Thousands of American millennials will graduate from college this month. I am one of them. Many of my peers have secured jobs for themselves. I have not. As millennials begin to explore new opportunities, some important lessons come to mind.
Follow your passion and capitalize on opportunities. Don’t give up on your passion for practicality’s sake. Starting this month, millennials will hit the job forums; and in the words of Willy Wonka, hope to find their golden ticket. Well look no further, that ticket is right in front of you. Graduation is not only a time for candid reflection, it is a time to keep your eyes and ears open for “opportunities.” This could be the opportunity to travel a bit; invest in your creative interests be it musical, written, or entrepreneurial; and most of all to learn. I don’t mean learn as you did in school. I mean actually learn something that will translate into you taking action.
Millennials should read Steven Pressfield’s War of Art. Pressfield aptly writes that we resist our true professional desires when faced with fear. This could be the fear of failure or “The fear of throwing away the education, the training, the preparation that those we love have sacrificed so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for.” Don’t let this fear compromise your life. Take action now.
Become the best in the world. Why would you settle for anything else? Yes, it will be hard and yes you will become lazy along the way. In fact, I begin most days in a lethargic state. Regardless, you have the capabilities to succeed. Read The Dip by Seth Godin. It will teach you how to fight through pain and become an expert in your chosen field. It will also teach you when to quit projects that are unlikely to pay off. This will be one of the most important “little books” of your life.
Exercise presence. How much of your life do you spend thinking? Harvard psychologists have found that on average we spend 46.9 percent of our waking hours thinking. I’m a sucker for thought and so are many of my friends. We are regularly unaware of our surroundings, and derive our emotions from thought. Eckhart Tolle teaches his readers how to access presence through his book, The Power of Now. Reading this book, and regularly executing its principles such as meditation, will make you a happier and healthier person.
So there it is my fellow millennials- a call to action. Together, let’s kill the monotony of finding jobs for the sake of so-called “security.” Let’s live the life that was intended for us all.