We've all heard enough about Millennials by now.
They're the generation that some unfairly label entitled, lazy, and selfish. They're the generation who--with their innovation and sharp adaptability--will take over the world as we know it.
People are, in general, split quite evenly regarding their views on Millennials. Heated arguments take place over what they think makes Millennials so successful--and what makes them prone to failure.
Well, what exactly does make Millennials fail at work?
It is not all of the negative popular opinions that rush to mind instantaneously. It is not the fact that Millennials are self-absorbed, nor that they break old traditions in favor of the new. It is not their lofty ambitions, nor their idealistic dreams.
It is, rather, the fact that they have been taught time and again that happiness is something achieved through external success.
The belief within Millennials that achieving a goal will bring fulfillment was inculcated in them by their parents, teachers, and peers. Through it all, they have learned that inner happiness or fulfillment is great--it's just not comparable to external validation.
Caught in a generation that values showing off what they've got on Facebook timelines or Instagram profiles, Millennials are used to projecting their highlight reel in place of their true selves. They've grown accustomed to comparing images in place of comparing people; they've let their actions define who they are.
The problem, although surface level at first glance, ends up running much deeper than we think. When unable to find true fulfillment within themselves, nothing Millennials do ever feels good enough. They constantly aspire for more, seek greater heights, look for something concrete to make their inner hopes, dreams, and desires more real.
So, they simply don't stop.
They keep moving, even when they are somewhere great. They stay unthinkably busy. And, because they have hurried through substantial relationships and never found the time to share their thoughtful secrets with another, Millennials cannot find rest anywhere or in anyone at the end of the day.
In this way, Millennials are set up for failure. How, then, can they break the cycle?
Millennials need to take a break--not just from work and things to do, but from their way of life, as well. They need to stop pretending their Facebook Likes matter, or that the number of unread messages on their phones has anything to do with their self-worth. Millennials must find a way to find happiness somewhere that isn't a workplace, an organization, or material good.
It starts by waking up and taking a deep breath when you look in the mirror tomorrow morning. Ask yourself what you need that transcends the concrete.
When Millennials start listening in the flurry of constant distraction--when they finally stop--only then will they be able to truly succeed.