The newest #STARTYOURLIFE magazine is now fully digital and available for sharing on the IsaTools To Go™ app! Check out just a bit of what’s inside.
We Thank Those Who Came Before Us
It’s natural for every generation to be certain that the up-and-coming batch of adults will bring down all of civilization. As millennials, we hear the “kids these days” and “in my day, we did ______” conversations everywhere – at family get-togethers and around the offices where we work. The word “millennial” elicits concern because of some of the stereotypes associated with it, and for the opportunity to change the previous generation’s mind about who we are and what makes us exceptional, we thank you!
On behalf of millennials everywhere, we thank everyone who came before us for laying the groundwork – allowing us to choose where we work, how we live, and why we thrive.
We thank you for being the example and showing us that personal and professional success is up to us. We thank you for building our confidence in the idea that anything is possible. After all, it was you who said that we could do anything we set our minds to and be anything we wanted.
“We face unique challenges with increased housing costs, greater amounts of student debt, and fewer opportunities to earn high enough wages. It is in turn creating more alternative routes to be creative, to chase dreams, to be our own advocates, to work hard, and to never settle.” – Kristi Ellsworth, Alaska
Because of this incredible world of opportunity, it has been said one time or another that millennials are sensitive, entitled, and narcissistic. And for all this, too, we thank those who paved the way.
We Are Sensitive Because We Don’t Compromise
We are sensitive to inequality, injustice, and a lost sense of priority. There is no compromise here because you taught us that when we see something that we don’t feel is right, we should say something, do something, or move to action. We are sensitive to serving causes that tug at our heartstrings, working to right behaviors and patterns that aren’t serving us, and taking care of the planet, our health, and others.
“We are a passionate generation that speaks up for what we believe in, and for what we want, often with zero apologies. We aren’t afraid to go against the grain and are willing to take risks. We own our right to make a change in the things we don’t agree with and go after it.” – Sloane Adams, California
We Are Entitled Because We Demand More
Some say we’re entitled. Well, that’s because you showed us that we deserve more! We sincerely thank you for the participation trophies that collected dust on our shelves throughout the years. Somewhere deep down, we sensed that those trophies were the tip of the iceberg. Over time, we learned what it feels like when you leave that easy win on the table and work your ass off for something that truly fulfills – and how much more incredible that feels.
If “entitled” means we demand more from our relationships, our means of income, and ourselves because we believe we deserve it and are willing to work to achieve it, then we are entitled!
“Millennials constantly challenge societal norms and themselves in order to create a better life. We are determined, and we seek greatness, and if something doesn’t align with that, we move on to what does!” – Emily Hardaker, England
We Are Narcissists Because We Are Empowered
Despite the prevalence of social media and the incredible selfie technology available on the newest phones, we are a different kind of narcissist. We are mindful and focused on what drives us from within. Not only do we want to give back in meaningful ways in our spare time, we hunger to step up our efforts by consciously spending our money at companies that align with our priorities, and doing professional work that not only covers our bills but also adds to our philanthropic “bank accounts.” We’re narcissistic in that we see integrity in what we put our names behind, and we are laser focused on how we can contribute.
“Being part of this generation means freedom to me – freedom to express who I am, what I stand for, and to do things differently, even if people don’t ‘get it.’” – Victoria McEwan, Sydney
You’re Helping Us Define Our Success
To all the leaders, icons, and innovators who inspire us, we sat in your classrooms of trial and error and watched you come into your own successes and overcome your challenges. You have played the most vital role in how our generation has come to define success and happiness.
In our lifetimes, we witnessed Steve Jobs build an unshakable empire for decades, but in his final years, drastically shift. He implored a generation of young people at a Stanford graduation ceremony to search their hearts and challenge their futures.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
We’ve seen time and again that the accumulation of power and money will always take a backseat to living a life of passion. In this way, there is no absolute definition for success. It has and always will be a relative thing depending on who you ask. While it’s absurd to pigeonhole all millennials into one specific corner, 71 percent of us report that we value the work-life balance over a more traditional career role that offers a larger payday. This says a lot about how we millennials define success, and it is certainly a departure from all the generations before us.
We value financial stability, but the truth is that we’re too fired up and excited to squeeze every bit out of every day to wait until retirement to give back, travel, or spend quality time with our loved ones. Ultimately, you taught us that through hard work, anything is possible. When we take our entrepreneurial spirits out into a world of income-earning opportunities within reach, what we fear most is the possibility that we’ll miss our shot to act on inspiration – or we’ll pass on a beautiful moment or incredible adventure – and what we fear most is that regret.
“We want to not only learn, but to question and create. We are more interested in finding our purpose and designing a path to get there than following a straight line.” – Lindsay Pleskus, California
For all this, we are sincerely grateful to each person who came before us. So please don’t worry for us or about how we’ll manage the future. It may look a little differently than you’d expect, but we’re just trying to prove you right. We can and will do anything we set our minds to, and we are so grateful.
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