Everyone wants a trophy, few are willing to work for it
There’s an epidemic going around, where people just want to be given everything in exchange for nothing. These people are lazy, feel entitled, get overly offended, need safe zones, have no work ethic, and complain about everything.
The group that came to mind was probably “Millennials”, right? Those lazy, man bun haircut, bicycle riding, 3 chord guitar strumming, thick rimmed glasses wearing, flannel everything, can’t hold a job more than a year, glued to their cell phone, selfi snapping, entitled Millennials. Those are some of the stereotypes of millennials. Before you get offended, understand that like any other stereotype, some fit into it, and others do not. To just be safe, I said all of those things to be humorous and meant no offense to anybody. I in fact actually fit some of those stereotypes. Just not the man bun, never the man bun. My purpose here is to shed light on this millennial generation the best I can, from a perspective of a millennial, and to show how to “Break the Mold of the Millennial Mindset.” I’ll get into what that means later, and keep in mind this goes not just for millennials, but for everyone else as well.
So what will I be talking about? 1: Who are the Millennials? 2: Traits of a Millennial 3: How to Break the Mold of the Millennial Mindset
Who are the Millennials?
Millennials are those who are born between ~1980 – 2000 (definition varies). They are also called Gen Y, Gen Me, Echo Boomers, and Gen Rent. Millennials are very tech savvy, more likely to rent rather than buy a home, are about experiencing life and traveling more.
Tech Savvy: This generation grew up with technology and know how to work it better than anyone else. They are helping create and mold the technology of the future. One reason some millennials seem lazy, is really they’re more efficient with technology (this is the case for several, but some are actually just lazy). The previous generations grew up without the kind of technology we now have, so it’s a little more of a struggle to adapt to the changes that technology is bringing to society. Baby Boomers and Traditionalist’s grew up with a different outlook on what work is, and looks like. Sitting behind a computer or a phone may not look like work, when in reality it very well can be. You can run an entire business off of a cell phone these days.
Previous generations who see all millennials as being lazy, again, may not understand technology in the same way, or are unwilling to adapt and learn. When these people get upset at technology not working, who do they reach out to for help? It’s more likely they same millennial they thought was lazy for being on their phone or computer all the time, who simply turns then just turns the device off, and back on again, and it starts working properly.
Rent rather than buy: Buying a home has been part of the American dream for many years, and will probably still be a part of the American dream for years to come. But, it seems more and more people are renting these days rather than becoming homeowners. The American dream of buying the house with the front yard, the white picket fence, and the annoying neighbor who borrows your lawnmower for extended periods of time, is the social norm. It’s what you’re supposed to do in the good ol’ Red, White, & Blue. It seems that you become “successful” when you finally get your own home. It’s a sign of “You made it!” Go to college, get married, buy the house. “Hurray you’re an adult!” I know that I wanted to buy a home at one time, but the monthly mortgage payments were going to be out of my budget, plus the large down payment it requires. Even if you go the FHA route, there’s still a large down payment that I just could not afford. So why are more people, especially millennials, choosing to rent rather than buy? I have a few reasons this could be the case.
Pros of Renting:
- Homes are liabilities, not assets. Renting is a little less liability (no property tax, maintenance, high insurance, ect…)
- No large down payments
- Flexibility (this will lead into the next characteristic of millennials)
- No real estate taxes (you never truly own your home, even if it’s paid off)
- Lower utility costs
- Fixed rent amount
It wouldn’t be fare to be one sided, I do see the positives to buying a home as well. Here are a few:
Pros of Buying:
- You are more free to customize the inside and outside as you please (within legal reason of course, with city codes ect…)
- You can have more privacy (no noisy upstairs neighbors)
- Sense of ownership
- More room inside, and outside
- You can choose a more preferable location (in city limits, out of city limits, farm, 3 acres, 20 acres, ect…)
The flexibility is probably the biggest reason more and more people are renting than owning, which leads me to the next trait.
