It recently dawned on me that throughout history—and especially in exciting Hollywood movies—solutions rarely come from the wise old men. Usually it’s a dashingly handsome and unruly young man or woman. (The disrupter.) Disrupters are necessary to shake up established ideas and to bring in new ones. Steve Jobs said everyone needs a personal computer. We didn’t know he was right until we became accustomed to having one.
We have many choices in our lives, but let me boil it down to just three.
A. Put your head in the sand and complain about how hard it is.
Yeah, yeah, I hear you. It’s tough. Your computer file, the one you worked on all last week is corrupted. You put all that energy and time into the project. It ruined your weekend for crying out loud! And now your boss casually says on Monday afternoon that the whole thing was canned on Friday and he forgot to tell you. Oops, sorry.
I bet you have quite of few examples of things in your ever-growing list of Sh*t That Went Wrong. Yesterday during one of my online classes for Creative Entrepreneurs, I put it this way: the older we get, the more jaded we become. Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers—have you listened to yourselves lately? So many of us are just a bunch of angry-middle-aged-white-men or disillusioned women. And we all think Millennials are the problem!
Needless to say, the self-inflicted misery, the victim mentality, the tendency to blame others is terribly unattractive and will get you exactly nowhere, except in an increasingly desperate and negative mindset. I am sorry; I wish I could tell you otherwise. But negative attracts more negative.
Hold on before you write your first comment and tell me to get lost. Yes, of course we are not all angry and disillusioned. You may not be, but many, many are. Please keep reading.
B. Pretend nothing is wrong.
For whatever reason, women especially are prone to ignoring warning signs. Until, that is, we get a huge scare. Take two of my friends as examples. A few weeks ago they were both in surgery at the same time. One for breast cancer and a mastectomy, the other for ovarian cancer and a hysterectomy.
That shook me to the core. It’s a little too close to home for my liking. Please promise that you won’t look the other way for too long. Let’s pay attention to ourselves before we get whacked with a 2×4.
Here is my personal confession. I was going down that same road, holding up my part, saving everyone, and allowing others to deplete me (even though I know better). Then one recent day I suddenly realized my boundaries had become shadows of their former selves instead of the clear lines I deliberately drew.
If this is you, start today. Roll up those sleeves, get the meditation app (I found a great one that gets me to relaxation mode in seven minutes), put on your workout shoes, and leave the house… You get the gist. Let’s focus on making what we have count.
C. Embrace disruptions and disrupters and become part of the movement.
The way I see it, this is the only way to arrive at a sustainable economy and a better way to live. You see, Millennials are fed up with existing systems. They don’t want to work so hard and not receive financial compensation that is tied to the success of the company they work for. One woman said to me, “What is my incentive with my $45K annual salary to save the company more money if the $500K I saved them in the last four months alone is only considered part of the job? Why would I want to work in a place like this? I hate my job.” (Here’s one company doing it right.)
My prediction is that the corporate culture shakeup has just begun. Gender equality, equal pay, and discrimination eradication is coming. And with it comes acceptance for all people, our differences, and a focus on what each brings to the table. Yes, some will abuse this freedom, but the majority of us are good people. We must believe goodness will prevail in the end, because there simply cannot be any other outcome worth working towards.
I find that very exciting.
So you tell me, is what you do and have right now all you’ve got in you?