Generational divides are often overlooked, thankfully the need to acknowledge these divides has been well explored by older, interested generations. We stand on the shoulders of giants and are better for it. While navigating generational issues, the coming wave of Millennials may be the most important in a long time. While the baby boomer generation remains the largest ever in the history of the US, we must realize that the next largest group is our own (depending upon how you slice it). Because of this, what we do and how we decide to do it will be magnified considerably.
We become facilitators
Interestingly, the very nature of our generation – collaborative, inclusive, cross-disciplinary – should enable us to magnify not only our own potential but the potential of all those generations who came before us and those yet to be identified. Additionally, research helps support the idea that people are often more successful when facing problems such as large-scale resource scarcity we are preparing for across the globe.
We might not capitalize on our promise fast enough
An interesting argument against the generation has emerged that says Mellennials are the most selfish generation ever. Interestingly, this claim comes from the older siblings, parents, grandparents, and other family that make up the older generations. So what if our parents gave us everything that we wanted. They loved us and were people in those generations looking down their noses at us now. So, is their anger at our generation justified when we are little beyond the embodiment of their values, intermingled with personal experience, and taken to a new end? Perhaps not.
So what if our generation only cares about itself. Okay, that might matter. If our generation is unable to see beyond itself early, we may squander the talent and abilities to coordinate with the efforts of those around us. In fact, we may miss the opportunity to save much of the world on which we live.
We’ve grown up in an interesting time surrounded by progress on so many fronts its hard to remain up to date. The best part of this age is the communication that technology has fostered amongst groups. However, technology is only the tool for spurring the natural dialog between groups and could become the facilitator of our failed promise. Try and list the number of distractions that exist in your home that stop you from achieving your goals. In my own, I see many such as the obvious: television, game console, and movie rack. Upstairs things get worse, desktop computer, cell phone, and my wife’s new Kindle. We are poised to become distracted by so many things that our minds – naturally adapted to multitasking – may be lured into attempting a trap of non-committal. We may try so many things narrowly that we never organize an effort to its completion.
Organization is key
This is a fairly easy risk to overcome. In fact, merely recognizing it may allow you to take steps to manage your priorities a little better. Personally, I recognize that the things I consider fun in the short-term keep me away from the things I enjoy in the long-term. Everyday, I am bombarded by more than just over-advertising. My homepage on loading the internet connects me to so much information that I am passionate about I can barely decide what to click first. It takes a conscious effort on my part to avoid burning through a morning investigating the newest science articles. My wife started using 43Things.com to list her goals, and I have to admit its another good tool to have in your personal organization arsenal.
Ask yourself – do you remain focused to capitalize on your potential? (Recognize that we needn’t maximize our potential. I have a feeling that if we looked into it no human could “maximize” their potential because we would never know what is best at all times.)