Millennials – we are certainly not hard to spot.
As the kings and queens of multi-tasking with short attention spans, it’s not uncommon to find us Tweeting, Face-Timing, and Instagramming our lunch — all at once, of course.
We want it all right now, and find our attention so divided that we struggle to actually get things done.
So where is our attention split?
It’s between the 9-5 we take to pay back our student loans, and across all of the other little things we love – the things we actually WANT and the things we WISH someone would pay us to do.
A common theme that tends to resonate among millennials, is that they settle for waking up every day, going to a job they hate, and punching a clock for 40 years. Where is the purpose? Where is the value? Where is the fulfillment in mediocrity?
So what do we do?
We side hustle. We pick up 101 projects that we hope will take off and get us out of the cubicle hell we’ve found ourselves in. We stop hanging out with friends, stop dating, and even stop eating, to invest more of our energy into cracking the code of the “next great thing” that’s going to move us forward.
But consider this – what are we going to do when we finally break-through, look up, and realize that there isn’t anyone there to share it with us? We will have found ourselves back in the same lonely place that we were in, in the cubicle farm, (with maybe just a little more money in our pocket).
There has to be balance.
So how do you balance work and life? How do you do something you love and make a living doing it? Is it possible to be passionate about work AND passionate about people, without burning any bridges?
Yes, I believe you can.
It requires commitment, planning, but ultimately, a lot of love — love for the people who support you, love for your end goal, and love for yourself.
Where do you start?
- Realize happiness doesn’t start when you reach the finish line. How you feel about yourself today will be EXACTLY the same way you feel about yourself when you’ve “made it.” Be realistic. Cut yourself a break when you get passed up for the promotion or have days where you fall short. Enjoy just “being” and realize that things will pay off when the time is right. If you aren’t enjoying the journey to your destination, you’re in the wrong race.
- Disconnect. Turn off your phone. Close your laptop. The fear of missing out will always be there, but the people around you won’t. Smile at the co-worker who always stops by while they’re getting coffee. Drive to your parent’s house. Take that person up on that date you’ve been texting about for weeks. Giving yourself space from your work not only allows you to refresh and return to it with a renewed mind, it also fosters relationships and passions in other areas of your life that you may have missed if you never came up for air.
- Remain loyal to your current employer. As much as our side hustle is where our hearts are, it’s not our main source of income. So as much as we love to bash our bosses and 9-5’s, at the end of the day, they are paying for the roof over our heads, while providing us with a unique experience that will allow us to grow into the person we’re meant to become.
The truth of the matter is that there is much more to life than sleep and work. The relationships and connections we make with others will outlast any boring conference call, and take precedence over an overflowing inbox. Step OUTSIDE, take a breath, and come back to the task at hand with the intention of doing something great.