From the mid 1990’s to 2010ish the foundation of culture began changing. As industrialization faded, an the new millennials moved forward, the old adage of “hitting it and quitting it” became the tag line and behavior of most folks.
During the industrial revolution people spent time performing repeated actions in order to master their craft. This was evident in schools, assembly lines, agriculture, and most institutionalized activities. The “Mad Men” era brought about a new aggressive way of selling the goods, so to speak, but still the process of do, rinse, repeat was still dominating the worlds motivation for success.
Bring on the changes which slowly crept through the early 2000 as the 21st century breathed down the necks of the new generation. No longer were kids trapped by brick and mortar, they made friends from all over the world through chat rooms, social media, video games, and a plethora of new mediums encroaching upon their lives. This new generation is willing to try things once and immediately change course when instant gratification is not achieved. They have learned to quickly navigate ideas at their finger tip resources and dig deeper for immediate answers. While this infatuation for the immediate gratification leaves them more time for exploring new things, it also leaves them at times with massive holes in their foundational skills.
These massive holes need patched and it takes time buttoning up those puzzle pieces. With so many things readily available to people it is time to remind them about slowing down, taking a breath, and really focusing on the important things. Here is my list of those things we’ve forgotten to value and cherish:
1. Family – it is too easy to get up in our pocket technology and forget to unplug the outside world, and focus time on the core that still supports us during the good and bad times.
2. Friends – Tried and true friends should never be left in the dust, as social media makes us feel like we are checking in, it is not a true gauge of understanding the deep down embraces we need for keeping relationships alive. Try actually making a phone call or a face to face meet up time. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel with true human interaction. Shoot even a facetime or skype is better than just reading a thread all the time!
3. Get involved in your children’s lives – Make sure you support your children and their dreams, not yours. If they choose to go hit a bucket of balls and perform repeated practice to get better, make the time to be there. Support their educational needs – don’t let technology do your job. You need to read to them, speak with them, show interest in what happens to them during their day. Let them see the fun side of you. This way when you do need to discipline they realize you will always love them. Because the fine line between being taught how to be a good person, showing how to be carefree and fun, and having enough self control to know when to work and when to play is a tough line a parent must teach them.
4. Give your career a chance before quitting. Money does not always buy happiness and happiness is not always equated with money, although I’d like to try have no financial worries for a week or two, just to test it out! This analogy is true of the new 21st century young adult. They are the first generation not mainly driven by the corporate money monster. They are willing to try new jobs and learn new tasks if they are unhappy. But they occasionally make too many snap decisions without allowing any dust to settle causing more long lasting effects than they could foresee.
Some skills of the new generation need harnessed and expanded, others need reevaluated and reworked. The repeated practice over time method is not necessarily terrible,and the “hit it and quit it” is not always bad and either; the try once and change course to find a new solution method is a twist for both of these practices. However, the bottom line is we need to exercise moderation and tolerance while we all learn how to manage in this quickly changing world, keeping in mind not to forget about the four foundational puzzle pieces at any given time.