I saw a “meme” the other day that triggered my train of thought to leave the station go on a bit of a voyage that didn’t stop until I had come across one of the traits so wrong with this generation we call “millennials.” For those who don’t know what a meme is, Google it, and for those who don’t know what a millennial is, Google it. This was pretty much what the meme that I had seen was about. It was a picture of a library, and it said “I don’t pity kids these days ... this was my Google.”
I remember growing up at the tail end of having to use the library and encyclopedias to find information for projects and homework. Then came the internet and being able to use the first search engines to find information almost instantly using just a few buttons. I expect, telling my kids in the future what life was like prior to Google will be much like that Louis CK rant he did on Conan O’Brien. “You had to actually go into the library. You realize how primitive this is? You had to actually open a book, and find the information, and if it wasn’t there, you just went ... well I guess I’ll just not know the answer then ... ”
Now what does this have to do with my generation? Its proving how insanely simple things are now. You want the answer, to something you do not even know enough information about to formulate a proper question? You can scribble some garble into Google and with a few clicks find what you were looking for. Example “Who is that guy, who became really rich, then went to jail, and they made a movie about him, and a famous actor played him in the movie?” Jordan Belfort. Wolf of Wall Street. Done. Easy. If it takes more effort than that, my generation is programmed to have no problem solving skills or determination to figure out a backup plan in order to persevere and find the answer.
This also applies to opportunities. Millennials are raised in an era where you receive acceptance letters or job offers via e-mail, text, or phone, in the comfort of their own home. A job that they applied for online, and possibly even had an interview via Skype from their own living room.
My mother always said to me “do not let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of you doing it ... that time will pass anyways.” A common trait I have noticed about people my age, is their ability to look past a terrific opportunity and focus on either the time, or the work it takes to reach their goal, instead of the actual goal itself and what that will add to their lives. “I don’t think I can do that. I don’t want to do that. I hate waiting for the bus. There’s no parking around there. Too many hours.” We are so conditioned to having things at our fingertips that the thought of getting out of your comfort zone, doing something we consider “uncomfortable” or difficult is enough to put us off the thing we say we “want more than anything.”
Its like that motivational clip that was circulating the internet for a while, asking, how bad do you want it? You say you want it, but you don’t want it as bad as you want to sleep in, see your friends, party, go to the beach. You just “kinda want it.”
Realistically you want to be GIVEN it.
How do I know this? I was that type of person. I wanted to move to the Caribbean, live in paradise, get out of my hometown, but I wanted to do it all from my basement and my computer, sending emails and resumes. Why? Because it was comfortable and familiar there! Eventually I got off my butt, went out, networked, and have been living in paradise for a few years now.
Bottom line. Don’t be a waiter ... and I am not talking about the restaurant industry. Remember, no reaction happens without taking action, so ask yourself, how bad do you want it?