There is a serious growing problem in world today.
You could say it is the stock market, housing market, dating market :) All of these are of great concern, but a problem that seems to be lying under the surface of all problems is the disconnect of generations. Is that a stretch to say that the lack of mentoring is the cause of failed economy, failed marriages, and even war? Yes, I think so. (you can read more on that here and here)
You might think this problem is all one sided. And in some cases it has been. But I think 20 somethings have 2 major problems that are facing them. If we continue to sweep these under the rug nothing will change.
Here are 2 major problems facing 20 somethings:
1. The Traditional Way is Not Working
A better way of looking at this is what has happened to the job market. When I was a kid (which was not that long ago) the way to get a job was to go to college, get a degree then get into the workplace. It seemed so easy. I had everything in front of me. I would go to bible college, get a youth ministry degree, intern at a church and then find a youth ministry job that I could work at for 10 years then move into a teaching pastor role. It sounded great. But the ugly truth behind that plan was thousands thought the same thing. To get a job these days you have to have way more then a college degree, more like a masters degree in a specific subject with years of experience and great references. The traditional way of getting a job is failing 20 somethings.
The problem with this is that 20 somethings are content to put blame on the system rather then to adapt to the system. Instead of figuring out ways to work around this, make it better, or for that matter work harder, 20 somethings sit at home looking for jobs and hoping to strike gold. Here is an excerpt from a story entitled “What is it about 20 somethings” from the New York Times:
The 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there. One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year. Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch.
Read the rest of the article here
As convicting as those stats are, 20 somethings tend to let it be enough for them to not do anything. I was one of those people. Constantly complaining that no one took interest in my talents, no one seemed to want to give me a break, and that people were more interested in how I could help them then how they could help me. It took me a year or two of frustration to finally say “I do not care anymore, I am doing this by myself”. Yes, that is probably not the best way to do things, but each generation of leaders has come to that conclusion. That could be the major reason why the system is broke. Because no generation has chosen to be about others rather then themselves. And I do not see that changing anytime soon (remember we are called the me generation).
Let’s get real here, the old way is not working.
Stop expecting handouts
Start giving things away
Stop thinking you are the greatest
Start figuring out who is greater then you and learn from them
Stop sitting at home
Start serving others
Stop thinking you have things figured out
Start asking questions
We live in one of the greatest times ever known to man. There is more opportunity, freedom, and possibilites then ever before. It is time to flip everything on its head and Zuckerberg some stuff. What is that you ask? Zuckerberging means that we don’t ask permission we start creating and let the chips fall where they fall.
And here is the thing, 20 somethings are showing that they have no faith. That is right, we are one of the most faithless groups of individuals. No it is not because we do not go to church. It is because we lack the faith to believe that God will be the one guiding us. The faith that believes that we can walk on water. The faith that says that God has given us talents and abilities and wants to use them. Instead of sit back and believe that we can do great things but fail to act.
Motivation is a funny thing. We are often judged by it and usually struggle to find it. The opposite of fear is motivation. But it seems that fear is gripping an entire generation from doing anything. Motivation can be a very powerful tool when used properly. How do we use it properly? In ways to make things better, to bring change, to promote others, to do things that we cannot accomplish on our own.
You see the keyword in all of this is to. Motivation is about action. I would say motivation is much more of a verb then a noun. But the very thing that we need the most is the very thing we lack.
They say that when you are doing something you love hours are like minutes. I think motivation has something to do with that. When we find something we are motivated by it gives us the courage to press on, to go after something, to have a meaning for what we are doing. Motivation is the thing that keeps us up at night, the thing that gives us courage to ask questions, the thing that give sus hope, motivation is the lifeblood of innovation. When we have motivation it propels us forward. The problem is we never really learned about motivation. The only motivation we know about is the kind that promotes us to get the attention of others. Motivation to do well on a test for the grades, the kind that helps us get more dates, the kind that helps pay for things. That kind of motivation is all about external experience and reward. But it is not true motivation.
Part of the reason 20 somethings struggle to find jobs out of college is because we have no more motivation left. At least not the motivation we need. Sure we want a place to live, a career of our own, a wife or husband, a future. But we have no clue how to get it. And that little small bit of motivation we have been using our whole life to make other people happy is not enough to pull us out of bed. It is not the motivation that moves us to do radical things. And it is not the motivation that helps us conquer fear.
Motivation is the very thing that is gripping 20 somethings, or should I say lack of motivation is the very thing that is gripping 20 somethings. But the good news is that once you find motivation nothing can get in your way. The trick is finding out how to keep motivation and have follow through. I think this goes back to point number 1, the old way of doing things is not working.
It is time we start thinking differently and find motivation to change things.