There is a large divide between Gen-X and Gen-Y, and most of the time, Gen-X wants nothing to do with us.
I remember a long car ride home with my cousin, who said, “The problem with your generation, and I see this happen so often at work with these young people, is that they think they’re entitled to everything. It’s entitlement.”
It made me think. I understood what he was saying, especially having worked with children and teenagers in education for the past six years. Most kids these days are born with iPads in their hands, without ever learning the value of having to earn it. It is simply a prerequisite of their lifestyle.
The previous generation had to build from the ground up, and was taught to work hard for everything they ever wanted. However, I don’t believe it is a generational issue, but a values-based issue of how we were raised and what we were taught.
What I do see on a day-to-day basis, though, is a lack of accountability. There are too many excuses we make as a generation, such as blaming hook-up culture for why we’re still single, or finding reasons why we never took that course and subsequently ended up without that dream career.
Hook-up culture existed long before it became a coined phrase; it was just never as openly discussed as it is now. Everyone was doing it in the 80s: just listen to the music and watch interviews. So why was finding a lasting relationship not a problem back then?
It is way too easy for us to palm the blame off to a societal issue rather than to reflect on our own flaws and patterns of behavior, but it’s time we embrace the things that go wrong and start making amends with them. Here’s how you can start taking accountability in your own life:
1. Stop blaming; start reflecting.
Everyone has his or her own story, whether it be born in the blood of success or in the midst of poverty. The thing is, we don’t have a choice about how we come here on earth.
We didn’t get to choose which neighborhood we grew up in, our parents, the color of our skin or how we were brought up. Stop blaming them, or anyone else for that matter, for the areas in your life that aren't going right.
If there is a problem in more than one area of your life, realize that you are the common denominator. Start thinking about how you can react to situations in your life differently or make a choice about how you want to live.
Do you want to live in the shadow of the areas you couldn’t control, or do you want to emerge from the darkness and into a life where you have the power to choose? Eric Thomas was homeless; now he is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers.
What is your excuse?
2. Take away lessons from the experience.
Things could be going swimmingly well in our lives, then suddenly all take a big turn into a pile of manure; we've all been there.
My high school sweetheart and I had been together for three and a half years, and I honestly thought I’d marry him. At 19, he was diagnosed with cancer and died only a month after that. Life sort of does that to you; it is bountiful and gives you happiness in abundance, and just as quickly can take it away.
I basked in my despair, and I miss him still to this day, but it happened and there is nothing I can do to change the outcome. Once you can accept that, the next important step is to take something away from the experience.
I didn’t have a choice in what happened, but I do get to decide what I’ve learned from it. If anything, he taught me how it felt to be loved, what it meant to love and how to love.
That is the greatest gift in itself, and something I continue to radiate to those around me on a daily basis. Otherwise, what was it all for?
3. Be solution-based thinkers.
I’ve covered the "stop blaming" part, and now it’s time to find a solution. Once you’ve identified the problem, think about what you can do to change that area of your life you feel is lacking.
Okay, so you’re single; it’s not because of “hook-up culture” and guys are sleazy and just want to have sex with you. If you don’t want to attract a guy who just wants to sleep with you, don’t put on a skanky dress and walk into a club because that’s exactly what you’re offering.
Look for other avenues. Have a conversation with a guy at the bookstore, or waiting in line at your favorite café. That one interaction may lead to a new relationship, or a new friendship and the prospect of meeting other interesting people.
In the end, everyone just wants to be loved. Regardless of what society may label you as, we’re all human, and those who reject love the most are the ones who need it the most.
Take action on the areas in your life that you feel are lacking. Don’t be the victim because that just leaves you alone with a tub of ice cream in your living room.
4. Embrace the process.
When things are taking a wrong turn and not working out the way you want them to, realize that it is okay. It is all part of the process, and the process is what matters most. Don’t be quick to give up on that goal because the task ahead is too tedious or time-consuming.
Sometimes you may face road blocks, but don’t see it as defeat. In life, we will be opposed and forced to make sacrifices. It is all part of the challenge, and it’s a test to how bad you want something.
Own your failure; use your pain as fuel to work harder and gain more. Come out stronger and better than everything that’s ever torn you down. At the end of it all, the most valuable thing that no one can take away from you is knowledge and experience.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It