Another dot in the blogosphere?

Follow your energy

Posted on: October 27, 2021

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I would not normally recommend listening to a lecture, much less one from a comedian. But this one by Rachel Parris struck a chord.

Parents, teachers, and armchair philosophers might argue for or against the advice for kids to pursue their passions or dreams. Encouraging kids to pursue an interest seems like good advice, but what if these interests change? Telling kids to ignore their interests and bear with the paper chase is not good advice either.

Parris’ perspective: Our interests or passions change as we grow up. Anyone who carefully observes and listens a child knows this. So what we might focus on instead is the energy that drives such interests and passions.

This energy is clear when kids wake up early to go to practice. It is evident as the state of flow that players get into when gaming. It shows when they read up on an interest or passion on their own. These actions are all part of learning that that is intrinsically driven.

This is something that cannot be explicitly taught; it needs to be modelled. Such energy might be seeded, but the learner needs to nurture it or leave it. All a mentor or facilitator can then do is say: Follow your energy.

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