I’m a mother to two millennial daughters with whom I have a very different relationship than I had with my own mother. It seems our boomer parenting styles and involvement have created deeper, more connected relationships with our daughters. We love to cook, share a meal, go to the movies and even travel together. We are our daughters biggest cheer leaders and confidant, that safe place they can come to for love and advice. And to top it all, we’re even sharing shoes, clothes and our tips about wellbeing and style.
So comforted in our world of putting them first, we often forget that they too, just as we, have to go out onto the real world of hard knocks. After years of receiving validation from parents and their teachers, they’re all to often thrown for a loop when they learn that their employer isn’t quiet as impressed with their every thought and certainly won’t be giving them a medal for simply crossing the finishing line. At work it’s up to them to prove their worth and earn respect from others, which doesn’t happen overnight. Therefore, we need to help our young adults navigate and succeed in a world that doesn’t revolve purely around accolades, instant gratification, short-lived sound bytes, selfie’s and unicorns.
With different generational styles and cultures rocking the workforce it’s our job to share our wisdom, listen to our daughters and to help them stay grounded.
Ultimately, however often we’ve told them “You can be and do whatever you want” in life, they need to know that “YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE WORLD WITHIN 6 MONTHS”. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t want to discourage the feeling of hope and “can do” attitude we filled our millennial’s up with, but we do need to help them be realistic and patient. They are passionate about their dreams so we simply need to help them slow down recognize that life is a journey not a destination helps them to be present in their day-to-day lives, relationships and jobs, so they can turn their passion and their own definition of success into a reality.
Work life balance is critical- it’s a problem they’ve seen their own boomer parents struggle with, as we over achieved, consumed more and more and bestowed everything we had on them. Luckily, Millennial’s have already worked out they don’t necessarily need more stuff to be happy, and that they are more cognizant with regards to the environment, humanity and community, but they also have the added pressure of competing in a hyper connected global market. Therefore, encouraging them to identify and prioritize their professional and personal goals, needs and wellbeing is step one.
Creating a sense of balance and realistic timelines is step two. To achieve balance they need to incorporate a more mindful, integrated approach to their working and personal life, which has become so intertwined. Only by taking the time to slow down connect to self and recharge can our young women, so full of promise and potential move beyond the false realities being projected every moment of their days, false realities which don’t support them and the meaningful aspects of humanity. Valuing and nurturing core personal and working relationship’s is paramount to not only living a happier, healthier life but in making a positive difference in the world.
Here are a few of the not so ‘ sparkly’ realities our young women need to be aware of and integrate day to day to truly succeed:
...Is based on passion. Without true passion there can be no real conviction or success. Conviction is the driving force of your beliefs, which fuel your passion. To make an impact you need conviction and to be wiling to stay the course even when things get rocky.
2. Perseverance and Resilience...
...Support one's conviction. Resilience is like a lifeline that keeps one afloat in the stormy seas. Resilience enables one to weather criticism and the set backs, which however good ones ideas are ,we all, will encounter along the way. Resilience is having the strength to protect your dreams but the flexibility to look at the ways you can achieve them. Resilience when coupled with perseverance provides the strength and drive to live life by your own definition, stay focused and to never allow anyone to disempower you on your journey.
...Being present is being fully engaged in the moment, in the experience. Being present enables one to listen to not just your own voice, but to what others are trying to contribute. Being present allows you to clearly see your way forward as you continue to grow and flourish alive in the moment. Ultimately it enables you to feel the passion in actually BEING in what you’re doing.
...Yourself and in turn treat others as you wish to be treated. Respect is not only how we treat each through common courtesy, Respect recognizes and remains open to each other’s ideas, time and needs in our business and personal lives.
If our daughters mindfully harness these qualities they will not only have happier, healthier relationships, but also be unstoppable and will have a positive impact on the world.
There’s so much talk about women’s equality: but the truth is, it doesn’t matter how many policies are put in place, how many women have gone before us, if we don’t take the time to value who we are and what we have to offer the world with conviction and pride, if we don’t take a leadership role in our own life, nothing will change.