So, I just recently watched a video of an interview with Simon Sinek, who’s an author, motivational speaker, and marketing consultant according to his wikipedia but more importantly, an optimist, visionary, and influencer.
I not only agreed and enjoyed his interview about millennials but and I unfortunately felt like he was talking about ME at some times. Ever since I watched it, I’m completely intrigued to watch/read more of his work. I recommend checking it out (Millennials in the workplace).
In a nutshell
Basically this specific interview was discussing the issue with the millennials in the work place. In case you didn’t know, millennials are a group of people born approximately 1984 and after. He went on to say millennials are accused of being things like, entitled, narcissistic, unfocused, self interested, and lazy. Also, tough to manage.
Not me, I think to myself.
Well, at this point, that can’t be me.
His very interesting outlook on millennials continued, and unfortunately, to me seemed very true. As I continued to listen, there were parallels to my own self. Sadly.
So, I must warn you, I’m taking off my sensitive gloves, putting on my vulnerable pants, and opening my mind up to this.
And then, naturally, I translated this interview into parenthood. Not every reader is a parent, so take it for what it is in your own life. And instead of instantly being defensive, let it marinade for a minute.
Why are millennials like this?
Parenting-failed parenting strategy specifically. Our parents didn’t mean to fail us but we were constantly praised. What’s so bad about praising your child, right? We were told we are special, we can have anything we want in life, we deserve metals even for last place. Why were we special? Was it a specific thing about us that made us special? Why should we have anything in life or how do we get it if we want it? And why on earth would we get a metal for last place? That devalues the award. That’s all fun and games until it’s time to start adulting and walk into the career world. How does it feel when you realize you’re not special. You’re the same as everyone else. How did it feel when you realized that you just can’t have anything in life just because you want it. You have to work hard for it. And even then, you may still not get it. That’s a terrible feeling when you’re late for the party to realize that’s not how life goes. Which then causes low self esteem.
(Translation to parenthood: I want my child to realistically know his strengths and work on mastering his skill, craft, or whatever it may be that makes him special. I never want to make him feel bad about what his weaknesses may be but I’m not going to tell him he’s so good at coloring if he’s not even coloring in the lines, more importantly even trying to. Call me mean but I just don’t agree with it.
I want him to know he cannot have anything in life just because he wants it. I want him to know that if he wants something in life, he has to work extremely hard at it, and for a long time. And if it’s tangible things, realize that maybe he still won’t get it, but the things that are intangible are much more important to have.
And, finally, I want him to know you don’t get a metal just because. Let’s just say he decides to play basketball, I want him to have a fire inside him to keep practicing to earn the metal. To get placed. Or be a starter on the team if that’s what the goal is. I don’t want him running up to me with a metal that reads, “10th place” and then lie to him and say, wow bud, that’s so great!!! Lol. If he comes in 10th place, I want to tell him, we will practice all summer and hopefully all your team mates will too and maybe next season you guys will place higher. What’s so bad about that? And teach him to celebrate the teams that did win awards.)
Technology-We are the technology era. Let’s just filter life. Let’s show the best parts of our lives. Let’s not post it if we don’t look perfect. Let’s edit what we don’t like. What’s the perfect caption? Ok, after all that, now we wait. Let’s see how many likes we got. Wait, only 10? I’ll check in 20 minutes…2 minutes passes, refresh facebook..no more likes? Whhhatttt? Maybe I shouldn’t have even posted it. I can’t imagine what it is like for a teenager who’s not as secure as they hopefully will grow to be one day because I’m guilty of this as an adult to some degree. Before, we took pictures, waited a week to get them back from printing, and then they were our memories. Now, I can’t tell you the last time I took a picture and didn’t say to my friends, “let me see it first”, “eww, don’t post it, I look gross”, “Let’s take it on my phone, my camera is so good”, or something like that. I know I’m not alone. But, how stupid?!?!
We are a generation to show one thing but may be depressed behind it. Real interesting, Simon explains that social media and texting releases a chemical in our brain called dopamines that’s highly addictive. This is the same chemical that makes people feel good when smoking, drinking, and gambling. The same addiction. WOW. We need response, instant gratification, likes and followers, etc. What are you missing in our real relationships that we are needing this from outsiders. Why do we need comments on comments on comments telling us that we look so pretty in a photo if our spouse was with us, saw us, and told us we looked beautiful?
Do you check your phone right when you wake up? Do you lay in bed next to your spouse and play on your phone before bed? Do you take time away from your kids because you’re creeping your newsfeed and then some how ended up on your friends sisters boyfriends aunts daughters face book page? Don’t lie, lol. Maybe I am addicted! Turning to a device gives us temporary relief. It’s proven that more people who do social media have higher depression than those who don’t. I believe that! They don’t have to look at the highlights of everyone else’s life and feel like theirs isn’t good enough, fun enough, or they have enough.
