Think like a millennial
I heard it again at a meeting this week. Something I hear quite frequently, “millennials are concerned with life/work balance.” The thing is, the sentence is always said with slight disdain and I’ve even heard it said even more directly and derisively. It seems to be a statement suggesting that there is something wrong with millennials because they think the idea that they should enjoy life and be happy. That somehow, they are lazy, or weak that something is lacking in them for not wanting to work like a dog but to actually balance their work life with a fulfilling and happy personal life.
Delayed gratification is a fickle mistress
I’m always a little shocked when I hear this, then I remember that in America we have always been concerned with the idea of the American Dream. That dream involves working hard, moving up the corporate ladder, buying a house, getting married, having children and educating them in the same dream, and then someday when you retire taking some time to travel and go fishing. Nothing in the American Dream talks about being happy or keeping balance in our lives. We are supposed to work until retirement and THEN worry about our own happiness. The problem with that plan of course is that many people don’t make it to retirement, many who do are not physically able at that point, to do the things they would like to do. Deferred gratification can be a fickle mistress.
The first millennial
So it seems that the parents of the millennials, younger baby boomers and older Gen Xers have failed the American Dream and produced a generation that believes that they should both work hard and be happy, perhaps a realization of the ephemeral nature of our lives. And what does our society do, in general we look down on them for this attitude. I don’t, hell I think like they do, which is why lately, although a baby boomer by birth year, I’ve started calling myself the first millennial.
Work life balance
If you have read this blog for some time you know that I’m a big proponent of work life balance. I’ve done keynote talks at conferences about this idea, I try very hard to make it work this way in my life. I personally feel that given the fact that we are guaranteed nothing in this life, that you should try to enjoy every single day. Some of you are blessed, what you do for a living brings you incredible happiness and joy. Unfortunately most of us are not in this position so we have to find ways outside of our working lives to find our happiness.
So keep things in balance my friend and have a happy day. ~ Rev Kane