Are you not pissed off, millennials?
We, Millennials, have the potential to be the best generation so far. Instead, we’re being called:
You should be pissed off at that. Do you know why?
Because those are all true (for now). We, Millennials, are smart as hell (contrary to popular belief), but we’re all guilty of some of those things (if not all).
Instead of being regarded as one of the greatest generations, as the ones who can really make a difference – we’re regarded as spoiled brats. Because there are so many spoiled brats among us.
Is it my fault? Is it your fault? Our fault?
Nope. The environment made us this way, the deck is already stacked against us. But here’s the kicker:
Why waste time blaming anyone or anything else? It won’t change anything. Something else can change everything – you.
You have the power to change yourself. If you do, we’re that much closer to changing the entire generation.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You have the power to change yourself.” quote=”You have the power to change yourself.”]
That’s why I’m pushing you to be more productive! If you’re not being productive, not fulfilling your dreams, not being awesome and amazing – you’re a spoiled brat. You deserve to be called that because you have the potential to be so much more. I’m here to kick your ass until you become awesome.
Now, kickstarting (foot-in-ass style) your awesomeness will eventually help you do the same for your peers. And they can do the same for theirs. Little by little turning the “spoiled generation” to the “golden generation”.
Let’s change the image of our generation
Does this sound like something so big that it’s almost impossible to do alone?
No PR campaign is big enough to do that.
No amount of brainwashing can get everyone to compliment us (if it was that easy).
[clickToTweet tweet=”To improve our image, we, Millennials, need to improve. ” quote=”To improve our image, we, Millennials, need to improve. “]
So, where to start?
While there isn’t a “best way” for everyone, here are the 3 biggest don’ts I continue seeing in us, Millennials, day in and day out:
1) We’re plugged in all the time
If I had to pick 1 thing to teach you, it will be to disconnect. Being connected is awesome for our knowledge, social lives, and entertainment, yes. Being too connected on the other hand has a long list of negative effects:
- Reduced Productivity
- Shorter attention spans
- Reduced ability to focus
- Superfluous lives and higher anxiety
There is a lot to be said on the subject matter, but I’d like to focus on something very simple in this article:
Reclaiming your focus
Turning off your wifi or, God forbid, turning off your iPhone will affect you in some strange ways:
- You’ll feel bored. Very, very bored.
What are you supposed to do when you’re not connected? Maybe you have some sort of a hobby offline – that’s great, but what if you don’t? What do you do? Farm and milk cows?
You’ll be frustrated at first, not too much to do about it. Just (wo)man through it.
- You’ve started disconnecting for an hour a day for a week now. Strange things are happening – you’ve read an actual book (I know, right?), you called someone (instead of sending IMs), and your mind is full of ideas.
- You’re starting to find out how amazingly productive you’re during your offline hours. You’re enjoying a zen-like calmness and razor-sharp focus.
- Soon you’ll be taking a few extra hours without the Internet, just because it feels so great.
After all that, you might think I hate the Internet. That’s not true.
The Internet is brilliant and amazing. I love it. My suggestion is that you don’t need it in your life at all times. Surprisingly, by taking breaks from the super-connected online world you’ll find the Internet even more fun. The time off will let you properly appreciate an awesome thing you’re now most likely taking for granted.
So, disconnect regularly and, please, stop your notifications. Even if that’s all you remembered (and started doing) from this post, you will not be disappointed!
2) We aren’t becoming better every day
Imagine someone 50 years ago. Someone stuck in rut, now knowing what to do with his life. He works a crappy job and decides to try his best to turn his life around. What does he do?
He reads books and consults with friends, maybe even pursues some degree. Does it work? Sure, but how long does it take him to acquire the skills for his dream job? 5, 10, maybe even 15 years. That’s a significant portion of his life.
What about you? Do you need 5 or 10 years to learn anything or turn your life around?
You, my awesome reader, are special. You have access to ALL the information in two clicks. Learning anything online is free and fast.
It’s now easy to learn new things online. In a matter of months, you can learn something and start making money out of it. From cooking to programming and artificial intelligence, the process of learning any skill from scratch to actually finding a job can take less than a year.
Learn new things every day
To get better at, well, life, learn new things every day. Also, improve the things you already know every day. Should be simple, yes?
It should be simple, but a lot of people seem to forget that at some point. No wonder so many are depressed – not learning new things is excruciatingly painful. The good thing is that you have a built-in drive to be curious and learn new things. Yes, it’s easy to forget to learn, but it is as easy to forget yourself in learning.
