A useful context for the Rising Generation is to consider that we have three primary drives, a drive for connection, individuation and purpose.


The drive for connection is the most fundamental of the three. For example, consider the need of an infant to be securely attached to their parent. Without this attachment, the child may not thrive and grow. As we develop this drive fades to the background somewhat and moves from primary care givers to friends and then a spouse or partner. For our lives our ability to have secure connections provides a vital life force. Therefore, continued evaluation of how it manifests is very important. One such question might be: “How am I maintaining connection to my family and other loved ones?” It is all too easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and fail to honor the need for true connections in our life.

The drive for individuation allows us to be our own person, separate from our family. We form an identity, our own personality where tastes and preferences are established that set the stage for an adult identity and career. Often young adults need to separate from their parents, for example go to a college in another state, or find values that are completely different from their parents. This will often be a stage of initial over compensation but eventually a balance will be found between honoring connections and individual freedom. The question to ask oneself for this component is: “How am I maintaining this balance?”

Lastly, we have a drive for having a life filled with meaning and purpose. Of course, life happens, you have bills to pay and responsibilities to fulfill, but in the background, we strive to have a meaningful direction in our lives—one that is congruent with our dreams and aspirations. Discovering your life’s purpose includes the creation of a life path where you are clear about how you will make unique a contribution to the world. Contribution can vary from person to person and will include parenting or taking a post as the leader of an organization. We all want to feel a sense that our life has meaning and that in some way we are making an impact. Ultimately, it is important to stop and ask yourself: “Have I identified a path that has meaning and purpose?”

It is imperative that we step back and consider the primary driving factors in our lives that I have mentioned above. When you check in with yourself about them honestly, you may find where certain areas need more attention.

In the next blog post we will discuss how to approach finding a life purpose.