A Millennial’s take on Millennials

Business Meeting

Millennials. A generation filled with entitlement, a lack of loyalty, impatience, and no commitment. Am I right? All they want to do is be the next big thing, or change the world in a day. They want these things without ever having to feel what it’s like to struggle for a while before they get there. It seems like all of them want to have some huge societal impact right out of college, or live in some miniature house out in the middle of nowhere, all while being obsessed with the latest and greatest piece of technology. There are many people out there that might argue that this particular generation of young adults are just spoiled, aimless, and have their heads too far in the clouds to do themselves any good. However, I am not one of those people. I’m here to shed a little insight on why my generation, might just be onto something with how we live and think.

Adaptability

One stigma that seems to be pretty consistent with this particular demographic is that they all possess a general flightiness or commitment issue. But that’s simply not the case. Most millennials have grown up in a time where they have been surrounded by a world that has seen significant technological growth year after year. Technology and it’s related advancements in society have conditioned their minds to be constantly assimilating new information, working on multiple tasks, and being able to take on new challenges with the utilization of an ever growing base of resources.

This rapid change has fundamentally reshaped the way that we conceptualize the world around us. Gone are the times when there were a limited number of options to pursue when thinking of building a future. To us, there is an almost endless list of possible options to create a life and career around. So we have begun to place more importance on breadth of skills, rather than just an extreme level of depth in any one. Some have seen this as a lack of value in millennials as potential employees. But I would argue that when utilized correctly by a company, with clear goals, positive leadership, and the room to succeed, this adaptability allows for a higher potential success in a wider variety of areas than prior generations. It also allows for thinking through situations from multiple and different lenses, which fosters novel ideas.

Ingenuity

To certain individuals with very legacy mentalities, this quality is sometimes mistaken for being overzealous or misguided. Millennials are notorious for thinking outside of the box, challenging the status quo, and being willing to live their lives in a non traditional way in pursuit of their passions. Many will say that this isn’t practical and that society wouldn’t work out if everyone decided to behave in a similar fashion, and perhaps they are correct. But almost every revolutionary or influential figure who has had a significant impact on history, has initially been scrutinized for their original thinking. People aren’t always accepting of what’s new, or different. Let’s just keep in mind that there had to be one crazy person to have the first thought that the moon was something we could travel to, and then on.  

Us Millennials grew up a bit posh and most of us had the luxury to move up Maslow’s hierarchy and think about what matters to us outside of the basic necessities of money, food, stability, etc. So for most of us, sitting around in an unfulfilling desk job for 30 plus years making an okay living isn’t that appealing. Our minds start to wonder about all of the amazing things that this glorious world has to offer, and the wheels start turning as to what we can do to be apart of or influence the surrounding society. We want to be a part of something bigger, more meaningful, and often something that’s going to change some aspect of our world for the better. In the workplace this has lead to startups and companies that are radically changing the way business is done.

Conviction

Perhaps my favorite stigma against my particular generation is that we are supposedly all extremely entitled. That we just expect great things to happen in our lives and want to be rich and famous without having to work all that hard for it. To this I reply, what exactly is the problem with that mentality? Although it is incredibly respectable, and there are many hardworking and selfless people in the world, there is nothing desirable about working a job that you don’t like, aren’t being treated well at, doesn’t fulfill you, or where you don’t make enough money to live a life you are comfortable with. This generation has just decided that certain freedoms, passions, and luxuries are important to their lives, and they aren’t going to compromise on them. More so than any time in history, it is now very easy to start a multitude of different businesses. There are also more paths to success than ever before. Working smarter, and more efficiently is the name of the game when it comes to gen Ys.

The Takeaway

Our biggest strength is that we’ve rediscovered how to dream.

To all of my fellow millennials out there, do not get discouraged or dissuaded by society’s seeming vendetta against our sometimes radical and non traditional ways of thinking and behaving. Instead, I say to embrace it. Keep on working towards that gluten free, non gmo, organic tofu food cart that you’ve always wanted. Go out into the wilderness and start your own communal sustainability society project. Find a way to get that start up crowd funded in a year and bring all of your friends along. Allow yourself to be immersed in social media to the point of becoming an expert and being able to then share that expertise. Our biggest strength is that we’ve rediscovered how to dream. How to have seemingly impossible goals and ambitions, and not let anything get in the way of reaching them, no matter how unlikely. That’s the start, and driving factor behind all historic/society changing people, companies, and ideas. So keep it up. #millennialpower

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How it feels to hate fall in the pnw…

Today I woke up with the realization that the transition between summer and fall had officially begun. It was windy, rainy,  and I had to consider putting on a jacket. *heavy sigh*.

I cannot stress enough just how much distaste I have for this dreary and uninviting excuse of a season.

Seriously.

