What does it mean to be a Millennial? Does it refer to the highly driven ambitious youth of today who do not wish to settle for mediocrity or does the term in fact represent the highly anxious restless generation that is lining up at the therapists’ office complaining of extreme stress, extreme grief, extreme everything and an inability to cope? Parents complain that they are glued to their smart phones 24×7, do not register an event as completed unless it is shared with their friends on social media, have short attention spans and an even shorter emotional wavelength, are constantly wishing for instant gratification and are unable to handle failure.
But can we, the Gen X, get off scot free or did we play a part in bringing this about? We can argue that they are digital natives and we are digital immigrants and the widening generation gap has led to an inability to relate to them but here is an attempt to step into their shoes and look at things from their perspective.
Why do they act the way they act? What is it that they really want? What does it feel to be crippled with uncertainty about career, about relationships, about an increasingly dynamic world with its growing pressures and expectations? Do they know how to resolve relationship issues, to work under a boss who is out to sabotage their every move, to adapt to changes at the workplace, to stay resilient in the face of mounting pressure to “find one’s calling”, to accept criticism and more importantly accept that failures are inevitable but so are successes?
What are we doing to make them emotionally resilient so that they don’t fall apart with the first failure they meet? Have we helped them to gain awareness in areas of their own interest, values, abilities and personality types? Are we connecting them to their inner resources and engaging them in the decision making process so that they can take the ownership of their own life? Are we preparing them to balance various life roles and becoming lifelong learners?
With the multitude of startups springing up, here is an interesting analogy: It’s time for the Millennial to be an Entrepreneur and think of themselves as the majority shareholder in the start up of their life and take stock of things. What will you vote “yes” for you my life? What will you vote “no” for? In what aspect of your life – relationships, money, health, fun, recreation, and personal growth – do you currently experience the most challenge? Where do you feel trapped? Do you write down your goals or commitments? Do you visualize your achievements?
Take a moment and write down the unique qualities that define you. The people you spend most of your time with have a strong influence on you. Are you surrounded by negative people? Or do you spend time with people who inspire you? Make a note of people in your personal and professional life with which you associate the most. Your life becomes what you focus on. If you’re not getting the results you are looking for, it is time to re-examine what you focus on. Focus on your innate talents and capabilities. Focus on what you believe is possible and you will see opportunities rather than constraints. Ask yourself the following questions before you start your day:
Who Am I becoming? What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?