Last week, "Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy," an article written on the Huffington Post went viral. ERRRR it made me angry.
For those of you who haven't read the article here's a quick summary of the author's main point: "When the reality of someone's life is better than they had expected, they're happy. When reality turns out to be worse than expectations, they're unhappy."
So basically we should stop setting big goals for our futures and start accepting that our fate is to be average, or better yet a little less than average so that when something decent happens we will be really happy about it. That we should just be more "realistic" about our future. If you want to read the full depressing article please do. I warned you.
If we all walked around being "realistic" the world would be exactly the same as it was in caveman days. How "realistic" is it to walk into a room and turn on a switch that lights the entire space? How "realistic" is it to bend a piece of metal and fly people over an ocean? How "realistic" is it to turn on a tiny folding box and be connected to billions of people at the same time? Fortunately Edison, the Wright brothers and Steve Jobs weren't realistic.
I so strongly disagree with this article and I find it disturbing how many people have found it somehow touching and reassuring. If you believe in this then you are settling for less in life.
Here's my truth: Happiness = setting big goals and reaching them, and even if I don't knowing that I gave it my 100 per cent and I'll be that much better prepared the next time
I'm a goal setter. And, if nothing else, I'm a hard, hard worker. I set goals every single day. Goals for my own workouts, goals for my business, goals for my clients, goals for five years from now and goals from 10 years for now. I set them, stick to them and then re-set them. I don't always hit my goals on the first go, in fact I rarely achieve my goals on the first go around but that's why they are GOALS -- they are meant to be tough! I recently raced a 5k and set a goal to break 19 minutes. I ran a hard race and I finished wayyy off at 20:20 but I'm glad I made that goal because it pushed me. I know if I didn't have that goal my time would have been much slower so I was happy I had the goal and I can't wait to crush 19 next time.
Shoot for the moon... even if you miss you will land among the stars.
Three years ago I set a goal to start my own fitness business. I didn't settle for less and I've made my dreams come true by working hard, setting goals and dreaming of success. I've followed my passion, taken leaps of faith, I scare myself on a daily basis, made new contacts and had the opportunity to change the way people feel about their bodies and themselves. I am SO grateful for my career and I know I have it because I dreamed big, didn't settle for expecting small and being satisfied with getting a little extra. I went for it and go for it always. Go big or go home. My life rocks and I am special.
If I was realistic I would have settled into the same mind numbingly boring finance jobs that I see many of my friends in. I would be depressed and of course I wouldn't be advancing my career as fast because in that world you're on a one-way track. Luckily I'm not realistic, I took a risk and it was the best thing I've ever done.
To my generation, everyone -- YOU ARE SPECIAL! And never ever let any article tell you otherwise.
If you stop expecting great things you will start accepting less than your best which is never good enough.
We have SO much more exposure and potential for happiness than generations before us. Our dreams should have rainbows and unicorns in them. We have this amazing tool: the Internet. I've met people that make thousands of dollars a day blogging about what outfit they are wearing. Don't get me wrong, happiness isn't about money. I'm the first to believe Biggie, "mo' money mo' problems," but having enough financial stability to not base life decisions around money is really what I define as being truly wealthy.
My advice for the future:
1. Be inspired by everyone else. It's taken me a long time, and I admit I'm still not perfect at this, to look at others and be truly happy for their success and not feel envious or somehow more deserving. But I've learned that feeling jealous is really just a waste of time and if I spend a moment to think of my blessings I realize my life is pretty great and when I think about it more of course I want my friends and family to be happy and have great lives and reach their dreams. Why wouldn't I? If someone has a beautiful house, or family or gets a great job and shares it on Facebook -- go them! -- they probably worked really hard and deserve it.
2. Start thinking you're special. The second you start to devalue yourself and stop thinking you're special the world around you will start to de-value you. I'll never forget when I first started to promote the Bod Squad my sister told me that if I didn't have passion and enthusiasm in my pitch then nobody would show up. And she was absolutely right! If you walk around projecting that your skills are just average then you are going nowhere fast. You have got to believe that you have something amazing to contribute to this world because you do! You might not know exactly what it is yet, and that's ok, but you will one day and when you do you are going to rock it out. Believe it, achieve it.
3. Stay hungry and look back with gratitude. My goals for the future are big and I'm excited to keep driving hard toward them, at the same time not a day goes by that I don't reflect back on how far I've come. Not only professionally but personally. Integrity is essential to progress. Helping others is the best gift you can give to the world and to yourself. Love is really all you need.
Now go live long and prosper, while you're at it dream of unicorns.