Bitching about fellow Millennials

#takemeback millennials christian lautenschleger

There won’t be citations.  I am the citation.  I’ve experienced everything in this manifesto first hand.  Everyone has his or her own experience.  I have mine.  Every generation has its own thing; mine certainly has its own.  I see strong divides in millennials who “get it” and those who don’t.  The only comparison I can think of is a rich vs. poor kid going to an Ivy.  The poor kid will get a great education; the rich kid will be set for life.  I know of quite a few people who do “get it”, but unfortunately too many of my peer don’t, and are trapped in a vicious cycle.

I’ve been told multiple times that “You give me hope in the younger generation!”  I don’t exactly know what that means, but it sounds like too many peers give the largest generation a bad name.  So please, stop giving me a bad name.  I can do that well enough on my own.

#takemeback millennials christian lautenschleger
We probably all know a person or two with this picture in their Instagram feed. #takemeback #phuket2013

Career

“Follow your passion” they said.  What they didn’t tell you is your passion may be one-of-a-kind or one that you need to make extensive sacrifices in life to succeed at it.  I’m the last person to say don’t follow your passion.  I’m also the first to tell you how much effort it will take.  What you may or may not know about “passion”, as how it’s popularly described, it’s not a job in which you can apply for or get because you know someone.  Passions are vocations we create.  We have vision and ambitious and drive and work very hard to make them a reality.  Much, much harder than that double major in theater and English.  Much harder.

Do you want to follow your passion after all?  Either jump all in – sink or swim – or make it your side hustle until you can quit your job.  You will quickly know if you can make it sinking or swimming, if you have the motivation and courage to take that plunge.  Work at it as a side hustle, sacrifice your “free time”.  Entrepreneurs pretentiously, albeit truthfully, say that we live years like most people won’t, so we can live the rest of our lives like most people can’t.  Think about that for a minute.

Consumerism

If you need stuff to impress people, they aren’t your friends.  If you buy stuff to make you feel better, you need a better hobby.

I’ll elaborate further, do you really need that shit?

Keeping up with the Joneses is why I get nice things from my Chase credit card because people rack up quite a balance and owe oodles of cash via interest.  Trust Christian: big banks aren’t giving out ridiculous credit card offers and bonuses from the kindness of their hearts.  They’re giving them out because many people who have debt up their eyeballs.  Bonuses is a way to get more people to have debt up to their eyeballs. And I can only imagine what people go into decades of debt for.  I hope it’s worth it.

The kicker is, does it really make anyone happier?  Anyone more content?  Do we suddenly stop consuming one day because we’ve reached content?  Probably not, people who want always want.  Until they hit an epiphany.

Relationships

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  If you know what that means, move on to the next section. During a game this past season my sister, her fiance, and I found a campus bar to watch the first half.  I should have worn monocles.  I saw a few future academics studying during an Ohio State football game (during which the team set all-time offensive records, before being shutout in the playoff).  I wanted to give life lessons to everyone except we three that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  Stop studying and enjoy life.  At least read Dale Carnegie.

Life is about we who know, social skills, emotional intelligence, and how to use all three in conjunction to “get ahead”.  Your relationships will carry you through life.  No one is that talented enoug to get away with being a jerk.  I don’t even recall ever hearing “Einstein’s an asshole”.  Are you better than Einstein? Then don’t be an asshole.  The meme for human intellect was known for womanizing, not being an asshole.

And another thing, build meaningful relationships.  You know, ones that someone will always be there for you through thick and thin?  Ones that if you’ve been absent from a group for a time and come back, they’re all legitimately happy to see you.  Ones in which people recommend your services to others.  Ones in which they call you out of the blue asking for your advice.  Ones in which you don’t have to put on a face.

Liberal Arts Education

You want to make money after graduation, right?  Math too hard?  Get a tutor.  Don’t have an attention span?  Take breaks.  Outside of ironclad plans of actions, I don’t know why people want to major with a BA.  Take my first hand experience:  don’t do it.

Try business or STEM.  (Not marketing; take a statistics class or two and load up on Godin and Gary V: you’re welcome.)  Something technical you can use in the real world.  What happened in the Pacific Theater doesn’t matter while trying to get a job.  No one cares you know what the broken window policy is; your boss also has read The Tipping Point.

Find something that adds value.  Major in liberal arts?  Buyer beware.

No one owes you a thing, butterfly

Maybe if the people who protested Trump’s victory he “won” would have gotten more people to vote, maybe then Clinton would have won.  The real world doesn’t hand out 5K finisher’s medals.  We get what we put in.  The day you become entitled is the day you’ve plateaued.  Congrats.  You’re either getting better or worse.

The single-worst trait a person can have is entitlement.  Earn everything.  Get better.  Or someone else will.  Entitlement thinking that we’re deserving of something will only lead to complacency.

Phones aren’t friends

Learn to talk with normal human beings.  When we’re out with friends, we’re out with friends.  If you’re that important to have your phone attached to your hip 24/7, you already have a secretary.  One of the most memorable moments came from no cellphone reception.  So, no phone service, and we were forced! to spend time together.  It was one of the most memorable (well, we pieced it together) experienced I’ve had with friends.  We actually had to spend time together.

Plus, if we’re with friends, why are we on our phones?  Okay, someone wants to take a picture of food for Instagram.  How long does that take?  We’re texting other people?  Are they with friends?  So, we’re texting people with friends who are also with friends?  Can we not talk with the people we’re spending time with?

Try for a week to put the phone at one location at home and only check it on occasion.  If it’s really important, hopefully the other person still knows how to call.

Finances

(I caught the entrepreneurial bug years ago and probably won’t ever “retire”, but I didn’t write this for you, either.)

Do you have a financial plan?  A rough idea of how they work?  Live now and enjoy the moment, but I wouldn’t trust Social Security and the government for retirement.  Throw a few dollars per month into an IRA.  “Live like a king for a few years, or a prince for a lifetime” — “Broke” from 30 For 30.  A few minutes with an ethical financial advisor and you’ll learn more about finances than you have up to this point.  I made it through high school and college without one memory of learning about basic finance and accounting.  Either the Illuminati has kept up from enlightenment or the schools are worse than expected.

Save money.  Invest money.  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.  Maybe one day retire or have enough money to live without relying on others.  Quit buying stuff just because someone else has it.  Be your own person, which you probably say you are anyhow.  Buy what adds value.  Want more stuff?  Earn more.

Netflix

…is not a substitution: How many books can be read for every season binged?  How much can be learned, discovered, or explored from opening our minds to literature?  Take your dog out for a walk at the park.  Discussion about what shows we’re “currently binging” shouldn’t exist.

Under no circumstance should Netflix be an interest.  Television shows, no matter how entertaining, devoid us of our most valuable possession: time.  Think back the past month about how much we could have accomplished if only we didn’t turn on Netflix whenever we have a moment to “kill”, which is a fallacy.

Do What We’re Capable of

Social media leads us to spend way too much time comparing ourselves to others (as well as time on it in general).  Don’t.  What what we can do everyday and it’ll work itself out.  People are more likely to suffer from depression the more time they spend on Facebook.  For what it’s worth, we have the ability to “unfollow” someone if that person becomes too much.

We can all achieve what we want in life.  At the end of the day, the super-high achievers want it more.  Get depressed from everyone’s “awesome” life on Facebook and Instagram?  Turn it off, make your life, and maybe someday someone will be jealous of you.

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