In Life Coaching

volunteer with others

Today’s Thought: Who You Are In Service is a Powerful You

The Academic Life Coaching Program and the Training and Certification Program spends a lot of time looking at identity, habits, and actions.

And the Academic Life Coaching has a quick motivation assessment tool called Core Motivation, but from the point-of-view of yesterday’s blog and the lens of Citizenship, I’ve been obsessed lately with the question of ‘Who am I?’

So often identity is tied up in appearance, facts (for example, I’m 33 years-old born in Pennsylvania but now living in Portland, Oregon), and occupation (I’m an Academic Life Coach).

For high school students, a personality assessment may look more like a resume or sports’ participation than core identity: I’m a football/soccer/lacrosse player.

But let’s look at the question beyond personality and perhaps find the essence of who you are and what you’re about asking questions designed to see who you serve in your life. The premise here is that who we are is a function of who we serve.

When you interact with society what service do you give? What kinds of work do you volunteer?

What service do you do?

Why do you serve others?

How do you serve best?

High school students (and well anyone for that matter) are in a search for understanding their strengths and weaknesses as well as how they fit into society. The big push for volunteering was established to help students develop a positive self-identity as well as feel more connected to their community.

People who feel like they can make a meaningful difference – and follow that belief with action – are among some of the happiest and most content people in the world.

From the perspective of Citizenship, who we are isn’t so much a function of what we look like or the clothes we wear, but rather the groups we belong to and the people that we serve.
The clothes and looks are an afterthought.

And although it never hurts to look good, the core of our identity comes from those relationships and the give and take we experience with others.

Who are you (serving this week)?

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Showing 3 comments
  • Henry Jones

    I do my best service through my church’s reach out program. I feel that I am best able to help a lot of people in a short time. My church has made a difference in many lives over the years and being a part of a community like that is enough reward for me!

  • Carol Drake

    My daughter is in high school and is going though her teenage identity struggle. She certainly focuses too much on the superficial/visible part of her identity. I’ve always encouraged volunteering, but I think I need to do more. However, when she helps her little cousin with homework and school projects (without even being asked! A parent’s dream!) I can see how her eyes light up and she feels truly good about herself. That is service to others.

  • Jenna

    At my high school volunteering for 10-15 hours each year was mandatory, but I always ended up doing more because I enjoyed the experience so much. My volunteer experiences have led me to my own career as a sports coach, where I encourage my athletes to do the same. Some choose to volunteer together, and it usually brings them closer together as friends and helps them connect to the community outside of high school. Volunteering activities helped shape who I am and I hope it can help other students find their path, too.

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