As children, we’re told to dream big, that we can do anything we put our minds to. Somehow, those rules don’t apply to adults. When we’re adults, the same people that told us to dream big as children now tell us to play it safe. Be reasonable. You can’t have it all. Work hard, retire, and then you can live life.
I’ve never been one for the “herd” mentally. The masses are not the ones living extraordinary lives. Why settle for anything less than extraordinary? When people ask me what I want to do with my life and I share aspirations such as: working remote and traveling the world, building a business that allows me to work less than 20 hours per week, working on freelance projects that I’m passionate about, or (my personal favorite) walking dogs and teaching fitness classes.
The response typically includes blank stares, eye rolls, doubtful “good luck” comments, and some sort of blanket statement about being a millennial and not being willing to “serve my time”. As if the only option we have in life is to work a 9 – 5 job for 50+ years and retire when we’re 65, if we’re lucky. (p.s. if that’s your jam, that’s cool too!)
In the past, I would be offended when someone called me a millennial. In my mind I’d think, “I’m not lazy. I’m resourceful and hardworking. I’m not a “typical” Millennial. What is wrong with not wanting to settle for a life that doesn’t seem meaningful. This is the only one I have!”. As if wanting to work smarter, or take a different approach to life, somehow made me lazy.
More recently I’ve started to embrace the title of Millennial. Mainstream media likes to paint Millennials as lazy, narcissistic and entitled selfie-lovers; however, being a millennial doesn’t mean I’m self-centered or lack self-awareness. To me, being a Millennial means I’m open to challenging norms, blazing my own trail, being more accepting, and living a meaningful life.
Author, Michael E. Gerber states in his book, The E-Myth Revisited that, “The difference between great people and everyone else, is that great people create their lives actively, why everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the one is living fully and the other is just existing. The difference between the two is living intentionally vs. living by accident.”
This quote perfectly depicts what I believe many Millennials are looking to accomplish. We don’t want to live a stagnant life. We refuse to live passively. We’re not willing to follow the basic “life template” we’ve been sold. We want fulfillment and meaning in how we live our lives. We don’t want money to buy more things, we work to be a part of experiences. We don’t want to just exist, we want to live. That is why I’m reclaiming what it means to be a Millennial and embracing it.
How do you embracing your inner Millennial? What status quos are you challenging? We’d love to hear them!
Cheers to thinking outside the box and living intentionally!