Discovering Hidden Passions: The Power of Boredom

teens Aug 26, 2023

As supporter of young people, one of the age-old questions we've posed to our children is, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Yet, in today's ever-evolving landscape, this question often gets a vague or disinterested response.

Five years ago, I stood on a TED stage, sharing a more poignant question to pose to our young generation: "What problem do you want to solve?" This question, I believe, taps into a deeper well of purpose and can illuminate paths for young minds far more than conventional career-focused inquiries.

But as time has passed, our world and its challenges have evolved. Enter the pandemic, the rise of platforms like TikTok, and the ever-intensifying whirlwind of social media. The result? A generation somewhat overwhelmed, constantly comparing and, often, deeply confused.

Surprisingly, the answers to our concerns lie in the unlikeliest of places: their boredom.

Let's delve into a couple of personal experiences:

  1. The Dancing Prodigy: I recently discovered a family member's secret TikTok account. While the initial discovery raised concerns, a deeper look revealed her innate, exceptional dancing talent. Today, after my nudge towards professional training, she's flourishing, refining her art even more.

  2. The Budding Baker: A simple day off in Estonia with my younger cousin led me to her fascination with baking, evident from her engrossment in baking shows. A subsequent trip to Paris for professional lessons reignited her spark. Her once uncertain future now brims with dreams of high schools focused on baking and eventually, her own bakery.

Stories like these remind me of legends like Venus and Serena Williams. Introduced to tennis at a tender age, their passion and early confidence paved their way to stardom.

Here's what matters: In today's dynamic world, fostering confidence in a single skill or interest can be transformative for our young ones. It's essential to not just ask them about their future plans, but to keenly observe and understand their unsaid interests and passions.

So, I urge you to take a moment, observe your tween or teen in their moments of idleness. Who knows? You might just discover the next Misty Copeland dancing in their room or the next renowned chef baking in your kitchen.

Family Mission and Call to Action:

Let's make it our mission to be more observant, supportive, and nurturing of the hidden talents and interests of our young ones. Encourage them, guide them, and provide them with opportunities to explore their passions. Remember, every great story begins with a simple spark of interest.



Written by:

Gahmya Drummond-Bey

Founder, Evolved Teacher


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