We live in a world where people who make mistakes are usually frowned upon. However some of the greatest inventions were created because someone did something wrong. Considering computers can pretty much do anything for us, we tend to forget that we are not made of bits and bytes, but we have blood, bones, and skin. In other words, we are human.
I recently heard a CEO of a wellness company speak about the need for all of us to take better care of ourselves. She cited statistics that claim over 60% of the US population is either obese or overweight. When did we as a nation get so off track especially with all the different options there are to stay fit? My feeling is that we got caught up in the un-human world – computers, TVs, cell phones, tablets, etc. and forgot that our greatest asset is not the latest iPhone but our own bodies and minds.
Is this phenomenon too far gone or can we get back on track? Can we not only stay in shape and eat right but also more importantly recognize that we make mistakes? That we are allowed to take a risk and it is alright if we fail? Alan Franken, an American politician and entertainer, was quoted “mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.”
Fortunately I do think the Millennials are headed in the right direction. I see many of them choosing water over soda and eating fruits and vegetables. Many know that smoking is harmful to them and that drinking alcohol in moderation is better than binge drinking. Do they always follow this? No, but they are much more cognizant than older generations. I was raised thinking that smoking would calm you down and doctors were quoted as saying so. I also ate my fair share of TV dinners and thought that granola bars were healthy except that one of the key ingredients is high fructose syrup.
Growing up I was advised not to venture too far out of my comfort zone. I never even considered being an entrepreneur while in high school or college, but many now are not only creating new products and services but are successfully marketing them. These “kids” do realize they may not succeed but they also feel it is worth the risk. These offerings are not just marketed on a local scale but many have global consumers.
We can all learn from them that life is too short to stand on the sidelines. We have successful people from older generations but the numbers are small. I think we will see many more highly successful people in the coming years that are under 30 years old. Although they may work as hard as older people, I think they are and will continue to be happier. They know more about how to give back and be grateful for what they have. That may seem contradictory to what the media portrays but the ones I have interacted with are in a much better “happiness” position than I am even now. We may talk about being happy but they are experiencing it.
So how do we change this? First you have to figure out what you want out of life. Maybe it is a better job, to travel more, have your kids go to good colleges, etc. Once you define the 1-3 things (any more is too many) you need to work backwards. You have to determine the steps to achieve this. I admit you may struggle at times but if you are really passionate about what it is then you will succeed. Find a couple of supporters that you can count on to assist you with this. Next gather pictures and place them where you are constantly reminded of what the final outcome is that you want to achieve. Track your progress. Lastly recognize that you are human and there are times you may need to walk away from it for a short time, but make sure you set a date when you are going to continue this process. Just keep in mind that it is a journey and it should be fulfilling along the way.