Aug 14, 2016

Millennials vs the world

After a short interlude this blog is taking it's place as an on-and-off relationship, filled with various bits and pieces of my thoughts scattered like a shit hitting the fan at 3 a.m. on a hot steamy Sunday night, with merely hours left to sleep before a working day.

I decided to give it another go and fill it with English posts, this time some with actual reasonable content (warning, your experience may differ, as one can only defy reasonable content for each individual in particular) and maybe with less spam and more information.

There comes a time in life in which a human has to accept his fate and condition and take his own life in his hands and wrestle against the will of society that wants to even the odds between all people and shove all our hopes and expectations down our own behinds and accept that we're not special and unique.

I was re-visiting this article yesterday, I think by accident, and it struck me that last time I was reading this I was in a very different situation than I am today. I am part of the Y generation, the Yuppies, the millennials, the unhappy self-entitled, ambitious and unrealistic, easily bored and easily distressed youths that today work and function within the world. I was born in the late 80s, have seen little of the wild communist era that my parents faced and experienced growing up in a vastly ever-changing new democracy (or wild capitalism as it is known in Eastern Europe).

What's striking about the article while reading it, is how painfully accurate it is. Yes, we are constantly plagued by the notion that we can excel at anything and the annoying facebook friends or acquaintances that seem to live a fabulous life-style, full of adventure and day-dreaming and jaw-dropping beauty of modern life, with exotic locations and vastly outlandish vacations. But we're not envious. In ways we long for a life-style that allows for unending exploration of this world. After all one cannot expect to live forever, and waiting for retirement sounds like a great plan if you have patience, until you realize you'll be old and weathered and you'll probably have health issues (back-aches might become a new trend by the time millennials reach retirement ages, according to some studies) and you won't really enjoy it. It's all a gamble.

To my mind, you either work your bum off to earn enough to retire early (which may not work, as you might actually enjoy it and won't want to retire, or you'll burnout and be a wreck) or you start forging your own path in this internet infested era. The second solution is actually doable, but it requires taking risks and dealing with failures and rejection. This is where ego comes into play. We've been taught into school that no matter what, there's always a next time, you can pass the exam later, even though your colleagues will have moved on, you still get a second chance. Life doesn't give second chances. It's important to be optimistic and realistic at the same time. One might fail. People fail all the time. It's useful to get used to failures. Consider tiny hick-ups at work as failures, and eventually you might get the idea that you can fail. More than I'd like to admit, I have failed. Admitting that you have fallen short of your own expectations can have strange results. It's curious how some people react to their own mistakes. Some exaggerate their fault and loudly accuse themselves of being stupid and inadequate. Some try to overlook it and brush it off. As with everything in life, the key is moderation. 

So for all the millennials out there, here's a few pointers of useful information and self-help:

Don't call yourself stupid, for any reason. You're not stupid, intelligence varies according to tasks and education, the mind is a mysterious place. Imagine the human mind as a garden. Some people plant only potatoes, some plant 40 different seeds and only 3 actually survive. People have various ideas and various resources. Only considering yourself stupid due to a mistake will in no way make yourself better at something. Ponder why you made a mistake, what was it that you lacked and try to think about what you can improve about yourself. If it's the same mistake over and over, consider you may not be in the right business, your mind might function in other ways, start considering if your career might benefit from taking a different step.

Be brave. Yes, you may fail, but failing can teach you many lessons. Only through multiple errors can you realize what you should be improving. Step out of your comfort zone and speak your mind. You might have bad ideas, but if you have ideas, people need to hear them. If they're bad ideas, people will laugh or point out flaws. But if you don't bring your ideas to others, you'll never know what you may have missed. Perhaps a revolution in a field you're working on might start with a spark from you, until you step up and face the consequences of speaking your mind, you'll never know.

Be polite and smile. Not all people are mean, and not all people want to hurt you. Some may, some may have already hurt you in some ways, but politeness eventually wins. Consider that all doors can be unlocked with a smile. Ok, maybe not all doors, but a lot of doors can be opened. Sitting around with a frown (I'm guilty of doing that, especially while concentrating on an issue) won't get you anywhere until you start speaking to people. Connecting to others, really talking and getting to know people starts with a smile and a polite handshake. Try to remember names and repeat names in conversations (especially after you just met a person, it helps create links in the mind between a topic and a name, and eventually it will help you remember names better). Networking is never overrated, remember that being the best in something still requires help from others (you don't have to believe me, just re-watch Scarface and imagine you're Tony).

I'm out of advice for now, my advice bag has been emptied and now requires more mana. I missed writing before bedtime, it usually provides a nice balance of comfort between the dark and the silence.

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