(How this translation to parenthood: Simon mentions how we have age restrictions for other addictions like buying alcohol, cigarettes, or gambling. Why do we give our youth technology and social media? Why do we want them to feel like less than everyone else? Why do we want them to our kids at a dinner table on their phones texting or playing games instead of talking to us? Why are we putting this addictive chemical in their brains. Why are we talking time away from our family to talk to other people or watch others lives via social media? A good resolution to that, make a no technology rule at the dinner table and/or for a length of time at night with your family. When my husband and I got married, we laughed about couples that sat next to each other each on their phones and didn’t talk. Now we have become those people. It’s sad. And I was glad I was reminded how pathetic it is. For me personally, I do have a time when I am phone free and that’s when I am doing my sons bedtime routine. I need to make a longer part of my day phone free for sure. I do share a lot of my life via social media but I do keep a lot of it just for myself but mostly only because my husband isn’t really into sharing every bit of our lives. I need to keep more of these moments for me not only because he doesn’t want me to but because of the fact that they’re mine. Not everyones.)
Impatience-everything is available to us right at the time we want it. Food, shows, dating, instant gratification. You’re hungry, order food from your favorite place right to your door. You want to watch a tv show, watch 8 episodes on Netflix. You want to date? Get the app. You want to catch up with a friend, text. You want those shoes, get it delivered tomorrow from Amazon. Groceries? Done! We lack patience. If it’s not available on prime, I’m not getting it, who wants to wait 5 days? It cost $4.00 to rent that movie on demand. Done, I’m not waiting a month until it’s free. As Simon says, we rush love, job fulfillment, joy, love of life, self confidence, skill set. We want it all to happen in a day. Well, good things take time.
(Translation to parenthood: Sloooooowwww Down! Everything comes in time. All good things come when you are patient and you are choosey about who and what you want around you. I learned that first hand with my son. I wanted a baby when I was twenty six years old. I didn’t get that. I had to wait four years longer for him and guess what. He is the best thing that happened to me in my whole entire life. Those four years that felt like forever are so insignificant now because now I have my ultimate happiness. I want him to know to enjoy the stages of life he’s in when he’s in them. To take his time. To understand things don’t just happen over night at least not all the things that will change his life.)
Environment-Our Environment that we are in cares so much about numbers, dead lines, and “the end of year” (when it comes to business specifically in his interview). Most employers aren’t asking you what you want for the lifetime. Corporations are not helping us understand the long term picture because they want us to meet dead lines. So then it puts this idea in our heads that we aren’t good enough at our task because we didn’t meet it right away. Now, Companies feel like they have to work extra hard now to build social skills because of the parenting, technology, and impatience. He also touches on not being present in the company you’re with. You’re not as professional at work or build relationships with co workers. An example he gave, everyone sitting in a work place waiting for a meeting to start looking down on their phones until it starts. And then as soon as it’s over, checking your phone. Why not turn to your coworkers and get to know them. Make friends, build relationships, or maybe even a connection for growth.
(Translation to parenthood: We need to lead by example. We don’t need our devices out in front of us at every get together, meeting, outing, or conversation. We don’t need to check our phone ten times. Or be talking to someone around us and then lose track of what we were saying because we got distracted with our phone. I want to teach my son that it’s rude to be giving more attention to someone or something on his phone than who’s in front of him. I want him to know the people around him on a deeper level because he cares enough to get to know them. I want him to know that if he can build relationships with people face to face he can excel so much more because it will be rare when you actually meet someone who can still do that.)
My point of breaking down this interview and putting myself and my generation on blast isn’t to make anyone feel bad of defensive. I’m also not saying that all these things are necessarily bad, I’m simply saying, too much of anything is no good. Too much praise, too much technology, too much impatience, and our environment being so goal oriented day to day or month to month.
The truth is, I’m much more of this reputation of a millennial than I thought I was. I live off of drive through coffee, packages sent to my door weekly via amazon, order dinner to my table, send
gifts from my cell phone, binge watching shows, and now I’m a blogger. I’m not even going to lie right now, I recently went on a flight with no wifi and I didn’t even know what to do with myself. It actually became a deal breaker for me to fly with them again, lol.
The only reason I’m not completely pounding my head against the table right now is because I still do other things that take time, like cook my own meals, work on crafty projects, talk face to face, write, and give my family 100% of my attention and time a lot of the time.
It’s all about balance.
I want to be better, more engaged, and more aware than what people expect from a millennial. I want to have the tech savvy, quick moving, make it happen part of the reputation but then the unexpected part that we can still talk face to face, make eye contact, and speak with confidence. I want to have long term goals instead of just coasting through life but thinking we should have everything without working harder than anyone else.
And most importantly, I want our kids to have a fair chance at succeeding and being better than us. I want people to talk about their age group and say, they broke the cycle. That society got so wrapped up in all this and so addicted until these kids came and changed the game in relationships, work ethics, communication, and environment. I want them to thrive.
Do you think you’ve gotten completely consumed in allowing the junk to pollute your mind, time, and relationships? Or do you think you’ve got a good grasp on it?
Do you agree or you’re steaming with anger at this?
Anyone else a big fan of Simon Sinek?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Find joy in all of your journey,
Spoiled Milk Club