generation y

We Are Not The Greatest Generation, But We Can Be

In the first few moments of the show, The Newsroom, Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, is at a town hall meeting. He is with a panel debating politics when the moderator asks a simple question, “What makes America the greatest country in the world, or not?” Will deflects the answer, but the moderator is insistent. Annoyed, Will goes on to give a passionate rant about his thoughts on the state of America, providing one of the most compelling moments in the entire series. This leaves me to ask a similar question, “Millennials, what makes you the greatest generation in America, or not?”

In the past few years there has been much talk about the Millennial generation. Most of it has been criticizing Millennials of being egotistical, narcissistic and lazy. But in the last year new studies have come out to show a clearer picture as to the state of their generation. I am one of those Millennials and like the rest of my generation, I too at times have felt confused about my life, my career, my purpose and how to make a living for myself. I have felt more helpless than hopeful. I have felt drowned by the debt that my college loans left me with. I have seen more of my income go towards debt payment than towards savings. I have found myself saying no to friends and family rather than yes in order to save money. In other words, like most of my generation, I have felt stuck.

But in all the struggle, we are still trying to find happiness in the little things. Unlike any other generation, Millennials find that they are willing to forgo a high salary for a job that gives more freedom, more community, frequent feedback verses yearly reviews and flexibility of working at home. More than ever this generation wants to have an impact on family, their children and their community and they are willing to sacrifice for it now, verses waiting for later, even if that means living it debt for many more years to come.

The ideal I want to propose is that the time is now to be more giving than ever. That may sound counter to what I have expressed above, but I am not talking about giving money to buisnesses and non-profits, but towards your co-workers, friends, family and community; putting your money and time where it matters the most. Millennials are the most educated generation ever, use your education for influence and change. Now is the time to start living for giving more and spending less on yourself. It is time to invest more intelligently in things that will enhance your life now but also create for a better future. Now is the time to start finding a way to create a lifestyle to help get yourself and those around you out of debt. I am confident that through community living, selfless giving, and smart habits we will rise up out of personal debt and become happier and more benevolent than any other generation to have lived on American soil.

We are not the greatest generation, but we can be.

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Join me here at trenthope.com for my thoughts on how to make our generation the greatest generation to have ever been alive. Subscribe to future blog posts.

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The Risk Hangover Pt. IV

As I write this final post on “The Risk Hangover” I cannot but stop and think of all the risks I have taken. I once heard a quote that the odds are in your favor if you take a risk, in fact, they are 50%. Not that bad if you really think about it. And here I am now sitting in my car at the airport waiting to pick up a dear friend after risking a lot to get here.

It all started at work when I ran an end-of-day report at the last second, which caused me to be ten minutes behind on getting to the airport. Then, as I neared Atlanta, I hit traffic. Typical. Thoughts began to flood my mind of, did I really screw up the timing on this and now I am going to hit the thunderstorms right as I get into downtown. Sure enough, the traffic got worse and hail and rain began to fall. Not only that, but a tornado warning was issued and I was stuck in 7 lanes of traffic. Perfect!

Just as I cleared downtown and was almost to the airport, my friend texted me to say his flight was now diverted to Nashville until the weather got better. Great! I was only 5 minutes out from the airport and decided it was better to just go ahead and head to the free parking lot at the airport. As I got off the exit ramp I noticed what seemed like a huge bomb of water exploding as a car plowed through the flooded exit ramp. It was too late to stop, so I did what Dad and all those defensive driving classes taught me to do; ride it out and don’t touch the brakes. I was going to risk it. (more…)

The Risk Hangover Pt. III

Pt. III – I Quit

In the previous posts on my series (Pt 1 and 2) called “The Risk Hangover” I talked about how many Millennials have never had to risk much in their lives. We have been given everything and yet now that most Millennials are now “twenty-somethings” we feel like we have nothing. Most would say they are overqualified in a job that they do not enjoy. Many Millennials are not married. I looked at all my high school friends and counted how many were married verses single, and the singles won the majority by a landslide. Marketers are having a ball with our age-group because it just seems like our generation is just scrambling for something to hold on to, something with meaning and purpose. They are trying to full our void. But what if I told you I did something that Millennials wished they could do? What if I quit a job that many would die for because I needed to experience more risk? Careless? Baby Boomers may think so. Exciting? Yes! Big risk? Oh yeah. (more…)

The Risk Hangover Pt. II

Pt II. The Lack of Risk

Previously I talked about my generation (Generation Y, Millennials, Generation Me) and how they have never really have had to risk much to get what they want. Then I mentioned about military enrollment for the Millennials and how it is on the decline. I finally ended with non-profits and dangerously linked them with why self-esteem issues are on the rise. But before we jump into part two, can I be honest? In hindsight, part one of this blog series was sloppy and not the best written blog I have ever done. But, let me make it up to you by answering all the big ideas I proposed in the first part. In one word, the problem is risk. (more…)