Trickle Up Pursuit of Happiness
Okay, so let's talk about millennials.
Don't stop reading just yet, as I'm sure almost all of you reading this are either: A millennial Or parent's of a millennial.
I'm a millennial, just so we're clear.
I know that we have different priorities than most people from other generations. We're more focused on fixing all our problems and helping make the world a better place than money. We have no problem working, we're actually pretty good with budgeting (if we could get a job and ever get out from under our student debt), and we seek purpose and fulfillment in life, our job, our relationships, and everything else that revolves around our world.
Let's dive into the job side of things. To Start: We're not lazy, maybe a bit ADD or ADHD (and no, that's not a made up thing, just over medicated), but not lazy.
Now, I think the purpose and fulfillment aspect of ourselves is what keeps us from finding happiness in our jobs. We strive so hard to find that within our workplace, hoping everything we do translates to fill the cups of our ultimate purpose; if we don't find that within our job we move on and up. It's not anything against the place we're working, we just need/crave that satisfaction of self-achievement. There is a flaw to this though, we seek this purpose within every aspect of our job and most companies and careers are not setup to deliver that.
How does everyone else do it?
How do older people stay at the same job and not want to leave when they seem so bored or unsatisfied with what they're doing? Maybe they're stuck? Maybe they've found a sense of purpose and accomplishment in the smaller task which allows them to feel fulfilled? After talking with coworkers and other older adults that seems to be the majority of their answers. They have found purpose and fulfillment in the small things. Which is great for them! I mean if that works for them, how can I argue?
What about us though, where does that leave us? I think as millennials we were told too many times that we can do whatever we want, that the world is our oyster, that we'll change the world one day. Looking back on that: don't you think that a bit much to be telling a kid? Overselling our future, a tad? Either way, those words have translated into a mentality that to be successful we need to have a revolutionary idea, love what we do every moment we do it, and/or help the world. It's always some grand gesture. Not always a bad thing! BUT the flaw is that we don't feel satisfied if we aren't doing those things and so we continue to migrate in search of that perfect scenario. We don't know how to take pride and fill our cup of purpose through small task. Couple that with the lack of growth and evolution in the workplace and you end up with a lot of unhappy young adults. This has also spawned a new surge in entrepreneurs, seeking to write their own future and find happiness working more hours for less money to fulfill those desires to "Be the change you want to see in the world."
Now I think we've identified a pretty solid explanation for why we're so unhappy in a normal work environment, how do we fix that? Is it something that needs to be fixed? Are we something that needs to be fixed?
I don't believe we are the problem. I believe the world and everything in it evolves and this is just that next step of evolution, time to get with it or move out of the way. We are setting a new bar and I believe that other companies will eventually see that if they want to survive they'll need to start being a bit more flexible and accommodating. But change takes time, so how do we survive until then?
Not all of us are cut out to start our own business, so let's say that's out. This is where that "Trickle Up" effect comes into play. Take pride in a smaller task, perfect it, own it, and be the best at it. As you accomplish these little tasks write down your goals and your strategies for accomplishing these tasks. Although they may be small, as you write down every accomplishment it'll add up over time.
I understand not every job has the ability to make a lifesaving advancement, or the capacity to affect the world for the better. If you find yourself in one of those jobs that doesn't fall under that category and your cup is feeling consistently empty, no matter where you go; find your joy and purpose in something else. Take on a new hobby, volunteer somewhere, venture out of your norm. Doing these things will open new opportunities to pursue that accomplishment you seek. But again remember, it may not be monumental and that's okay, it'll multiply to the accomplishments of a lifetime.
Keep in pursuit of your goals, take the small accomplishments to heart, write down everything, and persevere on towards a brighter future.
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