I hear so much in our culture about the differences in the generations. I even hear people identifying themselves by a generation. I think it’s wise to understand people’s differences but I think identifying someone’s behavior with a certain generation is no different than identifying them with a race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.
When I hear, “Millennials are the way they are because their parents spoiled them” or “Boomers can’t keep up with technology” I wonder how comfortable people would feel saying, “Hispanics are the way they are because their parents spoiled them” or “Catholics can’t keep up with technology.” Calling out by generation to make a point is elitist, discriminating and insulting.
When you find in a conflict that you are putting someone in a generational box before you characterize them ask yourself,
“What do they really need me to understand about...
We continually strategize on the things we need to do to advance our careers, close the sale, be happier, have better relationships and get what we want. More often than not it is what we need to cease doing that gives us the most power.
I used to live life from a “but at least it’s not ______” perspective. I thought this was being positive because I could always think of something worse. This was an OK way of remaining optimistic in the face of adversity until it became habit for all of life and halted my ability to envision the openness of wonder.
It wasn’t until I was aware of this that I began to risk shifting to the vulnerable choice of exploring joy without expecting it to be short lived. To ushering in opportunity that I knew was meant for me without holding onto fear. To seeing all that was there with the curiosity of a child. This ability to stay in the moment without fast forwarding to an anticipated ending...
So much energy is wasted on expecting life to be fair. That’s like thinking the lion won’t eat you because you didn’t eat him.
Reality is your friend. It’s what is. Not what was, what should be, what could be, what will be or what isn’t. Those keep you stuck.
Accepting reality is power. We get there by focusing on the moment at hand and not any other. We smile at the vibrant color of a flower, the laugh of a child, the smell of sea air, the feel of rain on our skin.
In all darkness there is light for without it we would not know darkness. Take a deep breath and find the pinpoint of light. Allow it to be your jumping-in point - sunshine, moonlight, a candle, a light on your desk, an overhead light. And share that light with someone today in a smile, a hello, a compliment on something specific, a thank-you.
You are light and make the difference the world needs, your team needs, your friends need and your family needs. We need you now.