Learning from the younger generation
Even though I’m not a parent, I have enough nieces and nephews, friends with young adult children, and contact with kids I coach to know there’s something different about this generation and I really like it.
Our generation learned to make decisions based on what we were told by experts—go to university, get a job, buy a car, get married, buy a house and have kids.. Today’s generation is reconsidering whether or not going to university is important, whether they want a full-time job or if they want to be entrepreneurs. They’re rethinking whether to buy cars because they value the environment and use bikes and public transportation. Some are avoiding large house purchased and exploring tiny houses, because they don’t want the burdens that come with owning a lot of stuff. Their value system seems profoundly different from most mid-lifers, in that they’re looking for products and services based on the things they value and appreciate. They want authenticity, and they want the business that offer the products and services they buy to consider sustainability and contribution to something bigger. It’s not all about profit anymore.
Are we in the older generation ready to learn something from the younger generation of people and businesses? What would happen if we were able to shift our current perspective of success? Success for us is often defined by the amount of money a person earns, the value of things they possess, and the extent to which they travel. What if success was defined by the amount of joy you experience each day? The quality of relationships you have? The degree to which you contribute to your community? The extent to which you honour your authentic self each day, aligning your actions with what you truly value?
This shift is about curating information and creating our own understanding of how to live your best life rather than collecting information from experts and taking it as the correct answer or path to follow. With access to information seemingly limitless, it so frustrating to come across conflicting research and advice from experts, we simply can’t find one answer when looking to someone else.
It’s only through our own exploration and experimentation that we can experience and understand what is “right” for us in that moments. The only expert that can truly set us on the path of growth, fulfillment and success is oneself.
In today’s world, the rate of change is almost impossible to keep up with. By being your own expert, constantly being aware of what’s shifting within you and around you, you are better able to adapt and find that fulfillment and a new definition of success. The more focused you are on one right answer, the deeper into a rut you go, and harder it is to get out of that pattern of thinking and behaving when change comes.
I am pleased to say that I feel like I am aligned with the thinking of this new generation and it makes me feel young. What I do in my life and my coaching business is curate the vast information available to me and glean what suits my values, beliefs, and authenticity. It feels like I have freed myself, for the most part, from the judgement of others because I don’t need to be right.
I adamantly refuse to call myself an “expert” in my life coaching business. I cannot give people expert advice to find success and fulfillment in life. All I can do is help people to discover their own wisdom and expertise.
We each must map our own path!