Are Millennials Lazy? Or are Baby Boomers Judging too much?
So as a CEO of a company, I have hired thousands of millennials over the years and often I get told by my peers. Stay away from them. Millennials are lazy. You don’t want to recruit them. They are always entitled. They’re victims. You know, they don’t like to talk to you on the phone. They only text you back. They’re always on social media. So, I said, listen, if I’m going to do video about millennials, I’m going to take a completely different approach. To those that say they are lazy. Let’s say they are, and if you’re right, I don’t want to talk about the effect, which is them being lazy. I want to talk about the cause of this effect, and on top of that, I want to go a little bit deeper. I want to look at drugs consumed during the different generations and what they have to do with the impact of millennials being the way they are today.
If you’re a boomer, gen X or millennial watching this video, share this video with someone from a different generation. I want you to watch it but let me make my arguments. You can say “I agree, or I disagree.” There are parts of this article you will like and there are parts of this article you will dislike, regardless of what generation you are apart of. The goal is to make sense, because this article does not have a one-sided message, something many of the other articles on this topic are.
One big thing I believe in is cyclical cycles that happen. Tough times produce strong people. Strong people produce good times, good times produce weak people and weak people produce tough times.
Tough Times produce strong people. Strong people produce good times, good times produce weak people.
Here is an example; The startup phase of a company is a tough time. It is not easy. Every day you are about to go out of business, whoever makes it during the startup usually become strong people, with the strong people in place they tend to bring in the good times. The good times are when an assistant starts getting a few shares, when one of the salespeople is making one and a half million dollar a year income, good times are when one of the executives gets a 6.9 million dollar check because they were able to go through the tough times creating the abundance of wealth the company is currently experiencing. But during the good times, typically what happens is that pain goes away. Standards gets lowered, everybody gets more casual. So, guess what comes next? Weak people…
And guess what?
Weak people produce tough times. How many big companies have you seen go out of business, Sears, Blockbuster, all these huge companies have gone out of business. Now let’s look at this from the generation standpoints. If these cycles are correct, when boomers and gen X say that millennials are lazy, distracted and all they do is be on their phones all the time. Who is the cause to the effect of them being lazy?
Let’s look at the last four generations.
First generation we are going to consider is: The silent generation. These are folks that were born between 1928 to 1945.
Next, we have the baby boomers who are born between 1946 and 1964. Generation X are born between 1965 to 1980 and then we have millennials born 1980 to 2000. What are the distinct experiences the different generations have experienced growing up? And what generation had the toughest time?
What impacted their lives? Obviously, if you look at the silent generation, they went through the Great Depression, which probably is the most difficult time in America during the last hundred years. You’re talking about a time where everybody was trying to stretch the dollar. Literally, the saying is from that era. World War two was also something they experienced. Now boomers, what did they experience? Well, the Vietnam war, the sexual revolution, JFK and MLK assassinations, the Cuban missile crisis, civil rights act and the moon landing.
Next is generation X, they experienced; Desert Storm, the personal computer revolution, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Water Gate Scandal and for the first-time, dual income families where both husband and wife were in the workforce.
The Last generation is the millennials. They grew up with social media, technology, video games and schedules. For the first time in history kids now have a schedule. What do you mean? That used to be something that royalty and millionaires would put their kids through, now the regular middle-income family has schedules for their kids.
Technological advancements have made big changes over the different generations. For the silent generation the Hoover dam was a big technological advancement, the boomers experienced the microwave has a huge advancement. Generation X experienced the technological innovations as something handheld, something physical that they could feel and touch. Now, technological advancements for millennials are limitless.
So now, back to the argument of tough times creating strong people, who create good times that lead to weak people, if it is correct, we can safely say that no one had a tougher time than the silent generation. That’s tough times. Boomers are the strong people that and they produced Generation X, the ones that lived in the good times. Generation X gave birth to millennials, which are what people look as the “weak people.” If you say that they are lazy, that they are this, that they are that, well then maybe this formula is right based on the trends we are seeing.
Having said this, let’s look at it from a different angle. If the Millennials are as lazy and unproductive as the Silent and Generation X like to make it, what’s the cause of this effect.
