A timely interview with William Damon, author of the book Path to Purpose. Aside from enjoying both the series of podcasts, and the somewhat unconventional name (The Art of Manliness), there’s a rich set of wisdom imparted irrespective of one’s gender. Here, the author talks about helping instill purpose for our youth, which in turn provides rich understanding into how we can better nurture our own sense of purpose.
There’s been a lot of ink spilt in the past decade about young adults’ “failure to launch,” wherein 20-somethings who should be progressing into independent adulthood, end up spending that decade of their life in an extended adolescence.
We begin our conversation discussing the criteria of a good life’s purpose and why fewer young people have one today. We then discuss why more young people are prioritizing fame and fortune over public service compared to their peers a half century ago, the new places many young people are finding purpose today (and why that’s led to a decrease in civic engagement), and the benefits that come from having a clear purpose in life. We end by talking about how a young person — and even those longer in the tooth, who still feel adrift — can find a life’s purpose and what parents can do to help their children find theirs. […]