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Thursday, December 15, 2005

The “I Want Now” Generation?

Also Posted at Let's Get Going!!! Blog

In this week's Carnival of the Vanities , Retire at 30 posted a very controversial piece about entitlement, work, delayed gratification, and today's young adults.
"Everybody would like $1 Million tomorrow, but how many people look at the world around them and ask what problems they could fix to create $1 Million in value? Instead many of us in our 20s are going out running up $200 bar bills (guilty myself on occasion) and racking up huge credit card debts. We have developed as a generation a convenient approach to financial planning: don't. We don't plan because we're going to get a great job, a killer raise, our stock options are going to be worth $1,000,000 alone, the $1,000 a year we do manage to save is going to return 35% a year like it did in the late 90's, we'll be the next brad pit(t), we're going to write the great American novel, our blog is going to bring in 6 figures a year (laughing). We don't have to work for it, no. It is our birthright."

I disagree!! It may be true that the symptoms- unhealthy visions of grandeur, racking up bad debt, or a strong denial mechanism with regards to their finances- are present in today's young adults. However, I think the disease is mis-diagnosed as laziness and entitlement. My clients, friends, and colleagues that are in their 20s and 30s are not in denial about work. I've not met one person in my life as a coach that has been unwilling to work at what they want. They realize that life is a work of art and as such requires effort.

Instead, I interpret the sense of entitlement and the 'longing-for without a real plan of battle' to be symptoms of the disease of estrangement. Many young adults are disillusioned by their lives, careers, relationships and seek solace in consumption. Instead of tapping into their talents, desires, joys, they linger; stuck in a place that doesn't fulfill them. Along the way they may pick up destructive habits like over spending, drinking too much, or eating unhealthily.

The cornerstones of success in life and in finances are the same. Planning, passion, satisfaction, creativity- these are the hallmarks of success in every facet of life. When a young adult is feeling stuck, all of these traits may be shed in search of simple pleasures. Alienation, disillusionment, loss of hope- these suck away at life energy and cloud the mind's native intelligence. The only cure is to look inward and to ask: What do I want? What do I really want in life, career, finance, relationships, etc.? Bringing light to our fundamental needs and desires and then manifesting them will lead to health in all life areas.

Hayden Shumsky, Let's Get Going!!! Blog

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