Welcome to Level Up!
I wish you could see my face as I’m writing this. I’m smiling from ear to ear. You see, last year I made the decision to define my purpose, and plan how I was going to make sure that my life and actions reflected it.
In doing this, I realised that my purpose is not only to help young people (and youthful adults) find purpose, but it’s also my responsibility to let you all know that you are a gift to the world; you have a gift for the world, and that no matter how unremarkable you may feel or have been told that you are, there is a reason you were put on planet Earth. The world needs you.
The reason I’m so passionate about helping you do all you can to reach your potential is because I came so close to not fulfilling mine. In the last 10 years, I’ve almost lost my life twice. The first time I was just happy to be alive, but the second time really got me thinking about why I was alive. What did the world need me to do that was so important that my life was spared a second time? I wasn’t really sure what my purpose was, but I decided there and then I would do everything in my power to find out.
There’s a famous quote from Mark Twain that says: “The two most important days of your life are the day you’re born, and the day you find out why.” It’s my belief that the earlier you find out your ‘why’ the better, happier and arguably more successful your life will be. So, with that in mind, part of my mission – and the main driver behind ‘Level Up’ – is that you understand that you’re never too young to start living a life of purpose, and you’re never too old to fulfil your potential.
‘Level up = progress to the next level’
The idea behind ‘Level Up’ is that there’s always another higher level. No matter who or where you are, the only real limits placed on you are the ones you place on yourself.
If you’re in education, you can level up by taking the lessons you have been learning and doing some background work in your own time; revising and revisiting theories, or researching things that you didn’t quite understand in class, to fill the gaps in your knowledge yourself.
Levelling up requires you to take responsibility for yourself. It means your teachers, school, college and university are only partly responsible for your education, and that you accept that you will get out only what you put in. If your efforts are half-hearted, then your results will almost always reflect this.
And what about my youthful adults? Well, unless you plan on doing the same activity or job until you retire, you’re not off the hook.
There are some amazing free courses on websites – like edx.org – from world famous institutions, such as Harvard University, Berkeley and MIT. The Open University (open.edu/openlearn) also has over 1000 free introductory, intermediate and advanced courses on its Open Learn platform, ranging from health and sports to science and politics. Careercake.com has a wealth of free and paid video content and courses that help you prepare for interviews; gain essential networking skills, and overall just helps you thrive in your career and show the world how good you are.
For my young people, if you want to be better prepared for the world that awaits you, you need to take a look at Barclays LifeSkills (barclayslifeskills.com). It’s everything your school should teach you – but doesn’t.
In line with the concept of ‘levelling up’, the LifeSkills website is filled with suggestions and activities to ensure you are better prepared for the world that awaits you, as you complete and leave education.
The Level Up Challenge
In each edition of ‘Level Up’ I will set you a challenge. The purpose of these challenges is to encourage you to do something practical that will also help you gain clarity on your purpose.
Challenge #1 – Make a list of things that make you happy
Very often, your purpose is linked to what you’re passionate about and what makes you happy, so think about activities, events, things you do in your spare time, people, projects and anything else that has made you happy in the past.
Challenge #2 – Complete the ‘Wheel of Strengths’ activity on the Barclays LifeSkills website (barclayslifeskills.com).
I use the Wheel of Strengths regularly, and I find it works well because it takes what you say about yourself, your strengths, interests and personality, and helps you to see – based on your own opinions and description of yourself – what types of careers and jobs may be of interest to you. I would suggest you do this a few different times, and see if there’s anything that comes up consistently. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense to you now; it’s just to give you an idea.
In the next edition of Level Up, we’re going to need the answers to these challenges, so put them somewhere safe. Write them in the notes app on your phone or email them to yourself.
Thanks for joining me! I’d love to hear from you with any questions you have about anything I’ve said or any issues you want me to discuss. You can tweet me with the hashtag #KTFLevelUp @adambrux. You’ll also find me at facebook.com/adambruxuk. I’m on Instagram as @adambrux, and you can snap me with the same username.
Oh, and for those of you who prefer email (my youthful adults), you can send your questions or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time.
Adam Brooks is an educator, coach and broadcaster, who helps young people and youthful adults find their purpose. Visit adambrux.co.uk to find out more.