The Millennial Mindset

By Jamari Jordan

Every generation is the one that is going to save the world. Just like every Kobe stan thinks every shot he ever took went in. Or how Drake stans really believe he’s top 2 and he’s not No. 2. No single generation can save the world, but we still try. 

We take on the world. We take on the status quo. We challenge and pushback older generations and their ways. All for one single reason: recognition. 

Even the world’s biggest introvert or selfless humanitarian wants to be recognized for their accomplishments. And who can blame them? It’s human nature. As much as we like to say we don’t care about what other people think, we do, especially millennials. 

“Not only is comparison the thief of joy, but it’s also the most common denominator in the ending of friendships. The jealousy invades every area of a friendship and taints it.”

We want the retweets on Twitter. We want the likes on Instagram. We want the views on our Snapchat story (and the old user interface back). We’re prisoners of this Ville Mentality. This belief that the recognition leads to clout and clout = success. 

As much as I would like to be the perennial “lone wolf” type and say I buck the trends of my generation, I’m not. When I send a fire tweet out (which is at least twice a day), I want all the retweets. I mean, I’m writing this article wanting people to click on the link. Yet, the need for fame isn’t our biggest setback: it’s comparison. 

I can’t judge my growth unless I’m comparing it to my peers. I want to be further along in my career than them. I want the nicer apartment. I want the bigger paycheck. I want to hashtag #BlackExcellence under all my pictures. The constant comparisons aren’t productive, let alone healthy for anyone. 

“As much as we all want our generation to save the world, we secretly hope it’s us as individuals who save it.”

Not only is comparison the thief of joy, but it’s also the most common denominator in the ending of friendships. The jealousy invades every area of a friendship and taints it. Too often, I find myself not speaking to friends because I’m jealous they’re “further along” in life than me. 

I don’t congratulate them on their success because I’m insecure about my own. Instead of being there for them, I find myself barely able to float in the deep end of a pool of self-doubt. I lessen my own success because in my imagination only one person can be successful. 

As much as we all want our generation to save the world, we secretly hope it’s us as individuals who save it. That one day we’ll solve the puzzle, dawn the cape around our neck, and save the world. But that day never comes. 

That day for me was me last summer. I felt unhappy with every facet of my life: finances, career, and private life. I saw the vacations my friends took, the promotions they received at work, and how happy their relationships seemed. I wanted that. I envied that.

I spent the next few months in a funk of sorts, sulking about what my life was supposed to be. I had this fallacy about my end game. I’m a checklist type of person. I use them for to-do-lists, grocery shopping, and a goals list. 

“The only goal that matters to me is to be happy.”

According to that list, I’m beyond failing at life. I don’t have the fancy apartment. I don’t have the title I want in my career. I haven’t found the one. Yet, for the first time in my life, I’m okay with that. Life isn’t a sprint, nor is it a marathon. There is no winner, no time to beat, or a finish line. 

Life isn’t like anything, just like each individual is different from another. No two people are alike, no two stories alike, therefore no need for the endless comparisons. 

The only goal that matters to me is to be happy. I’m on a journey to map out what happiness for me looks like, and that excites me. I want to be comfortable in my own skin, but never complacent. After all, one day I have to try the cape on again and see if it fits. 

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