Experiencing life & traveling more
We live in a vast world of diverse cultures, ancient ruins, intriguing histories, and millennials want to explore it. I would love to travel to Europe to see all the historical places there like the Roman colosseum, pantheon, or to Italy, or I would love to just see some WWII history. I think it would quite the experience to go through places like Auschwitz, or go to Egypt for the pyramids, or even travel the US more. Us millennials want to experience other cultures, see the remains of history first hand. Some people will tell you “You should travel while you’re young, or you’ll get too old to travel!” Pretty much telling you, that you’re going to work the rest of your life after that, and then retire very old and unable to do anything. There are also the naysayers who say “Traveling is a waste. Why would you want to go see that? There are better things you can do with your money.”
While although I do understand where both sides are coming from, this is where the challenge sets in. Do you travel the world now? Do you wait until you’re older? Traveling cost a lot of money. You could work 2-3 jobs, save up, go travel, burn through your money, come back, and repeat. The problem is, that process does not build financial solvency, or financial freedom. That is a subject for another time.
So what is it about traveling, and experiencing life that entices so many millennials? I believe that one of the biggest reasons, is that their parents were part of an age that worked hard toward the American dream that was promised to them. So they saw their parents working all the time, only to retire at 65 to then finally enjoy themselves. This idea of working your whole life, retire, then enjoy life, does not appeal to many millennials. I’m one of them that this does not appeal to. We have all heard the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” – A proverb most famously used in The Shining. Which is really talking about how you need to be able to enjoy life, and not just work all the time. Otherwise you will be come bored, disinterested, and lose all motivation and drive.
Another thing to keep in mind, are the technological advances we have now now, we can see parts of the world previously not easily accessible. With social tech like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, the entire internet, ect… we can gain access to different countries, cultures, places and people from all around the world. This is a technologically connected world we live in now, and millennials know how to work tech, remember? With this window into other peoples lives and cultures, it inspires people to go and experience it for themselves. Various traveling methods are also more accessible now. There have been a lot of improvements and expansion to the avionics industry. We have more air ports, more planes, better technology in them, and they are more safe than ever. This makes getting up and going somewhere very easy.
Millennials are also the “Participation Trophy” generation. For example “Great job little Billy, you sat on the bench and contributed nothing! Here’s a trophy!” Now, you cannot totally blame millennials on this one. They were not the ones giving out the participation trophy. It was the baby boomers and Gen X parents who were handing them out. So what was the outcome of this though? This is where the entitlement comes from, the sense of “everyone is a winner”, safe zones, ect… How did all this start though?
It could go back to where their parents, the baby boomers, Gen X-ers who were more than likely helicopter parents. The helicopter parent is one who is constantly hovering over their child, making sure that everything is perfect, complaining to teachers or professors about how their child deserves a better grade, selecting the child’s activities, their friends, making sure they get equal play time on the field, you know they don’t want poor Billy to not feel special. I’m sure every parent struggles with this, they of course want the very best for their child, but there’s a time when you need to just back off and let little Billy fail, and work things out for himself. Let him learn the hard lessons in life by himself, just be there afterward to guide and instruct, not take over and do everything for him.
The other side of this could be that since their parents were working for that American dream they were promised, they may not have been around as much. So they would give them the shiny things, the toys, the money, the whatever they wanted, in order to try and fill in the place of their absence
However, we cannot simply blame the parents for this, us millennials have to take responsibility for our own actions and outcomes.
Breaking the Mold of the Millennial Mindset
- Accept Responsibility
- No complaining
- No excuses
- No passing blame
- Take action
- Accept responsibility for the bad outcomes, as well as the good
- Your mantra should be “I accept full and total responsibility” anytime something happens
- Build work ethic
- Early is on time, on time is late, late is unacceptable
- Put in effort. Anything worth doing, is worth doing right
- Show up mentally, prepared to work, to be successful
- Earn your way up. Hard work pays off.
- Be honest
- Have integrity
- Have self discipline
- Be responsible
- Invest in yourself
- Books – Look for the million dollar piece of advise. You may read a whole book, and only one piece of information put’s that spark back in your motivation, or gives you that competitive edge. If you don’t like reading, get the books on audio. Read various books, not just the ones for pleasure (like Harry Potter, one of my faves), but ones on finance, sales, motivation, self improvement, personal growth, investing, economics, marketing, or business. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to increase your knowledge.
