“Clean your room.” It’s one of the most grueling phrases to hear as a kid.
I was homeschooled. “Stuck at home” with my mother and three siblings all day. Commands to complete housework seemed like a dime a dozen. Was this part of my curriculum? Somedays, it seemed like it.
When my mother would ask me to complete a list of chores, I so eloquently would respond with: “But I don’t want to clean.” *Original*
I can still hear my mother’s infamous reply of, “Well, I don’t want to work today, but I have to. There will be things in life that you don’t ‘want’ to do, but you have to do. So, you can start learning that now or learn it later.”
Little did I know how often that phrase would revisit me in my – now – adult life.
Recently, a colleague sent around a TED Talk by Simon Sinek titled, Millennials in the Workplace that somehow brought me back to my childhood “clean your room” conversations with mom.
In the talk, Simon discusses four characteristics that have helped shape the Millennial generation. My generation. They are:
As I reflected on the various characteristics, impatience stuck out the most.
Simon simplifies the struggle of impatience for many Millennials: “because they’ve grown up in a world of instant gratification.”
Want a pizza? OK, order it from your phone, you can even watch it bake. And put in the oven at ‘X’ time and ‘X’ time is left until it’s finished baking. Boom! Pick it up and it’s on your table in less than 45 minutes. Or better yet, get it delivered.
Need paper towels and toilet paper? Forget hopping in your car and worrying about parking. A few clicks later… Booyah! Amazon Prime and it’s on your doorstep the very next day.
Search Google for the best way to get to the mall. Click the route and follow your GPS. Ignore learning how to read a map, because you don’t need that skill.
Albeit the convenience is nice, it doesn’t mean it’s without sacrifice. Like Simon remarks, “everything you want, you can have instantaneously, except job satisfaction and strength of relationships – there ain’t no app for that. They are slow, meandering, uncomfortable messy processes.”
Of course having the world at your fingertips isn’t necessarily bad. But when the human element of understanding the benefit behind longevity, diligence and perseverance through personal or professional growth is lost… that’s the real shame.
It’s no secret that Millennials long for work that is impactful, and Simon compares this way of thinking to summiting up a mountain. He comments on how many Millennials don’t fully understand the process of having real “impact,” as it does not happen instantaneously. It takes time. Lots of time. Much like a summit up a mountain.
Because the peak of a mountain isn’t easily seen (aka, the end result), when it comes time to push through the discomfort of the “summit,” many forget the reason behind the journey and why it’s so important to persevere.
Simon says, “An expedition is often arduous, long and difficult,” and, “things that really, really matter take time.”
So, no matter which generation you’re lumped into, the point here is to be patient and trust the process. There may be things like washing dishes or updating an Excel doc (for what seems like the millionth time) that you don’t’ want to do. But like mama always says, “There will be things in life that you don’t want to do, but have to do.”
Every little step – personal and professional – has the ability to lead to the top of the proverbial mountain, but don’t lose heart along the way. Move forward, be nice to yourself and let time do its work. Up the mountain, one step at a time.