If you’re a millennial, chances are you have heard one or all of these statements be made about yourself or other millennials.
“They’re so lazy!”
“I can’t believe how entitled that whole generation is”
“Get a real job”
“Stop complaining, that’s life”
And if you’re reading this, and are not a millennial, or even better, you’re someone who has made these statements yourself, then keep going and hear me out on a few things…
Are their millennials that are lazy and entitled? Without a doubt. Doesn’t every generation have some of those? But think about it.
Let’s take it back to all of our childhoods for this metaphor to make you fully understand why we are the way that we are.
The reasons we are “this way”
I think it’s a safe bet when I say we all had that one friend as a kid who tried to defy the laws of science and stick their tongue to a pole during a cold, December blizzard. What happened? Of course, we all know how that ends whether we witnessed it in person or from the nonstop reruns of ‘A Christmas Story’ on Christmas day. So, what does this have anything to do with why millennials are the way they are?
After seeing that as a kid, the reaction of the individual and the pain you saw is embedded in your mind to make sure that you, under no circumstances, stick your tongue to a pole during a cold day in December, right? As humans, I am a firm believer that we learn more in situations that bring us pain than the ones that bring us joy.
Now imagine this, walking into the homes of your friends as a kid and 50% of the time, it is a single parented home (or if you’re like me, your home is, as well). The other 50% of friend’s homes that you go to are lucky enough to have both parents there, but even then, the majority of the time, something is off. What is it that is off?
What we notice as we continue to grow and go to the same homes is, yes they’re together, but the constant fights, passionless faces and unfulfilled souls that are a product of “falling in line” and doing what society said was right rather than following their own intuitions and passions. We notice the unhealthy habits that are a direct result of arduous and stressful days at jobs that they hate. We notice the only thing declining faster than their mental health is the light inside of them that their dream life is still a possibility. This isn’t their fault that they think like this. It is how they have been conditioned to think by society.
We also understand that the comments previously mentioned like, “they’re so lazy” or “get a real job” are really a direct response to someone’s internal thinking. Let me show you what I mean:
“They so lazy and entitled” –
Subconsciously, you’re upset that you work a job that you absolutely hate ( regardless of pay) and we would rather be videographers, network marketers or digital nomads traveling the world instead of making an extra 30k-40k at a place that we feel passionless.
“Stop complaining, that’s just the way life is”-
That’s the way life says who? I can say with confidence that 95% of the population is settling in okay jobs, relationships and every other aspect of life because they’re comfortable and “well, that’s just the way life is, right?” Absolutely not.
“Get a real job”-
This comes from a good place and we get it (especially when its parents or loved ones). They want us to do well and take a safe path. However, this is them projecting their own fears and insecurities. We truly do appreciate every bit of advice and concern, but we are a generation willing to risk absolutely everything for that small chance of our dreams coming true.
And for both, the millennials who hear these and are unsure what to do and the parents/loved ones/friends who are giving this advice, you need to fully understand what I am saying here.
This isn’t to say don’t listen to anything anyone says. Always listen. You just need to be cognizant about who the advice is coming from. I’m not going to sugar coat it. If your parents hate their jobs, never started their own business, etc then how can you possibly take business advice from them?
Maybe your dad was a great baseball player growing up and he wants to give you advice on how you can improve your swing, 100% take the advice. Maybe your mom is an incredible cook and you can go to her for advice that first night you’re trying to make dinner for your new girlfriend. Do you see what I mean?
Unless you’re trying to make a mean bowl of cinnamon toast crunch, you wouldn’t call me for advice on how to cook a 5-star meal because I don’t know how to, but I can help you with business advice.
Find the person that has what you want in each aspect of your life ( professionally, personally, spiritually, etc) and follow their path.
Growing up being surrounded by this and seeing the constant struggles, arguments and burn outs of “just getting by” and spending long hours at a job they dislike and when asked about it they repeatedly say, “well, it pays the bills” created something inside of us.
Those feeling that those encounters molded in us are that pole in the middle of a blizzard in December. We don’t know how it feels yet, but we just know that, under no circumstances, do we want to end up living that life.
This pain, that we can vividly see, programs us at a young age to never, ever want to feel that way. As we get older and begin to put more of the pieces of the puzzle together, we realize something. We realize that this pain we saw for all of those years is a byproduct of unfulfilled dreams, financial struggles, terrible self-awareness, and professional and personal regret.
So, if trying to pursue our dreams, create more life-work balance to spend time with our families, putting traveling and other experiences over “responsibilities”, chasing a career that pays 30k less because it lights a fire in us and refusing to just stand in line waiting for a paycheck like society want us to is being lazy and entitled then yeah, we are lazy and entitled as fuck.
I’m proud to be apart of a generation that is challenging the status quo, putting loving their selves first, sparking change in so many verticals. We are refusing to accept that we have to work for 40 years for another person’s dream before retiring to spend the last years of our lives free.
This is not meant to come off as negative toward other generations before us, it’s meant to do the exact opposite. In fact, I fully understand that we are a lot more privileged than previous generations (especially our parents/grandparents generations) with the opportunities that the internet and technology are and will continue to create for us that they didn’t have access to.
However, it doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 40, 80 or any age in-between, it is never too late to say, enough is enough and follow your dreams and define your worth both professionally and personally. At the end of the day, happiness needs to be everyone’s number 1 priority and we need to have enough self- awareness to know what happiness looks like for us both professionally and personally and have the courage to chase it, unapologetically.
With all of that said, I think I speak for the majority of millennial’s when I say, we chase these things ( happiness, freedom, self-love, experiences, etc) because we only know the product of what years of suppressing those urges to pursue these things look like from the generations above us.
I’ll leave you with this…I can’t predict the future as far as what changes our generation will be responsible for, but I can tell you this, we understand we are on borrowed time, and we are determined to do this life thing our way.