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Do Millennials Lack Passion To Succeed?

August 24, 2017

When I hear people describe the Millennial and younger generations, three complaints  always seem to surface:  They’re lazy, entitled, and they simply don’t care.  In this post, I address the supposed problem that they lack passion and do not care.

Problem:  The youth seems disinterested.  They lack passion and act like they just don’t care.

The ‘Whatever’ Attitude

Many young people seem discontent about the world.  “Whatever” is the automatic response to many situations.  But if we’re honest many of us were probably not much different when we were younger.

At that age, the pressure was relentless.  Everything had life-threatening consequences.

If I don’t go to the prom, I’ll just die!  Failing this test will be the end of me!  I wrecked the car again.  That’s it, dad’s going to kill me!

And it’s worse now.  There’s much more pressure on the youth.  Violence is ubiquitous.  Bullying is the rule, not the exception.  Social media has made any private moment a public spectacle.  As a result, many millennials feel numb.

Lessons From Bruce Lee

To toughen his fists, the late Bruce Lee repeatedly hit increasingly denser objects like bags of sand, BB pellets, etc.  Over time, callouses developed on his knuckles making them harder and less pervious to pain.  Similarly, I think this is what has happened to many millennials.

Constant exposure to negative comments, especially on social media, have left millennials emotionally calloused.  They are told repeatedly that if they are not passionate, they will fail.  Passion is everything and THE factor in success.  Then, when they fail to exhibit this passion, people assume they don’t care.  But perhaps it’s not that the youth doesn’t care, maybe they’re just numb.     

Passions are too closely linked with emotions to carry much weight.  Emotions fluctuate, and when you’re young, hormones exacerbate the situation.  Therefore, passions cannot be relied on completely, but they also can’t be dismissed outrightly.  They’re not THE factor, but they are A factor in success.

So how do we reverse this seemingly disenterested attitude in millennials?  It’s simple…

Solution:  Stop selling the millennials the lie that all they need is passion, and they will succeed.  

If Millennials bought the lie that they don’t care, it may be because we sold it to them.