I. Can’t. Even.

Every fall it’s the same thing. Hoards of my Facebook acquaintances posting status after status about how “fall is life”, how excited they are to eat/drink their favorite pumpkin spice flavored whatever, and how they “have been waiting so long for this ‘sweater’ weather to return.” It’s absolutely despicable.

Nothing about this season is appealing to me. First and most importantly, the sun starts to go away. This means that I’m going to be cold, and i’m going to be cold often. I hate being cold. As far as i’m concerned, being as close to naked at all times is my ideal clothing situation, and doing that during these fall months is near impossible.

Second, outdoor activities are suddenly much less appealing. It’s hard for me to get a big volleyball or Frisbee match going with my mates when there are hurricane grade winds, or torrential downpours happening simultaneously outside. And my single favorite pastime of life (anything that has to do with playing in a large body of water), seems pretty insane when it’s only 50 degrees outside. Starting to see my dilemma?

There’s also the fact that for most people, and myself included, fall means the start up of participating in our educational system again. Which if you aren’t currently in school and you’ve seem to have forgotten what that feels like, it’s no fun. It means that I have to re teach myself how to adult for the next three months and manage a s*** ton of responsibilities again. In contrast of that,  Summer means having mindless and non stop fun anytime I want that i’m not working.

But none of that matters to any of the crazies that purposely inhabit this corner of the country. Their eyes light up whenever they see some leaves start to die and exhibit signs of chlorophyll deterioration (ie “changing colors”). They readily and excitedly throw on as many layers as possible, (however unnecessary to actual temperature regulation) just to feel some strange kind of self imposed comfort. Even the rain, which is such a burden on so many aspects of life, makes even the most seemingly sane north westerner giggle in unadulterated delight.

Kill me now.

I’ve tried reasoning with these people, but every conversation ends in me shaking my head in conjunction with enough face palms to cause literal decapitation. So i’ve stopped trying. At this point I just try and occupy myself with indoor activities and constant visualizations of sunny San Diego beaches.

So please excuse me while I go lock myself in my room underneath a pile of blankets. I’ll be blasting “Summer Nights” on repeat, and having my fake sun running full power 24/7.

#TeamSummerForLife

Little Timmy

NLD29 - 20020508 - ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS : A very young Feyenoord Rotterdam supporter makes a rude gesture during the UEFA Cup final match against Borussia Dortmund in Rotterdam on Wednesday, 08 May 2002. EPA PHOTO ANP/JASPER JUINEN/CSS-ms

Little Timmy is about 6 years old.

He’s running around Starbucks, making friends with everyone, laughing, singing at the top of his lungs, climbing on stuff, and generally doing everything in his power to ensure that his mother’s head is full of grey hairs by the time she’s 45.

Today, Timmy has decided that Starbucks is both his personal play place and playmate as well.

The world is his oyster. Not only does he not care what anyone around him thinks of him, his words, or his actions, but he also thrives off of the attention. Little Timmy,(much like the honey badger) just doesn’t care.

He has been here for 20 minutes and literally hasn’t stopped smiling. Every moment that passes by seems to be the new most exciting moment of his life. It’s captivating, inspiring, AND JUST DOWNRIGHT ADORABLE.

I miss that.

That pure and uninhibited expression of emotion. The way that he truly is acting in a way that mirrors his thoughts and feelings. How passionate and unapologetic he goes about his day. These are all qualities that almost all of us possess early on as children.

Children typically don’t care what outfit they are going to wear. They don’t meticulously try and map out their choice of words or actions to try and please others around them. And they almost always are enjoying themselves.

Yes, I know that they don’t yet have any real responsibilities, and life hasn’t yet preyed on their happiness with all of it’s tried and true methods of being a complete dick. But there is still something amazing to be said about the special kind of openness that kids exhibit.

I often wish that I could be more like that. That I wasn’t so jaded by the negative experiences of the past, or so hardened to my true feelings and desires. Or that I didn’t try so hard to impress anyone other than myself.

The joker put it best, “why so serious?” And seriously, why? Being uptight and worrying all the time just creates stress. In my opinion more adults need to start acting like their younger selves again. Our time is precious, our lives are relatively short, and we only get one go around at them.

I say we all should be a bit more like little Timmy.

So get out there, put on your ninja turtles t shirt and light up sketchers, turn off all of the silly worries, and go terrorize your own Starbucks.

5 Easy Ways To Accomplish All Of The Things

 success1

Success is something we all want right?

Whether it’s getting that big Christmas bonus from your less-than-friendly boss, making varsity for the football team, losing a few pounds, or whatever.

Each and every one of us has goals, dreams, and ambitions that we want to achieve, but all too often it just seems as if they aren’t really possible. Or just out of reach. The motivation is lacking and life just keeps getting in the way.

But those thoughts don’t have to limit us, they reside in our heads, it’s only when we act on them that they hold any value.

