If you are a parent I am just wondering how well you think your son or daughter is prepared for the sometimes-harsh reality of life awaiting them in the future.

Why do I ask this?

I was chatting with a paramedic recently about some of her on-the-job experiences. I am always overwhelmed with admiration and respect for the men and woman who dedicate their life to such an important but emotionally demanding environment.

She told a story of a 25-year-old man who ‘had it all’. He was good looking and fit; spoke 3 languages, and had dual degrees in commerce and international business. Clearly this man had ticked every box required of him at school.

However, while on the phone discussing the end of his relationship with his girlfriend, he stopped talking and threw himself out of his apartment window.

The end!

So often young men, she said!

So, within the new context set by this tragedy, I ask again – how well do you think your son or daughter is prepared for the sometimes-harsh reality of life awaiting them in the future?

Whenever I am creating Phusion initiatives (or more likely ‘dreaming up’ Phusion initiatives as I absolutely love this part of who I am) to help people – this very question is never far below the surface. I ask, how can I help young people – and adults by the way – be better prepared for life. What do they need? I think. And create.

Clearly this young man had had a first class academic experience. He achieved everything our education system would tell you he needed to achieve to be a ‘success’ in life.

With young Australians being more stressed and anxious than ever before, educational institutions need to find new and innovative ways to cater for the lifelong learning and welfare of our children.

The pressure to perform academically nowadays is off the scale. The emotional and physical efforts required for ‘success’ are like never before. Now I am not saying this is a good or bad thing. BUT if you are going to expect people to offer their heart and soul then I think you are obliged to look after them. You cannot send soldiers to war without weapons and say ‘give me everything you’ve got’. No matter how hard they battle, it will be a slaughter. However the slaughter we see in young people today is an emotional one.

How do we address this?

By providing genuine opportunities for young people to explore and better understand the truly important things in life and to help them get their head around some of the realities that await them – such as getting dumped!

The message should be clear – life is both challenging and beautiful. When things go wrong we are given an opportunity to grow and learn. And we need to share these experiences with each other – meaningfully, as a part of truly authentic human relationship and not as a token business gesture.

My book, ‘Saving our Sons’ addresses the importance of preparing young people for the ‘real life’ that lies ahead. Although aimed at men, the principles in it are universal. It is also very practical and easy to read.

Like the book, all things Phusion are about helping people overcome the challenges they face in order to fully express who they are. This is the goal of life, is it not?

Well…it is in the ‘phusion’ approach to living anyway.