- Training programs – You need to train your mind mentally every day. Find some quality training programs like Cardone University to stay sharp and one step ahead. This could give you the motivation, knowledge and confidence you need.
- Seminars – Can be great for networking, education, and getting out of your comfort zone.
- Coaches/Mentors – You will want to find someone who can mentor you. Someone you cannot outgrow right now. Watch and listen to this person, learn as much as you can, and ask them questions.
- Mastermind groups – You want to network with like minded people, who have common goals and interests. It’s important to understand that you have to surround yourself with good productive, positive, successful people. If you don’t control your environment, someone else will.
- Eat healthy – It’s important to take care of your body, what you put in is your fuel. If you have poor eating habits, your body is not going to feel good. You may feel a lack of energy, you might feel ill, and you could creative health problems.
- Exercise daily – I advise exercising early in the morning to get blood flowing, listen to a book or motivational music to get pumped up. You want to get your body in shape, because this will positively affect you mentally.
- Work toward your potential
- Understand your potential is far greater than will ever believe it is
- Operate not off quotas, operate off potential. Only you know your potential
- Set goals 10x higher than you believe it will take to achieve. Imagine if your original goal was to make an extra $10,000 this month, so you set your 10x goal to $100,000. Which would you rather fall short of?
- Shoot for the extraordinary, everything else is average. You got to set yourself apart in the marketplace
- Make success your duty and obligation. Your success is your responsibility, so take it serious, or and stop complaining that you don’t have the life you want.
- Aim to be better than you were yesterday. This goes back to investing in yourself.
- Make a commitment to excellence. This is a change in mindset. Regardless of where you are currently, you should make it your duty to be successful. Even if that place is not your dream job/career, there are still lots you can learn and benefit from there. You may not be good with public speaking, or troubleshooting, sales, service, leadership etc. When you make success your duty and responsibility, you are going to learn new skills, build new confidence, and gain new knowledge which can be taken anywhere you go.
- Understand that you cannot fail. If you want to be successful, you have to fight for it, and understand that you cannot fail unless you give up and quit.
Not all millennials fit the stereotype, and like any stereotype, we should not judge someone based on a stereotype. The purpose of this, was to give some insight, to encourage, to motivate, to educate, and to share some of my personal thoughts on the subject of millennials and the problem we are seeing.
It’s important for all of us, not just millennials, to take responsibility for our actions and life. Do you really want to keep on being a complainer? Do you really want to be lazy all the time? Do you want to keep getting those participation trophies, or do you want to go out and earn a trophy because you put in the hard work? I guarantee you will find more satisfaction, more confidence, and higher self esteem if you work hard and achieve your goals. What you need to do is show up. If you want to blow up, then you have to show up. I talked about that earlier. Show up, do your best, stand out in your field. You want to stand out, or you’ll just blend in.
Invest in yourself, to grow in your knowledge, and to better yourself. Books, training programs, seminars, exercise, healthy foods; these are all ways to take control of your life.
If you really want to make a difference in the world, but all you know how to do is complain, and then sit back and hope something changes, I guarantee you nothing will get accomplished. Complaining doesn’t fix problems. Burning your town down out of protest, does not solve problems. If you really want to make a difference in the world, it start’s with you. Ghandi said “You must be the change that you want to see in the world.” What is he saying? It starts with you. That goes for everyone, not just millennials.
You have to understand also, that you have incredible potential, you can reach any goals you set in place, you can have the success you deserve. Yes, everyone deserves great success, and not to struggle pay check to pay check. But it is not going to just be given to, you’re not going to win the lottery because you walked into the gas station. You have to buy the ticket. Disclaimer-I’m not saying you should buy a lottery ticket, that’s a total waste of money. Of course, you could be brought up into a wealthy family, or married into one, get an inheritance, or win that lottery ticket, but you’ll probably just burn through it and then complain about being broke again.
So strive for excellence, accept responsibility, invest in yourself, seek to help others, Be Great!