There are tried and true ways for making those desires turn into reality people. And they aren’t some magical beans that you have to eat, and you don’t need a genie granting you 3 wishes. Just by altering a few parts of your daily routine, you can benefit greatly. Here are the 5 relatively simple things, that if done consistently, can completely change your life for the better.

 

1. Form Good Habits

A habit is anything we do over and over until it becomes almost mandatory. And we are creatures of habit right? That means that we can develop both healthy and unhealthy patterns that can control and shape our lives. This could be watching tv before you can go to bed at night,or even something like smoking. Those are bad habits, or things we do that cause more harm than good. But just like those bad habits, we can also form good ones. Like exercising before work everyday, or brushing your teeth after each meal. Getting in the habit of forming good habits will give you the foundation necessary for success by freeing your time and thoughts up from having to deal with the negative emotions and consequences of the bad ones.

2. Make Your Goals Tangible

This just might be the most simple, but also most important item on the list. It simply means that when you have something you want to accomplish in life, WRITE IT DOWN. Put it somewhere in the physical world around you. And put it somewhere that you will see it often. Don’t just let stay in your head or your heart, because it might get stuck there. The concept behind this is rooted in accountability. When you have these written on your fridge, bedroom door, or bathroom mirror, you are giving yourself constant daily reminders of what you’re working towards, and that is invaluable.

3. Verbalize Those Goals

That’s right. Talk. Talk to yourself. Talk to others. Say what your goals are over and over, why you want to make them happen and that you are indeed GOING to make them happen. This positive reinforcement is going to keep you motivated to continue on even among the darkest times. And as you get used to doing this, it will become easier to repeat these words and act on them when you aren’t always as motivated as you’d like. Saying things out loud also adds to the accountability factor. Now that you’ve told yourself and the world, you wouldn’t want to disappoint them or yourself right?

4. Mentorship

No matter what anyone says, it’s almost impossible to become highly skilled at anything without help. One of the quickest ways to becoming successful is finding someone or something that does what you want to do well, and copy it. This could mean reaching out to a respected person in your area of interest, or could also be as simple as reading about it. And if no gurus or senseis are available, at least take the time each day to read a quick article in your field. Reading will also benefit your thought process and help you use information more effectively. The mentorship can come in many forms, but the main point is just that it needs to happen. Learning is key, and the more informed you are about something, the better you will be at it.

5. Believe In It

This one may seem like a no brainer, and pretty obvious, but it’s powerful. There is nothing more poisonous to achievement than self doubt or a negative mindset. You’ve got to actively force yourself to have positive and encouraging thoughts about your dreams. You think you can, you think you can, you think you can. Believe in your goals. Believe in yourself. Your mind will shape your reality.

5 Things You Should Be Doing To Be More Productive At Work

1. Write It Down

Having a plan for what you want to accomplish in your day is completely fine. I’m sure your boss has even yelled at you a few times already about the deadline for those social media reports that are due at the end of the week. But what i’m talking about is having a tangible, handwritten goal somewhere in your workspace about what you need to get done and when. This serves to both remind you of what needs to be done, and create a sense of urgency because it’s in your face.

2. Turn your phone on silent

I know I shouldn’t have to even say this because we’re not teenagers anymore, but it’s true. Cell phones serve as an easy distraction because of their accessibility. Most of us have developed the habit of needing to check our phones for updates every few minutes or so. Even though the check ins are short, if you do it enough times in a day it can add up to a lot of wasted time, and break your train of thought. Each of which kill productivity.

3. Log off

This goes for anything that isn’t strictly work related software. Logging off of social media, email (if not being used to complete the current project or when not expecting any important messages), and your flappy bird account will reduce temptation to utilize these platforms because it adds a step to accessing them while working, and gives you one more barrier to go through before making your bad decision.

4. Be More Efficient

Especially if you work in a tech related space. There is no reason to be using IE, editing code in notepad, sending out 42 of the same emails to separate team members, or having aol as your primary email software provider. Get chrome or firefox, download textwrangler or notepad ++, make a gmail account, and start a google doc or other wiki for collaboration. Saving time on each task will save frustration and give you more energy to finish the current project and expand to bigger and better things.

5. Reward yourself

This is something that most people miss. Rewarding yourself or incentivizing completion of an assignment is imperative. It’s been shown through studies that money (your paycheck), simply isn’t the end all be all motivator. Promising yourself a nice juicy steak and a beer if you close five clients for the day, or for finishing that new landing page, will create overall excitement and make you want to do a better job. Or even something like taking a vacation after six consecutive months at the office will create a higher work ethic because there is a positive end result to look forward to. A lot of people get to a point where they are unhappy at work and get stuck in a cycle of repetitive, unfulfilling days where there is no sense of accomplishment or value. Even if your job does require a lot of the same day to day activities, you can find ways to make it more interesting for yourself. You’ve just got to get a little creative with how.