We are the largest generation in the history of the world. We make up roughly one third of the world’s current population. We are the most educated generation ever, with 65% of adults among us holding a college degree. Generation-Y is a generation that understands the importance of intellect and for this reason does their best to exercise it.
We know that we are smart and diligent and therefore think very highly of ourselves — 80% of us think that we are “very important” compared to the 15% of those alive back in 1950. We are progress. But are we enough? Are we doing all that we can be doing and making the moves that we need to be making? Do we have the willpower and the commitment not only to start a project, but also finish it?
Generalizing an entire generation is not my favorite thing to do, but statistics don’t lie. Even from my personal experience, Generation-Yers come off as being both smart and witty, as well as lost and pissed off. We are a generation with egos so big that it continues to surprise me how much self-righteousness and vanity can fit into such small bodies.
We grew up being told how special we are and continue to believe it. The fact is that it isn’t possible that we are all special — if everyone were special, then no one would be special. Is it not possible that all of us are regular people? That we are not meant for any sort of greatness? That we are just normal?
No one likes to believe that they are normal, that they are just another person. But that’s the truth. There is nothing more special about you than there is about me. We are all human beings with a relatively similar mental capacity. We each have our own strengths and we have our own flaws. No one person is any better than another — no matter what you were told, what you believe or what your religion tells you. Being a part of Generation-Y, I grew up thinking that I was destined for greatness — that if others could only see how great I am, that they would take me under their wings and give me the world.
This isn’t how the world works. The only people that may help you in life are some of your closest friends and family, and even that isn’t for certain. Believing in destiny is a fool’s game. You can believe that everything happens for a reason, but I promise you that if you sit on your ass, as many of you are doing now and wait, hoping for grace to fall from the sky and onto you, then you are delusional. There are no handouts in life and all things come at a price. If you think otherwise then you are only lying to yourself.
Being successful and being happy with oneself differs on each of our own definitions of the two. Some will be more than happy having three meals a day for themselves and for their families while others won’t be happy until they own half a city’s worth of real estate. Neither is right nor wrong. Each individual is pleased by different things and will be content with different levels of financial success, physical health and mental clarity. The only thing that holds true for each individual is that without action there will be no results.
That is not to say that brief immediate action is the answer -- no. The more resistant a thing is to change, the more consistent and repetitive action will be required in order to facilitate such a change. And this is where the true problem with our generation beings to formulate. Generation-Y has a lack of commitment.
Twenty percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are married, while 59% were married in 1960. Our generation stays at a job for an average of only 2 years before moving on. Generation-X averaged 5 years and Baby Boomers averaged 7. As far as marriage goes, you can pull the “people used to remain unhappily married” card and I am sure you would be correct. However, I am also sure that there is a large percentage of Generation-Yers that do not consider getting married because of their fear of a failed marriage and a fear of commitment.
This is not to say that we should all start getting down on one knee. I don’t believe that people ought to be getting married until their 30s — but it does not change the fact that there are people out there that won’t commit because they don’t commit. Commitment is a crucial part of success — the most crucial part that our generation overlooks entirely.
We think so highly of ourselves that we never want to “settle.” We are always looking for that next big gig and that bigger fish to fry. We don’t want to stay at a single job for more than 2 years because we are afraid that we are missing out on other opportunities. Becoming successful takes more than 2 years!
You can divvy it to laziness or naivety, but all it is really is that we are afraid of committing ourselves to anything because we think too much of ourselves. You think that there will always be something better to look forward to, that there will always be better opportunities. The only opportunities worth a dime in life are those that you create for yourself — and you won’t create any hopping around from career to career, sitting on your ass between seasons.
We are all trying to find our purpose in life, but doing nothing — not bothering to walk — will never find you the correct path. You have to search. Searching requires movement, action. You must move in one direction until you are certain that it is the wrong direction and only then do you move onto the most logical path that follows.
Cutting our trips short of certainty will leave us living a life stuck on replay — without progress. Pick something you like and stick with it Generation-Y. I have friends that started doing the most ridiculous of jobs, made little money at the get-go, but after 3-4 years started their own companies and are now making bank. Life is about learning. You may be smart, but without experience, you are no different from any other person aiming for the same position. If you want to stand out, then always be doing, never simply waiting. Miracles do happen — in movies and fairytales.