I remember back in 2007 I was thinking about how one day I’d like to get married. So, I was talking to this man that was very successful. I asked him how he judged to see if a parent was a great parent? He asked, “what do you think?” I responded, “I think you judge a great parent based on the kids they raise.” He responded, “I used to think like that as well, but the best way to judge a great parent is by the grandkids they produce.”
If your grandkids do well, you did a good job as a parent. I had never thought about that before. Based on this theory, if you say anything bad about millennials, the finger gets pointed at the boomers. Boomers wouldn’t like that because maybe they were too soft on their kids and they were even softer on their kids.
Based on this I was curious to which generation did what drugs the most and how they got their dopamine. I went to a website called drugabuse.com, on the website there was research on the different recreational drug usage based on generation and what drugs were consumed the most during what times. As you can see on the article the different generations have different colors. The generation that did the most marijuana and cocaine was the baby boomers. But if you look at the graph on painkillers you will see that the millennials are leading that by far, no generation is even a close second. The generations before them have experienced lots of pain, so naturally they have tried to shelter the millennials from feeling any pain, so each time a slight painful experience starts they pop a painkiller to avoid it.
Going back to the cause and effect. We can’t sit and point fingers at each other. The point I’m trying to make is that one of the greatest things we need in order to win in life is pain. You need pain. Pain is what occurs with growth. The silent generation had the most pain then the boomers, then gen X then millennials at the bottom. The pain threshold has decreased for each generation. For each generation pain has been removed more and more.
This is a different side of the argument, the last argument I am going to make. You know when people say, “well I don’t like the fact they’re always on their phone scrolling through social media.” Right? I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s healthy, fair enough. No matter who you are, what age you are, no matter what generation you’re from, we all like this dopamine. Everyone has a way of getting their dopamine, for some it’s food, others it is alcohol, travel, social media or drugs. There are many ways to get this injection of dopamine.
Millennials replaced their form of dopamine, which is social media replaced with the form of dopamine that boomers got when they were that age. You see, if you’re going to make that argument, you must look at it in different ways. I’m not trying to put the blame on boomers, I’m not trying to put the blame on Gen X and I’m not trying to put the blame on millennials. So, making a blanket statement about how lazy the millennials are because they’re always are on their phones without looking at all the different factors involved is going to be pointless and one sided. You got to take a step back and look at the big picture.
Now if you’re a millennial reading this it might be easy to blame your parents or grandparents, but that is not going to do you any good. If the cyclical argument is correct, then it is easy to see where things are headed. Soon enough the Boomer and Gen X are going to pass away. The world is going to be yours; the country is going to be in your generation’s hands. So, if all of this is true, these times are coming for you and the kids you’ll have one day.
In 2015 my brother in law took me to a concert to a singer called Dariush. At the end he gets up at the and says he has a message for the young people in the audience. He said, “Here’s what I want to tell you. I see your eyes, I see your fire. I see that you guys are excited about life. I remember when I was younger, so ambitious, and I had the hunger of a wolf in me.” He looks at the audience intensely and says “Just remember this. Make sure the young wolf in you takes care of the old wolf that you one day will be. Soon enough you’ll be old, and the fire will blow out.”
So rather than sitting here pointing fingers at everyone, realize that it is too late. The past has already happened, but it’s not too late for you to decide to be a leader of your generation. It’s not too late to look at this and say, maybe some of this is right. “Maybe I got to be a more self-aware. Maybe I do need to make some adjustments. Maybe I need to change the bad parts about myself. I don’t want to be part of this negative trend; I want to be strong.”
The next time and every time you experienced pain, don’t just run away. You want to deal with it, it will help you grow. I want you to take a little bit of constructive criticism from the people. Be Willing to hear people out, they usually have valid points. And for boomers or gen X, the next time you’re tempted to say millennials are lazy, study a little bit more. Everybody’s connected to the changes going on in society.
Educate yourself, go deeper, encourage and inspire others.
Get some other millennials to say, “maybe I want to be the chosen one. Maybe I want to be a strong leader. Maybe I want to be that example for that generation.”
Comment you thoughts…
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