A couple of weeks ago, we looked at how important it is to enable the dreams of young people rather than squish them. This week’s youth work session plan idea has some ways you can help encourage your youth to achieve their dreams.
Play a song or video clip that’s about following your dreams or living life to its fullest. There are all kinds of options, but a couple of suggestions are the “Carpe Diem” scene from Dead Poets Society or the video for III Wishes by Terrorvision – both of these videos are embedded below.
If using the Carpe Diem clip, emphasize the seizing the day aspect. If using III Wishes, emphasize the line at about 1:30 which says “Just decide what you want and then make it happen”.
Make 3 Wishes
Next, give each young person three sheets of paper and a pen. On each of these pieces of paper, have them write down a wish they have for their future, so that they end up with three wishes written down. The wishes could relate to careers, relationships, skills – anything.
It doesn’t matter how outlandish their suggestions may be. This isn’t the time to be a dream squisher! If someone can leave home at age 17 and go on to design payment systems, electric cars and spacecrafts (and earn hundreds of millions in the process), there’s no reason your young people can’t go on to achieve something seemingly impossible.
Identify 3 Actions
Now that they’ve made three wishes, get them to spend some time identifying three actions they can take to achieve each wish. They’ll therefore be coming up with a total of nine next steps to help them follow their dreams. These can either be written directly on the pieces of paper where they’ve written down their wishes, or you could give them nine post-it notes to write the actions on to, which can then be stuck on the main pieces of paper.
If possible, get them to make these actions SMART targets, as this will help ensure that they’re something the young people can start working on now.
The next steps don’t have to be daunting. If they want to become a rocket scientist, the next step shouldn’t necessarily be to read a textbook on rocket science (unless your young person is that advanced!). Possible actions could be to research what degree they’d need to study this in the future and to then research what subjects they could study now to set themselves on that course.
Depending on how much time you have in your youth work session, spend some time with your young people discussing their dreams and actions they can take. Possible questions include:
- Which one of your three dreams is most important to you and why?
- How long have you had this dream?
- How do you think you’ll feel if you accomplish this dream?
- Which of the next steps would be the easiest to achieve?
- Will you commit to working on at least three of these next steps over the next month and report back as to how you’ve done?
Many young people will never have had an adult believe in them – this is your chance to make that difference in their life and encourage them to make a difference for their own selves.
Check out all our other youth work session plans for more ideas to use with your young people.
Question: What songs or video clips would you use in a session about achieving dreams? We’d love for you to share your ideas in the comments below.
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