How does the young generation want to create their work and lifestyle?
How can they know what kind of lifestyle they want?
How can they know what kind of work they want, if they will like it in the long run and if it does go together with a lifestyle they imagine?
A recent conversation with an eighteen-year-old laid out an interesting picture. The young woman grew up between two cultures and appreciates the opportunity to study at a good university in the US but also loves the more down-to-earth perspective on life in Italy.
She was lucky to be exposed to different experiences, the fun teenage years in America and the forming roots in Italy. It taught and still teaches her what she likes or dislikes, what she is attracted to or what makes her feel uneasy, what sparks, and what demotivates her.
This formed an interesting perspective on what she wants to do:
She doesn't like the competitive atmosphere of many American universities and prefers to study at a smaller school (in the US) where there is more of a sense of community, caring, supporting and knowing each other
She wants to experiment with different options and get the guidance of professors and seniors who work with her and get to know her to find her passion and unique skills
For her future work, she likes to earn an income that allows an enjoyable lifestyle but not to work insane hours with no time left to live
Her work should be flexible so that she can also spend time in her "other home country" Italy
If things don't work out with a professional career in medicine / professional medical career, she can easily imagine herself building a bed and breakfast business in her dream location in Italy (yet to be found) and welcoming people from all over the world and enjoy their company while taking care of them
She likes to stand up for a better world and engage in respective activities
To me, this sounds like a desirable, healthy, refreshing way of looking at work-life style. It does not sound unrealistic, quite the opposite. This looks like a reasonable and conscious way of combining work and life in the future.
As opposed to typical thinking in America where adult life is often divided up into the sections work life and retirement. The productive period and then suddenly stop and play golf. Is that how you want to design your lifestyle?
What guidance can we give young people to reflect and decide on their individual combination of work and lifestyle?
We can expose them to different cultures through travel, friends, and books
Reading books seems old fashion to many. But reading books opens the mind, generates ideas, and widens the horizon
We can expose them to conversations, discussions with creative people, people with different interests, world views, and experiences
We can inspire them with the following questions:
What is something that you know well?
What is one of the strangest things you believed as a child?
What is something that you recently discovered that really excites you?
What is something that amazes you?
What was the last thing you fell in love with?
What is a simple idea you take very seriously?
What do you lose track of time doing?
What does it mean to be human?
What does the world need right now?
“To live consciously means to be open to perceive the world around us, to understand our circumstances and to decide how to respond to them by honoring our needs, values and goals.” - Fred Kofman