In Life Coaching

helping others

Today’s Thought: Being a Citizen is Your Education

I didn’t think I’d ever be a parent of a high schooler. I mean, I started life coaching teens when I was 24. I was closer in age to the high school students than the parents.

I didn’t have my own children yet, and I really identified with them. I essentially created the Academic Life Coaching Program that I wish I had when I was 15 years old. Of the ten life coaching sessions in the program, the last three focus on helping a teenager take all the goodness applied personally to the larger community. It’s a student’s chance to grow by being of service.

The research supported community service as a way for teenagers to pick up life skills, develop emotional intelligence, and feel more confident and be proactive. Skills and concepts central to the Academic Life Coaching Program.

Being a citizen and being of service is your most sacred education.

Thinking about choosing which high school to send your child? Ask about the school’s leadership and community service program. How much a school devotes to delivering not just academics but the opportunity to tap into service is one of the most overlooked aspects of choosing a school.

Look at your life. When were you the happiest? When did you feel the most fulfilled?

(Probably when you were first falling in love.)

Then probably next when you had the space in your life when you were being of service to others. (And you could probably argue that when people first fall in love they are really kind and helpful to each other. The key – and after being married ten years to another life coach – is to keep it up…)

And it’s not just my firsthand experience or seeing dozens of the teens I’ve worked with go through the Academic Life Coaching Program, studies back up the tremendous benefits of being involved in a community service and leadership program. (Youniss and Yates, 1999; Billig 2000; C.A. Flanagan 2006.)

My theory is that when we are of service, we learn the most about one of the best versions of ourself.

When you’re volunteering or being of service, what do you notice about the qualities and talents you emphasize?

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Showing 3 comments
  • Cindy Martin

    I definitely identify with being a happy person when I am serving others. Its not only a hobby but serving others has become part of my identity. I think kids go through the same experiences when they first start volunteering. They learn about themselves which can benefit both the kid and those they are serving!

    However, the happiest moments of my life were definitely on my wedding day and when my first child was born.

  • Seth J.

    Interesting journey for a company.

    In reference to your ending question, I feel by promoting volunteering we all encourage skills such as empathy and perspective. It is important for future careers its true, but also for future communication. We all want to live in a world concerned about one anothers well being.

  • Mark

    This great! While engaging in volunteer activities the human connection I feel with others is undeniable. Volunteering offers a wonderful opportunity to relate to those you help, those you volunteer with, and the greater community as a whole. I agree with Seth, that a sense of communication and empathy are vital skills for any career or path of life. Recognizing the humanity in others and taking the extra time to assist people helps form more conscientious citizens.

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