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This is why you do not succeed (Millennials)

As we see the struggles in the world, we can be confident that God has the answer. In Romans 12:2 we are told not to conform to the world. Simon Sinek shows this in his talk about the struggles millennials have (Born after 1984) and responsibility companies have to help them as society has failed.

Simon Sinek has amazing insight into both people and how the world operates. The first Ted Talk he gave was how we should start with why. For this interview, he gives some insight into how we can help young people who were born after 1984 to be able to deal with the bad hand they have been given through poor parenting, technology, impatience and their environment and to help them to be successful both in life and to be able to contribute more in their places of work.

You can watch the interview at:

Simon, in his talk shows that the millennials are hard to manage, narcissistic, unfocused, lazy, entitled and the list goes on. They are crying out for purpose, to make an impact (and free food and beanbags!) He looks at four things that have caused them to struggle and have the mindset that can cause them to struggle in the workplace. He believes that it is the companies responsibility to understand how they think and to provide teaching and support to help them to be successful. The four reasons they struggle are:-

1. Poor Parenting

This has not been intentional, but society has led parents to give these people the wrong messages. These messages include:

  • I can have anything I want

  • Everyone gets recognition no matter how hard they try (ie: everyone gets a medal for participating)

  • I am the most important person in the world. I am special.

As soon as they enter the real world their self image is shattered.

2. Technology

Facebook has given these people a filtered view of the world. For example, life is amazing even if we are depressed. The carefully presented worlds show that everyone has it all figured out. Sadly, the opposite is true as most people do not. This generation has a much lower self esteem.

With technology we have had our brains seriously hooked with chemicals we normally experience with addictive substances. With our phones, we get a dopamine rush when we get a text, a message or a like. This generation is addicted to social media and the dopamine rush it produces. Unrestricted access to technology has hard wired a need for dopamine in the brain. This is scary!

A huge issue this causes is that many of this generation cannot form meaningful relations as they are taught to form superficial ones through social media. For example, if something better comes along they can cancel at any time. They do not have the coping mechanisms to cope with stress, so when stressed they turn to their phones for a dopamine hit that causes them to feel better. A higher rate of social media use is actually linked to higher rates of depression.

We know people are addicted when they have their phones at a table when eating or chatting to others, when people text in front of others or they cannot do anything without their phone.

This talk by Brad Huddleston is brilliant, and if you have time it explains how computers, phones and social media affect the brain. It is just under 2 hours but worth it!

3. Impatience

This generation have been taught that they have to have things instantly. Instant gratification is very important. They have not been taught to wait for things.

Many of this generation want to go out and have an instant impact on the world. They do not realize it could take years of study, hard work and progress to sometimes start to see an impact in the world. Simon shows how they are able to clearly see the summit, but cannot see the mountain that you have to climb to reach the summit. Having patience, love, job fulfilment, joy and skill sets takes time and is often an arduous and long process.

Simon sees the worst case scenario, where this mindset leads to suicide, drug overdoses, kids dropping out of school and huge issues with depression. He sees the best case scenario is a whole generation growing up never finding joy or deep fulfilment.

4. Environment

The millennials often work in corporate environments that care more about money than their workforce. Short term gains are seen as most important and this year is more important than a person's whole life. This generation needs to be taught to be successful and to find joy in working at something for a long period of time. Industry need to help this generation!

The workers often blame themselves if they are not successful, but actually their lack of success is caused by poor leadership. To fix this there is a need for good leadership.

One of the biggest tips is to have a good look at how we use phones and relate to others. Some things you could do:-

  • Before, during and after meetings turn the phone off and interact with others. Have this as a policy for your company.

  • When you go out with people, leave your phone at home or turn it off. Only have one person with their phones.

  • Remove temptation. Remove the phone from the room. This will help them engage with the world, enjoy the world and develop better ideas and be more innovative.

So, the encouragement is to know what the world has said, and replace that with the message of the Bible. We are made in God's image for good works He has made for us. When we learn to have a bigger high being in God's presence rather than a like on facebook or a dopamine rush from our phones then we will have turned the corner. Learn to challenge all you have been taught by the world and spend time finding out the truth... from God!

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