Teens: What Lights You Up?

Okay, you’re not quite an adult, but you’re definitely not a child. You’re in that awkward stage of being neither of the two. But this is also precisely the time to uncover what makes you…you. You’re in a great stage in life to figure out what lights you up!


In order to figure this out, you might need to investigate. You might need to do some research. You might need to uncover what it is you like and don’t like. But adolescence is more than just researching your likes and dislikes, it’s important that you find out what really makes your soul sing.


You might try the following as a way to do some soul searching:


Listen to music. When you’ve got the tunes playing, there’s something inside that moves. It’s not your intellect or your logic that’s engaged. It’s your heart and emotions. Although music isn’t for everyone, it’s certainly a medium for exploring what moves you.


Spend time with those you admire. People you look up to often have traits that you would like to possess yourself. It might be the way they think, the passionate way they respond to life, or the responsibility of their behavior. Part of learning what lights you up is to spend time with new people. You might even try some role modeling. You might experiment with acting out some of the traits you admire in others.


Talk to your parents. Sure, you probably don’t want to talk to your parents much. They might be your biggest enemy at the moment. They might be telling you what to do and the last thing you want is to feel incompetent. But having some healthy conversations with your parents at this time in your life can be worth it. Your parents might have a lot to say about what their own passions are. They might be able to share stories of how they discovered their passion. Since you’re a product of your parents, it’s possible there might be a gem or two in what they share.


Read. One of the oldest ways to uncover worlds upon worlds is to read. When you open a book, you open the world of the author – where he or she has been and the effects of those experiences. For many people, there are lines from books that stay with them their entire lives. For instance, one girl admitted that when she read the Autobiography of Gandhi, she learned a lot about self-esteem. Early in his life, Gandhi struggled with self-esteem and confidence. Because Gandhi would have been a teenager in the mid 1880’s, she learned that no matter what age you’re living in or where you are in the world, it’s common to have issues of self-esteem. Learning this helped her to feel less alone in the world.


Have fun. Another way to find out what really lights you up is to enjoy yourself….within reason! Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, or your parents might freak out. But having fun is just as important in life as going to school. And by enjoying your life you also discover what makes you happy.


These are suggestions for uncovering what really makes your heart soar. If none of these work for you, be sure to find a way to discover what lights you up.