.
Tune into this week's episode to hear more about discovering your own desires.
Episode 91: The Science of Hope with Dr. Evie Trevino
In this episode of the YouSchool podcast, host Scott Schimmel chats with Dr. Evie Trevino, a quantitative psychologist, about the transformative power of hope. Key insights for parents and educators include:
Definition of Hope: Hope is more than wishful thinking; it's the belief in a better future combined with the power to make it happen.
Components of Hope: Dr. Trevino outlines three critical elements of hope - goal setting, finding pathways (strategies to achieve goals), and willpower.
Hope vs. Optimism: Unlike optimism, hope involves active pursuit and planning for a better future, making it a more powerful predictor of well-being.
Teachability of Hope: Hope is not just a feeling but a skill that can be taught and developed, especially important for youth facing challenges.
Impact of Hope: High-hope individuals set achievement-oriented goals and are better at coping with stress and adversity, leading to greater life satisfaction and success.
Resources and Further Learning: Dr. Trevino recommends her website for more resources on understanding and cultivating hope.
This episode provides valuable insights into how hope can be a transformative force in both personal and educational settings.
About Dr. Evie Trevino:
As a quantitative psychologist, my commitment has always been to the tangible—data, evidence, and the scientific method are the cornerstones of my practice. But amidst figures and studies, I found Hope—a factor that intrigued yet challenged my professional skepticism. It was the undeniable evidence, the research spanning decades, that converted my doubt into belief. Hope, I learned, isn’t just an emotion; it’s a strategic mindset, one that can be taught and harnessed to drive wellbeing and success. With extensive experience consulting for various organizations, from non-profits to corporate groups, I’ve seen first-hand the transformative impact of Hope. Allow me to introduce you and your organization to the measurable benefits of this powerful mindset and the difference it can make in living not just well, but optimally.
Learn more about Evie and her work at evietrevino.com
Episode 90: Future Mistake #5 Pursuing Happiness
You've probably heard the old adage, "Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life." Sounds wise, right? But what if I told you that aiming straight for a career that promises you personal happiness might be a misstep?
In today's episode, we're going to dive into why chasing happiness, especially in your career, might not be the golden ticket we've all been told it is.
Episode 89: Scott Schimmel on Future Mistakes #4 - No Aspirations
We spend a lot of time focusing on college admissions and career planning with kids but not much regarding life planning. As a result, they’re unprepared for the type of character and clarity they’ll need to put together the most important aspects of their life, the parts that bring deep meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction.
It’s a mistake to plan for your career but not your life.
Episode 88: Future Mistake #3 Overemphasizing Talent
The best research on talent reveals a truth that, in one part, is common sense staring us in the face: when it comes to long-term success and achievement, talent is NOT as important as effort is. According to Angela Duckworth, a famed author and TED talker, effort is twice as important for achievement as natural talent.
In other words, people willing to maintain consistent effort with less talent will always beat a talented person unwilling to put the effort in.
Episode 87: Future Mistake #2 Neglecting Interests
“Follow your passion, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” - Every Graduation Speaker Ever.
You’ve heard that advice before, right? Probably given it a couple of times, too, I bet. I know I have. Well, maybe not exactly verbatim, but something along the lines of: now is the time to figure out what you enjoy and what makes you come alive, then find a career path that suits you. Or, I’ve said contrary advice: whatever you do, don’t do something that doesn’t bring your energy or life.
Either way, the message is the same, and yet it’s notoriously difficult to follow.
What do you do if you don’t feel ‘passion’ towards a work activity?
What do you do if something trivial interests you, like In-n-Out or chasing girls?
It’s not a helpful thing to say because it adds stress to an already stressful decision process. Not only do you have to pick something that will pay the bills, but you also need to choose a path that won’t lead you to drudgery or destruction.
It’s not helpful advice, but it doesn’t mean it’s untrue. As my son asked me recently, “How do I figure out what I want to do?” He’s asking for help, guidance, and support—not a blanket platitude that actually brings more anxiety than clarity.
That’s where interest discovery comes in—an iterative process to grow in self-awareness.
Tune in to this week's episode...and read the full article available on our website theyouschool.com/blog
This podcast is exactly what I was looking for, full of relevant information that can be used in your day to day life.