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Are young adults today lacking life skills that inhibit them to determine an individual life track?

So I'm an Asian American raised under immigrant parents who came to this country to start a family. Therefore, I wasn't taught much about the system pertaining to everyday life skills. For example,

*How to do taxes
* What taxes are
* How to vote
* What political parties are
* How to write a resume/cover letter/anything related to getting a job
* How to write a check/balance a check book
* Anything to do with banking
* How to do loans for college
* How to jump start a car or other basic emergency things
* How to buy a car or house

We are distracted with the free flow of information that we forget how essential these skills are in order to promote confidence for independence.

I understand that these can be learned through parents or as you go on, but what about the 99% protesting on Wall Street? If they knew about credit scores or interest rates, would so many students have taken out those loans?

Throughout my study, I found most high school graduates who are going to college don't have any idea of what they want to study. I believe it is because they lack the confidence to believe in themselves to pursue a higher purpose in life.

I hope I explained my idea clearly enough as this is my first conversation here on TED. I hope to hear from most of you!


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  • Jul 15 2013: I think the problem with finding ones path is that there are so many paths to choose from. With an abundance of choice the 'what if' prevents us from being happy or sticking with a certain path.
    • Jul 15 2013: Yeah that's true, there are so many more professions today than 10 years ago. But we need to stop thinking like we need to BE something.

      Students should be able to know that they have the ability to DO anything. Occupations are just labels invented by the people who started them.

      The problem isn't finding a path. It's making one that scares the hell out of us.
      • Jul 15 2013: actually saying you can do anything is wrong. People need to quit telling their children this, instead tell them to learn their own strengths and weaknesses and base a decision off that.

        I feel what happens when children are told they can do anything is that if they arbitrarily choose a career and then find out they can't do it after being told they can for so long that they become disillusioned.
        • Jul 15 2013: I disagree.

          A human being doesn't give up because of his or her ability. They give up because they lost hope or ambition. Most individuals have the ability to do anything because we're all born with a cognitive brain.

          This is why we learn, adapt, and choose what we want to do with our lives.

          Simon Sinek mentioned in his presentation "How great leaders inspired action" that Oliver and Wilbert Wright didn't have any of the "strengths" one might posses in making a flying machine. They didn't have the money, publicity, or support that Robert Peirpont Langly had when he was hired by the government to do the same thing. And yet, with all their weakness, they've made history happen even though they seem disillusioned.

          Recognizing strengths and weaknesses is lesson of humility. But in order to have humility, you need to possess confidence first.
      • Jul 15 2013: the wright brothers did have some advantages, such as being tinkerers and owning a bicycle shop and thus knowing basic mechanics and how they work in reality.

        I am more saying that a person terrible at math cannot realistically expect to be a rocket scientist, and things like that. The modern world is very different from when the Wright brothers walked the world, there is a lot more specialization that prevents casual practitioners from making breakthroughs.
        • Jul 16 2013: So perhaps the fact that there are so many specialized fields, it is harder to make a big impact on the world.

          Do you think this decreases the confidence in young adults and thus lower or perhaps change their incentive? Is this why they don't think about the impact on the world but rather the money?

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