Thursday, 20 March 2014

Following my parents example

When working with young adults who are unemployed and experiencing various personal difficulties it is often the case that their story will replicate one or both of their parents when they were at the same age.

It is especially good to see a young person who has every right to follow a negative and very lonely path because of what they have seen and yet find the courage and strength to break free and develop an exciting path for themselves.

On one of our prepare for employment seminars I ran to a group of eighteen young adults, I was introduced to two brothers who both experienced the same childhood, both were inspired by the same pattern of parents who were content with living of the state and who both struggled to identify what they wanted to achieve in life as adults.

The difference between the brothers was clear from the outset as the younger brother displayed through his body language and enthusiasm an ability to want to break free whilst his older brother was clearly settling for a similar life to that of his parents.

Within the seminar we teach attendees to explore their imagination and develop a life plan full of wonderful achievements. We get them to remove the hurdle of money and explore the opportunity for them to travel and live a life full of luxury.

Once this is completed we get the attendees to roughly calculate the cost attached to such a lifestyle so they can then set realistic employment goals in an attempt to achieve this lifestyle.

The brothers like the rest of the group started this exercise very slowly, struggling to explore their imagination to identify what they want, but as the seminar progressed the younger brother kick started his brain and the ideas were falling out one by one.

As often happens in the part of the seminar, some of the group start questioning why they have been asked to dream when the reality is most of what they want will never be achieved. 

Just at the point when I was about to roll out my pre-framed answer, the younger brother interjected and said. "This makes sense, because if we now what we want, we have somewhere to start in order to get it"

The seminar progressed to it's conclusion with an exercise in which the group are asked to develop a work plan detailing the steps they need to take in order to find employment and start the process of earning an income to satisfy their dream of achieving their life's goals.

I remember saying to the brothers that the next few months would define whether they took anything positive from the seminar.

On Monday of this week I attended a youth employment group to mentor a few young people when I bumped into the older of the two brothers. Unfortunately he was still unemployed and was displaying the same lack of enthusiasm he displayed at our first meeting.

I asked him about his brother and he informed me that he had not only got an apprenticeship working for a popular airline but he had managed to get his father a job at the same location.

He continued by saying his brother was in the process of moving into his own flat and was learning to drive.

Impressed by what I had heard, I decided to look up the details of his life plan from the seminar he attended and the whole of his plan was dedicated to travelling.

He had planned to do the following 5 things 

1: Find an apprenticeship where he can travel 
2: Learn to drive so he can travel
3: Move into his own flat
4: Travel to Spain, USA, Africa
5: Spend the summer working in a hot country

I rang him up to congratulate him on his recent success and he informed me that apart of his apprenticeship involved working in Spain for the summer of 2014.

In little over four months, he had managed to initiate all of the five things he had listed down on his life plan. I asked him about his father and unfortunately he felt the need to give up his job.

The brothers are a clear indication that inspiring young people with the ability to create a realistic dream is and will always be the way to achieving great things.

They also teach us that no two people are the same and despite having the same experiences as children, having the ability to plan can and is often the difference between those who want to be successful and those who don't.

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