[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s easy to forget to learn, but it is as easy to forget yourself in learning.” quote=”It’s easy to forget to learn, but it is as easy to forget yourself in learning.”]
If you’ve stopped being curious about things, checking random facts online, or all in all not learning – here is how to jumpstart and get the habit back:
- Find something that you find interesting. Don’t aim for grand skills, something simple and benign is usually a better start than a Calculus/Physiology course combo.
- Just pick something! You’re using a fun side-project to kick-start your curiosity, not picking a major for college.
- Learn a bit about your mini-hobby every day before you set off for work. Take 5 minutes and use them to read a few pages of a book, a blog post, or just play and experiment with your new toy.
- Don’t take it too seriously (play = creativity = fun) and don’t forget to do it every day.
Once you’re in the habit of learning about one thing, you’ll instantly start being more curious about everything. Just be mindful (read “super curious”) about everything you do and you’ll start seeing improvements.
Oh, and as a side effect, you’ll have more fun!
3) We don’t have a purpose/aren’t focused on our purpose
Do you have a purpose?
Purpose as in a grand goal that will leave your mark on the world for years to come.
It might be to have the best family and raise the best kids. To build the best IT company, rid the world of cancer, or become the best artist/composer.
It’s not weird if you don’t. It’s actually the other way around – most people don’t have a purpose. Why is that?
It’s hard aiming for one grand thing.
Being blasted with a googol bits of information every day leads to a predictable result – you have a ton of ideas. You might even not realize it, but you do. How do you pick just one to focus on?
Find your purpose
First, understand that it is your purpose, as in a singular purpose. One thing to rule them all, one thing to aim for.
You might think that you love so many things and to focus solely on one of them is crazy. You’d be right. It should be a little crazy. But let me clear this common misconception first:
Your purpose is not set in stone – it’s not static. You can change it, in fact, you will certainly change it.
But whatever your purpose is – it will help you build your skills, habits, and character towards a better you. You’re basically investing in yourself. Your life might turn up in a weird and unexpected way and that investment guarantees you’ll make the best of it at all times. Who knows? Maybe you’ll stumble on something so amazing that kids will read about you and admire you in 10 000 years.
That aside, let’s get to the actual question:
How to find your purpose?
Have you noticed that when you’re in the shower or walking home with your battery dead your mind can’t stop generating ideas? Ever felt bad for having an amazing idea while driving, which you forgot? Ideas work like that.
Ideas need you to pause. You need to create the space for your mind to wander and it will reward you with ideas. You already have a ton of knowledge, just let your mind play with it out of boredom.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I know it sounds weird, but being bored is the key to creativity.” quote=”I know it sounds weird, but being bored is the key to creativity.”]
Now, I’m sure you’ll get a TON of ideas. How do you pick which one to pursue?
The answer will surprise you:
Just pick something. Almost any idea you have will work. It only has to push you to become better and learn new things. That’s enough.
Your newfound purpose might change, but the better you, it helped create, will stay for the long run.
Move towards your purpose every day
You must make progress towards your purpose daily.
This is a big one. If I could’ve given this to my 20-year version in the past, I’d tell him to memorize it.
It doesn’t matter how small, it does matter that you do it. Even if you worked for 19 hours straight and haven’t slept in two days. Acknowledge your purpose with even the slightest bit of your time.
That kind of attitude will help you build your locus of control and a set of strong habits towards putting the effort required to achieve anything.
If you put the effort every day, will you achieve your purpose?
Your purpose may change and you might redefine your goals, but ultimately you will become a better person for pursuing it. It doesn’t matter if you get there, the journey is the important bit.
[clickToTweet tweet=”It doesn’t matter if you achieve your goal, the journey is the important bit.” quote=”It doesn’t matter if you achieve your goal, the journey is the important bit.”]
Do note that even if you fail to achieve your initial purpose and goal – your experience, friends, and luck might lead you to a better one. And this one you’ll definitely crush.
For me, this is the most important item in this list. Don’t take it lightly and don’t expect it to happen overnight. I’ve been working on this for the past 6 years and I still occasionally slip up.
You should be pissed off
Are we that bad of a generation?
Maybe. Right now a lot of Millennials are not doing a great job.
So, you should be pissed off!
Then channel that in making yourself better. Like the Dark side of the force, you’ll gain power (motivation) and it will push you to become more powerful (awesome) than ever.
But don’t stop there!
Make every other person you know better as well. Millennial or no Millennial – show them that you’re an amazing person, part of an awesome generation!
Now go ahead, be productive and make me and every other Millenial proud to be born in our awesome generation!
PS: How can you and I help our generation to effectively change? Share your thoughts below or on Twitter.